5 Tips to Boost Employee Wellbeing This Winter

Creating a culture of wellbeing in the office is one of the best ways for companies to reap all the benefits of an engaged, motivated, and efficient team. When your staff feels happy and healthy, they're more likely to deliver their best work.

The Importance of Employee Wellbeing

Happy employees will reduce overspending in your business by helping to keep your rate of employee attrition low. Unfortunately, in the winter, maintaining employee wellbeing can become a challenge.

Every year, it's the same story. One person sneezes in the office, and before you know it, half of your team members are suffering from the cold or flu. Not only is your staff morale reduced as a result, but the productivity of your team comes to a grinding halt.

It's not just physical sickness that harms the team in winter, either. As the weather worsens and sunlight dwindles, emotional wellbeing can also suffer. Risks regarding depression and anxiety increase exponentially during the later months of the year.

So, how can you keep your team on track?

1. Encourage Good Hygiene and Health Policies

First things first, you'll need a policy in your business to fight against the spread of bacteria. Ensure your team members know to cover their noses and mouths when they're sneezing and coughing.

Additionally, make sure that they wash their hands regularly and keep antibacterial gel on their desks, just in case.

Hang suitable signage throughout the workplace reminding people how to wash their hands and what they can do to reduce the spread of illness. Even cleaning the various shared objects around your office can be useful.

Germs responsible for cold and flu can live on surfaces for several hours. That means that your office equipment, computer monitors, phones, and keyboards need regular cleaning.

Once sickness gets bad enough in your office, it's important that your team members feel comfortable being honest and saying that they need to take some time out.

2. Create a Year-Long Wellness Strategy

If you want your workforce to remain fit and healthy in the winter, then you don't have to wait until the weather gets colder to start making a difference.

Encouraging your staff to get fit and eat a better diet is an excellent way to create a germ-fighting team. Research indicates that people who exercise more regularly and eat well are less likely to be infected with common viruses, like a cold.

Keeping your team fit and healthy all-year-around will also mean that they have more energy to get more done at the office. They'll be less likely to take sick days for a variety of reasons, which means that you get the most out of your investment into your employees.

Start getting your team members up and moving by arranging for activities for everyone to take part in, including group gym sessions, local jogging sessions around a park, and even football, Frisbee, and catch games.

You should also encourage your workforce to stay hydrated by installing a water cooler and give them plenty of opportunities to eat healthy from your office café.

3. Understand Employee Needs

During the winter months, a lot of your staff members are likely to have more demands on their time and energy. That means that improving workplace health will require more than just a few sachets of tea and vitamins around the office.

Sometimes, your team members are going to need some extra help to stop them from burning out.

For instance, consider the employees in your workforce that have children at home during the winter holidays. They might be struggling to find a babysitter, which means that they're constantly rushing around trying to get things sorted for their youngsters.

Allowing these employees to have a little freedom through things like remote and flexible working can keep them feeling happier and healthier.

The option to take advantage of flexible working arrangements will also help employees to reduce their stress levels. Higher levels of stress and anxiety can make people more susceptible to illness. The less stress your team has to handle, the better.

4. Bring More Plants into the Office

Bringing naturally greener into the office comes with a lot of benefits. Not only do these organisms help to effectively reduce bacteria, mold, and dust levels, but they can also reduce CO2 and remove the everyday toxins from the air.

Toxins are frequently released into the air from everything from paper bags, to paint, printing inks, and more. Exposure to constant toxins and chemicals can lead to a host of unpleasant symptoms, including nausea and headaches, as well as a sore throat or runny nose.

Plants are improving your employees' physical health, but also have a positive impact on their emotional wellbeing.

Decorate your office with plenty of fresh plant life, and you can help your team members to feel more positive and calm. The flowers and plants around your office space will help your employees feel closer to nature, while improving the air quality, so they can relax more easily.

5. Let There Be Light

In many winter office spaces, employees can go entire days without seeing much sunlight. This can negatively impact your team members' morale and mood. At the same time, lack of exposure to sunlight has an adverse effect on the circadian rhythms that help us to sleep.

The lack of sunlight in your office can easily trigger problems with anxiety, lethargy, difficulty concentrating, issues with sleeping, and even Seasonal Affective Disorder. To ease the impact of lower light levels in the office, employers should make sure that blinds are open, shrubbery is properly trimmed, and furniture is repositioned to allow for enhanced light flow.

Additionally, encourage your team members to take walks outside during lunch - even when it is cold.

Creating a Happy and Healthy Workforce

Keeping employees happy and healthy during the winter months isn't just good practice from a moral standpoint - it's crucial to your bottom line. The healthier your team members are, the more likely they are to continue delivering excellent results for your team.

Guest Author

Lisa Michaels

Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a thriving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.