Guest Blog by Dr Kenny Livingstone, founder and CEO of ZoomDoc
The role of the HR director has changed to reflect our 21st century attitude to work. Rather than worrying about employees pulling sick days or neglecting their work, businesses now worry about the possibility of employees becoming burnt out and unable to find that crucial work – life balance.
With the increased focus on the value of our work as a society, It’s easy to forget the importance of self care, which is perhaps why more people than ever are coming into work whilst feeling unwell. Research by ZoomDoc found that 87% of British employees have come into work sick at least once a year, often with a high temperature.
As doctors, we are finding that more and more patients come to us feeling overworked and stressed, often a result of unhealthy habits at work. It is of paramount importance to promote healthy habits and to take the time to encourage your staff to follow suit.
Staying healthy and active whilst maintaining a work ethic shouldn’t be a challenge, which is why we have devised the top health tips to promote to your employees.
A lot of us spend most of the time away from our desks leaning over the coffee machine, or the counter of the café down the road. That’s not even counting those who consume endless cups of tea throughout the day. Even if it is not a hot day, the caffeine in coffee and tea is a well-known diuretic, which can lead to dehydration. Keeping bottles and glasses of water readily available throughout the office will ensure everyone remains feeling fresh and alert.
Staring at a computer screen all day is not necessarily the active and stimulating lifestyle our bodies were designed for. It’s not uncommon to take a break by looking at our phones, instead of going outside and getting some fresh air. Encourage employees to take a brisk walk outside, and feel the benefits of moving about, away from their desks.
While it’s not uncommon to bring in cakes and biscuits to spread goodwill and cheer across the office, eating these throughout the day can often mean that you consume a lot of sugar, which can leave you feeling burnt out and, in fact, craving more sugar. Replacing sugary treats with fruit and nuts will give your staff the energy they need to remain alert during the day, without causing their blood sugar levels to crash and leave a whole office feeling tired out and lethargic!
Do not come into work if you are feeling sick
The rise of “Office-Ill mongers”, or people who come into work when they are feeling unwell, is one of the most damaging of developments to our working culture in the last decade. Encourage employees to take the day off and gain some rest, as infecting their colleagues will only result in a miserable office.
To get back in tip top shape for work, seeing a doctor is advisable. If they struggle to get an appointment and need to see someone immediately, there are various doctor on demand services which can offer instant support.
Make sure you get enough sleep
A healthy routine is paramount and not getting enough sleep can have an impact on your health, productivity and general ability to concentrate. In fact, studies show that not getting enough sleep is likely to put you at risk of cardiovascular diseases and obesity, as well as inhibit your immunity to the common cold. Consider restricting work to certain hours to ensure that employees are taking advantage of their time off and getting some rest.
Incorporate exercise into your routine
Everyone knows getting exercise during the week is important, and has immeasurable health benefits. Whether it’s taking a longer route to work by getting off the bus or train early, or simply taking part in wellness initiatives at work, a walk to the nearest café for a sandwich should not be the sum of anyone’s physical activity for the day.