Not long ago, we ran a piece on how to set up a startup office so you could start off on the right foot. Even those tips can help you to set up an office that encourages great work, dedication to your mission, and a host of other advantages, the real gold is ensuring the health of yourself and employees, also known as “health proof”.
Why is health important to a business? Well, the U.S. economy alone loses $576 billion per year due to poor health. Not only does it impact the bottom line for your business, but it also makes a big difference in the happiness and well-being of your employees. The workers who feel overworked, under appreciated, and unhealthy are the workers that do not last very long.
Many traditions in the workplace are bad for long and short term health. Sitting consistently creates all types of muscular imbalances, leads to increased risks of heart disease, and other chronic problems. Not only will encouraging your employees to get stand up desks help improve their quality of life, but it will also reduce the insurance bill and enhance their productivity.
That doesn’t mean chairs aren’t welcome in your new startup office, but don’t make it a mandatory aspect of office life. Some environments are challenging to work in because desks are short, everyone is sitting, and it’s almost taboo to go against the grain. Give your employee the option to do the healthy thing.
There is a reason the biggest and best companies in the world, such as Facebook and Google, have great chefs providing the healthiest food options for their employees. The truth is, the healthier an employee is, the better they will be at their job. With a clearer mind, better focus, and added motivation, it is possible to do great things.
Obviously your startup office might not have the money to hire a full chef, but it isn’t so hard to put healthy snacks in the office shelves and lead by example. Getting healthy food delivered to the office every once in awhile might show people what they are missing and help them make the transition.
Stress is tied to some of the greatest challenges that a new startup will face. Even though there are usually hard deadlines, challenges that need to be overcome, and a host of other problems associated with startups, too much stress is not good.
Employees who constantly feel stressed find they are sick more often and unable to complete the tasks they are assigned. Create an environment where things are more relaxed. In the break room, you can even put supplements that are designated to help with relieving stress. Something called CDP choline, for example, can both help reduce stress and improve their cognitive abilities. You can also bring in massage therapists and create community events every once in awhile to make your startup environment a little more friendly.
People who spend 8 hours a day (or more) working in a startup office find that physical activity is a much needed aspect of their daily routine. Sometimes people are simply too lazy or don’t want to spend the time to engage in physical activity. The more you can encourage small bits of physical activity, the better. Simply go for a walk with your crew, encourage a game of volleyball, or do anything possible to get them active and moving.
With these four simple health tips, you can health proof your startup, ensure you maintain a high level of productivity and increase your bottom line all at the same time.