Can following a healthy lifestyle make you better at your job?
Incorporating healthy habits can absolutely impact your performance at work. A successful working day requires focus and energy, and reaching your professional best requires taking care of your health.
But for most of us, it is easy to find any excuse not to…
Ever heard a colleague say: ‘diet starts tomorrow’ or ‘yep, I’ll meet you at the gym at 6am’… only to see them eating takeaway by 11am or totally skipping the gym session they promised they’d be at?
Perhaps you’re the one who’s guilty? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. But now, more than ever is time to take control of your health and well-being.
A small positive arising from COVID-19 restrictions has been everyone heading out for fresh air and long walks. This motivator has seen many people find their love of being active again, particularly in the outdoors, without equipment and away from traditional gym environments.
Now, with workers starting to return to their offices, comes a responsibility for businesses and leaders to encourage their teams to maintain these healthier habits and implement initiatives to manage health and productivity issues.
For business, fitter, healthier and happier employees means:
- increased productivity
- increased morale, job satisfaction and motivation
- improved mental alertness, and concentration and energy levels
- decreased stress and other work-related illness
- reduced sick leave and absenteeism
- reduced long-term health problems
- increased ability to attract and retain new employees
- improved corporate image.
Prioritising health and fitness is a core team value for Intro and always has been, however in 2018 we set out to see if investing in our teams’ health and fitness improved productivity.
Two years on and the results have not gone unnoticed (even despite major changes to our work lives during the pandemic).
Since implementing healthier initiatives, we’ve found overall sick days have decreased by 75 per cent, with office attendance at an all-time high. Our team arrives at work on time and all agree that we are getting the recommended eight hours of sleep per night more frequently.
But individual performances are the real ‘Cinderella’ story. Consultant margins and commissions are consistently above set KPI’s each month and we have broken six office records (and celebrated accordingly!). Not to mention everyone’s overall health, look and well-being has improved significantly.
Here’s how we did it:
- Recognise that food is fuel – The office environment is notorious for feeding major temptations through moreish morning teas and evil vending machines – snacks are everyone’s kryptonite! Our tip is to make healthier foods available while encouraging education around what food does for your work productivity (including those 3pm slumps). Intro supplies our team with a weekly order of fresh fruit and healthy snacks to help reduce temptation. We have also engaged a consulting nutritionist to visit once a month to help keep everyone on track.
- Stop sitting so much – Extended sitting can be harmful for your health. Research by the Mayo Clinic suggests 50 to 70 per cent of office workers spend six or more hours sitting per day. Intro recommends taking a break from sitting every half an hour. To do this we encourage our team to hold stand up or walking meetings and move around while taking mobile phone calls. With winter upon us our bodies will become more prone to tightening up – now is the time to sit less and move more.
- Encourage group workouts – Organising an office fitness program will not only motivate your team, it will also make everyone accountable for getting more active and is a great team building tool. It’s no secret regular exercise shows improvement in almost every area of life and really helps manage stress levels within the workplace. At Intro we run regular HIIT workouts in the office or local park before work and take advantage of making each other accountable – often the entire office participates in all three sessions a week.
- Sponsor gym time – Intro is fortunate enough to be across the road from a gym where most of our team take a break from their day and get a workout in. We encourage being away from your desk whenever you can, so now that gyms are reopening this is a good incentive for those looking to escape their computer screens. We also pay for memberships to reward high achieving consultants.
- Set team challenges – Exercising and eating healthily can be a drag at times but doing so as a group can be inspiring and fun. Set a challenge at the start of your week or day with a goal. Previously, Intro has used ‘steps’ challenges with prize incentives as a big driving force to get the team up and moving. A walking challenge may sound simple, but by the end of the week it gets ferocious with our team running at every chance so they can get their steps up.
We’ve made some small changes that have really shown positive results for not only our team, but the business. Obviously, each office operates differently but encouragement from employers to have a healthier team should remain the same.
Better choices can mean a happier, healthier office.
Challenge: The Intro Circuit
Check out our circuit training program for your team. We’ve included some tips to help create your own fitness program for your office along with a few examples of circuit workouts we do together. Our objective is to move as much as possible and get the heart rate up.
Give it a try. We’d love to hear how you went or if you do something similar!
Click the below images to enlarge and download.
Creating your fitness plan