My PR solutions company, Come Recommended, is completely virtual. Some of us work from desks in spare bedrooms, others from couches, and occasionally, some of us even work from bed. Needless to say, we're not always as active as we should be.
This is why, last year, my team decided to start our 'Sweat It or Forget It' policy. Two times a day, we all step away from our computers and do something that gets the blood pumping. Those 15-minute periods help us clear out the mental cobwebs and be more productive as a team.
And we're not the only company that's finding company-wide wellness beneficial.
In a 2017 Virgin Pulse survey, 90 percent of employees said their company wellness program improved the company culture. Seventy-seven percent said it made them feel more energized both in and outside of work. Seventy-one percent said it made them feel more appreciated.
Given how staggering this data is, why aren't more companies incorporating daily exercise? If you want to help your organization be happier and healthier, try these tips:
1. Trickle down wellness.
The first thing Megan Driscoll does every month is put her exercise regime into her schedule. As the CEO and founder of EvolveMKD, a PR and marketing firm, Driscoll knows that if she doesn't mark off times to exercise, work will take up most of her day. And ignoring her health negatively impacts both her and her employees.
"I am a big believer in healthy employees being better for business," Driscoll said. "I try to lead by example. As a result, I've seen happier employees overall and the ones that choose to make exercise part of their life take less sick days."
Driscoll also tries to include physical activity into the office day-to-day events. EvolveMKD employees take part in everything from step competitions to yoga classes. This dedication to exercise has trickled down throughout the organization.
In fact, Driscoll said that executives have invited junior employees to workout with them.
Show your organization how much you value employee well-being. At the end of each month, post a calendar in the office where everyone can write in times that they plan to exercise. Using this resource, employees can discover new classes to take or even team up with each other on runs. This will also hold people more accountable for their health choices.
2. Save your excuses for your mama.
Taking a few 15-minute breaks throughout the day to move around can make a big difference in a person's health. Yet, for some reason, we all say we're too busy to take even that. And we're suffering the consequences.
"Whether it is meditation, stretching, or a quick chair core workout for 15 minutes during your lunch break, exercising makes all of the difference," said Jillian Bridgette Cohen, CEO and co-founder of Virtual Health Partners, a healthcare platform. "I find it enables employees to increase energy, metabolism and focus for the second half of the day."
This led Virtual Health Partners to offer short workout classes through their platform and app. Their employees can find time in their day to do short exercises right at their desk. The company also plans at least one exercise class for the entire team once a week during lunch.
Try a similar strategy and have a block of time during the workday when all employees stop work to exercise. This can be a walk around the building or an employee-led class. Doing physical activity together will make everyone healthier and bring the team closer together.
3. Make wellness your mission.
Budnitz Bicycles devotes itself to designing and creating a healthy mode of transportation. As a result, it's easy for employees to find a way to incorporate exercise into their days. The company's CEO, Jeremy Kent, said employees often take new models for rides around the parking lot.
"We're located a stone's throw from the 8-mile bike path along beautiful Lake Champlain, so we frequently sneak out for a brief team ride to re-energize and remind ourselves why we work so hard to build the best," Kent said.
Since the company is in the bicycle business, it's not hard for them to tie exercise to their company mission. But other organizations can do the same. For example, if your company is developing an app with information on local cafes, organize walks around the neighborhood to see what places are out there. This allows the team to find ways to stay active while representing the company mission.