The winter holiday season brings joy and cheer but can also bring increased absences, greater workloads and unhealthy behavior amongst the workforce. Employers may not be able to control what happens at employees’ homes with their nutrition and physical activity, but can at least provide tools and incentives with little effort to make their workforces healthy and productive.
For employers seeking to keep their workforce healthy this holiday season, try implementing some of the following holiday health tips.
The holidays are filled with festive treats that can jeopardize health goals and guidelines throughout the workplace. Consider this:
- Continue to enforce wellness policy guidelines on the food that should be shared at work for meetings or other functions to avoid unhealthy food selections.
- Try incorporating fresh vegetables and low fat, low salt offerings to the office party menu. Having excess high-fat and high-sugar foods for your workforce during an already stressful time does nothing positive for productivity.
- Limit portion sizes. Over-eating leads to unhealthy, tired, unproductive employees.
If there are gift-giving occasions, keep the health of those that you are giving to in mind. Employers are also well positioned to give their entire workforce a gift of lasting value, the gift of wellness.
- Healthy edible gifts, passes to area gyms or health clubs, and gift cards to produce markets, health food stores, spas, etc. are all great gift options.
- Toys and trinkets can sometimes be unexpectedly dangerous. There were more than 250,000 toy-related injuries requiring emergency room visits across the US in 2010. Try to remember December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month.
Office parties are a great way to spread holiday cheer, but leave room for accidents that could injure your employees.
- Plan a unique office party or presentation for your workforce to include presenters on fun types of exercises and stress management.
- Be aware of the safety issues involved and you social host liability.
- Provide a safe ride home for employees who shouldn’t drive after the holiday party.
Health & Hygeine
Winter is not only the holiday season, it’s also flu season. Keep your team healthy with the following:
- Create awareness amongst your employees about the simple measures for avoiding winter colds and flu.
- Cold temperatures can cause health problems. Encourage your employees to stay warm this season by dressing in layers.
The holidays are a difficult time to keep structure and authority in implementing corporate policies – especially surrounding your employees’ health, hygiene and eating habits. However, many businesses and employers feel the impact of having an unhealthy workforce during the final fiscal quarter. Productivity remains key regardless of the festivities. In fact, productivity losses due to health issues are an estimated $225.8 billion annually according to the CDC.
This winter, encourage a safe and healthy workplace by implementing some of these holiday health tips so that you’re employees and their families can enjoy a safe and health holiday season. Subscribe to our Health Insights monthly newsletter to learn more about health in and around the workplace. Happy holidays!