Wellness in the Workplace. Fun Matters
Wellness. It seems like the new buzzword for corporate America. The thing is, there’s a reason. Healthier employees prove to be more productive, more creative, more loyal; less costly, less absent, and less likely to leave. The truth is, wellness really does work.
Ideally, every company would have a customized wellness plan, but that can seem daunting to newer, small start-ups. The good news? Small changes really can make a big difference. Lets talk about the ping pong table.
There are few “toys” I tout as much as the ping pong table. You can buy one for less than $150.00. Most can fold up and are easily stored. They are arguably one of the cheapest and most practical perks you can offer employees. But, why offer ping pong as a perk at all?
Lets look at it from the perspective of physical wellness. Ping pong games are relatively short but energetic, and will get employees up and moving. Studies from the University of Nebraska have found that moving around every two hours is enough to prevent increases in blood glucose levels caused by prolonged sitting. Employees will also increase their blood circulation, and brain oxygen levels, improving cognitive functioning and creative abilities. Ping pong specifically, improves hand-eye coordination, mental acuity and reflexes. The game is being studied in Japan, as a low impact exercise to ward off dementia.
The social health benefits of ping pong are also highly applicable to work life. Employees who play together are more likely to build robust team-working skills. Ping pong is a competitive sport, allowing employees to practice those skills both in play and back work. Perhaps most important, the game provides the office with a much needed sense of play and relief. Happy employees work better and stay longer.
Now, lets discuss the fun aspect a bit more. Researchers out of the University of Konstanzin in Germany have found some interesting data on the use of games in office design. The researchers observed companies with more games, and more fun in their office design and found that in a dynamic work environment, employees who feel younger than their chronological age will reach more personal job goals, predicting a higher level of overall company accomplishment. In turned out, that all those seemingly silly perks, like pool tables, ping pong tables, and colorful physio balls to sit on, were giving their employees a sense of youth that improved their work attitude, cognitive approach, and problem-solving skills.
So, if you’re just starting out, forget the frills and show your employees you care about their wellbeing. Give them an outlet for play to increase there output at work. Wellness isn’t just the right choice for employees; it’s the best bet for employers as well.
Originally published at medium.com