Building motivation to work hard and be productive throughout the day is often slow moving. While you as the employer can’t necessarily address what happens before your worker bees get to the office, it’s important to build an environment that promotes healthy habits and productivity when they do get to work. This healthy environment should focus on five key morning wellness activities to jumpstart the day.
It’s been said time and again that staying hydrated is important for good health. There are also benefits to drinking water right away in the morning, including skin health, cell renewal, balance of the lymph system and even weight loss. Essentially, water in the morning helps to wake up your organs so you’re body feels ready to take on the day.
You can help your employees get hydrated early in the day in a variety of ways:
- Installing water fountains throughout the office allows employees to grab a drink of water easily. It also promotes movement, so employees aren’t sedentary all day.
- Investing in a company water cooler allows your employees to fill up a glass or water bottle to keep at their desks. Remember to keep the cooler in an easily accessible place. If you have a large office space, maybe look into purchasing more than one water cooler.
- Give re-usable company-branded water bottles or cups to your employees. This way, they have an easy option to stay hydrated, and they know you care about their health.
- Provide water luxuries including ice, purified water, flavor packets or any other “accessories” to make your employees really want to drink water.
Just as you need to wake up your organs in the morning, it’s important to wake up your muscles as well. An easy way to do this is to stretch. Stretching allows relief for muscle tension, increased range of motion and improved posture. Aside from physiological benefits, it can also provide a short period of relaxation and mindfulness in the morning before the busy-ness of the day takes hold. Both of these help employees to start the day fresh, which will increase productivity later on.
While many people with morning stretching routines do so right after they wake up, you can also promote this habit in the workplace. Try to spread the knowledge to your workforce. This can be done simply by encouraging morning stretching, providing quick and easy stretches employees can do at home or even providing a list of stretches that can be done in the office. To go a step further, if the budget allows, consider providing an area for stretching in the office that includes exercise bands and balls, yoga mats and other small stretching equipment.
For many people, waking up muscles goes further than just stretching. A full morning workout can be beneficial to get your muscles moving, work off some steam and even jumpstart your metabolism for the day. This release of energy will allow you to be more focused, and therefore more productive throughout the day.
Based on your wellness budget, this habit can be promoted in a number of ways. If money allows, it could be beneficial to build a gym at the office. The workout space doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, but will allow employees an easy way to work out without the barrier of finding a space. Here at TotalWellness, we converted an un-used shipping bay into an employee gym with a couple treadmills, an elliptical, some free weights and other useful equipment!
If it’s not in your budget or protocol to build a gym at work, try to promote morning workouts in other ways. You can provide a list of “desk exercises” for your employees, or even organize morning workout groups. You’re bound to have employees interested in morning walks, runs, yoga sessions or Zumba workouts!
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” said everyone! Studies have shown that breakfast is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Not only does the meal help you to establish a healthy caloric balance for the day, but the right breakfast foods can improve concentration and performance, and provide strength and endurance to take on a busy schedule.
You can promote the meal by providing the meal, if you have the resources. Consider supplying fruit, mini bagels or whole-grain cereal with low-fat yogurt in the mornings alongside the shared office coffee pot. If a steady supply of food isn’t in the budget, make it easy to have breakfast at work. Stock your break room with a microwave, toaster, napkins and disposable utensils. If you’d like to avoid bringing breakfast to the office, contact a local coffee shop to see if they have a “neighbor discount,” or some other partnership that will allow your employees easy access to morning nutrition.
Don’t Hit Snooze
This important morning activity really can’t be dealt with in the office. The habit of hitting snooze on your alarm can be really terrible (and confusing!) for your body. Your sleep habits are just that; habits. Your body adapts to the patterns you make, and it needs time to prepare to get up and get going. When the alarm goes off and wakes you up, your body starts moving. When you hit snooze and go back to sleep, your body thinks waking up was a false alarm, and stops the preparation. When the alarm goes off nine minutes later, your body starts preparing again, and the cycle continues, making you feel groggy and more tired than if you had gotten up a few minutes ago.
As an employer, it’s not your place to control the sleep habits of your workforce. It is in your best interest, however, to educate them on the importance of sleep. Let your employees know how they can take full advantage of catching some zzz’s at night, and stress the importance of prying themselves out of bed when the zzz’s have been caught!
Overall, morning habits can really set the tone for how the rest of the day will go. Increase productivity by helping your employees develop a healthy morning routine. Try to address these five morning activities to make your office just a bit more inviting when the sun comes up.
What’s your favorite morning habit that helps you be productive all day long?