UK Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 10th - 16th May 2021. This year's theme is nature and the environment. There are some simple day to day things that employers can do to encourage their teams to get outdoors as well as tips on how they can look after themselves at work.
Take a lunch break
Don’t allow staff to skip their lunch break and discourage eating at their desk whilst continuing to work. Getting outside and taking a walk will help clear their head and enable people to come back refreshed and ready to tackle what lies ahead. Consider setting up a lunchtime walking club a couple of times a week which will not only make people more active but is a great way for individuals to get to know others in different departments.
Make exercise part of the daily routine
Do you have the space to be able to host a lunchtime or after work exercise class or a local gym which will offer a staff discount? Perhaps you can encourage staff to cycle to work or challenge them to get off public transport a stop early and walk part of the way. Discourage use of lifts unless it’s absolutely necessary and suggest people visit colleagues in person if they are based elsewhere in the building to ask questions rather than rely on phones and email.
Eliminate unhealthy snacks
Stay away from the cakes and biscuits! It can be easy to sneak in calorie-laden snacks during the work day – keep sweet treats for special occasions and encourage healthy snacking by placing bowls of fresh fruit around the office and communal areas to help people get their five a day.
Are you sitting comfortably?
Regularly check office equipment and lighting and make sure that employees have well supporting chairs, sit with good posture and have their computer screen at the right level. Encourage people to take regular breaks so they are not looking at their screens for long periods of time – make available details on how often people should have eye tests and nearby places where they can go.
Put in place measures for line managers and supervisors to spot signs of stress in employees and ensure that systems are in place to allocate and manage workloads and monitor performance. Encourage managers to have good communication with their teams to help identify any issues – either inside or outside the workplace – which may contribute to an employee’s wellbeing.
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