Providing a healthy, supportive workplace can be challenging around the holiday season with the added stress of year-end deadlines, financial pressures, an abundance of unhealthy holiday treats, and schedules overloaded with work, family and social commitments.
Here are five tips to help you and your employees enjoy a happy, healthy holiday season:
1. Give the gift of health. Instead of the usual box of chocolates, give gifts that your employees or co-workers will not only enjoy but feel good about using. Potted plants or a healthy cookbook are a great alternative to calorie-laden treats. Or, for larger gifts, consider giving gift cards to a produce store, farmer’s market, sporting goods store or a spa. Setting spending limits on gifts or organizing a Secret Santa can help relieve some of the financial burden of gift-giving.
2. Combine physical activity with your traditional office holiday party. Instead of the typical holiday party at a restaurant or bar, why not come up with a fun physical activity that will provide employees with the opportunity to be active. Try a new winter activity such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or ice skating. Or, if it’s too cold (or too rainy!), play indoors. Bowling or skating at an indoor rink are great affordable options.
3. Provide healthy options. Around this time of year, staff lunch rooms get filled with all sorts of unhealthy foods high in fat, sugar, and calories. Foods high in fat and sugar can make you feel like crawling under your desk for a mid-afternoon nap. Encourage employees to leave the unhealthy treats at home or provide some balance by offering healthier choices for employees such as a bowl of fruit, tray of veggies and low fat dip or dried fruit and nuts.
4. Spread some holiday cheer. Another alternative to the holiday office party is planning a group event focused on volunteering or charitable giving. Volunteering as a group is not only a great way to give back to the community but it provides an opportunity to encourage teambuilding and strengthen relationships among employees.
A great tool to help you get started with workplace wellness is WellnessFits. The program is a free comprehensive workplace wellness program that is a partnership of the Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon and the Province of British Columbia’s Healthy Families BC initiative.
The team behind WellnessFits is looking for small BC businesses (under 50 employees) to participate in a survey looking into new training tools and resources that would be helpful for businesses wanting to implement the WellnessFits program in their workplaces. Contact information provided during the survey will only be used if you wish to learn more about the WellnessFits program.
You may complete this quick survey online by clicking here.
As a thank you for completing the survey, the WellnessFits team will send you a free starter kit including items that can be used to support workplace wellness activities, such as pedometers, and tips to help you get started with your own workplace wellness program.