We all know that health is always wealth. But when it comes to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the importance of ensuring the good health of everyone in the company can be amplified.
Plus, in today’s wellness-focused society, it makes sense on multiple fronts for employers to care for their staff’s health. It goes without saying that having happy, healthy employees increases productivity, participation and creates a better working environment. Additionally, having sound wellness policies can also improve the company’s image, making it more attractive to potential hires while increasing staff retention rates.
Here are 5 thoughtful health policies that SMEs can implement at the workplace with minimal effort.
In an office with multiple shared surfaces like doorknobs, cupboard handles and common tables, germs and bugs are easily spread from one person to another. It is simple enough to install a few industrial-sized hand sanitizer containers. Place them in strategic areas like the pantry or reception desk to encourage employees to keep their hands germ free. For best results, use sanitizers that contain 60 to 80 percent alcohol, which is the ideal range for efficacy. Of course, sanitizers are not a substitute for washing with soap and water, so you can also put up a small sign in the bathroom to remind staff to thoroughly cleanse their hands.
Exercising together is a great way to build team camaraderie while encouraging everyone to keep fit. You may be able to negotiate for reduced group membership rates at fitness studios or gyms close to your office. Alternatively, if your office has a space like a conference room with movable furniture, you can hire private yoga or fitness instructors for group classes. They can conduct exercise sessions that are suitable for individuals of varying fitness levels during lunch or after work. Another option would be to form a running or cycling club to motivate employees to not neglect their cardiovascular workouts.
One health trend we are noticing among SMEs is that more companies are beginning to offer in-office medical services to their employees and vendors that suffer from occupational or on-site injuries as well as illness. With doctor-on-call services like Speedoc, it is increasingly more convenient for companies to offer this to their employees and vendors.
However, we believe prevention is better than cure. This is why Speedoc also offers vaccination-on-call services. For instance, at the beginning of the annual flu season, companies could schedule our doctors to visit the office to conduct flu vaccinations for every employee. Just like that, everybody in the office will have protection against this common virus for the rest of the year!
Work-related stress can sometimes have an adverse effect on mental health. Hence, it is worth investing in expert-led stress management workshops and talks to help employees cope with work pressure. Bosses and managers can make the effort to extend a listening ear if they notice individuals are struggling at the office. Sometimes all it takes is a friendly face to make a difference. For something more holistic, you can also organise meditation and breathing sessions to give staff much needed headspace.
In Singapore and other parts of the region, it can be challenging to stick to a healthy diet when there is so much delicious (but unhealthy) street food easily available. Encourage your employees to eat well by sending them links to useful websites or Youtube videos. Those with a little more budget can also consider holding in-house nutrition seminars.
Or, when there are team bonding sessions or working lunches, take the initiative to order in healthier food and snacks like grain bowls or fruit smoothies instead of the usual sugar-laden or greasy snacks. When people realise that healthy food can be delicious too, they will become more motivated to seek out wholesome alternatives when the hunger pangs strike.