The new year is fast approaching, and you’re no doubt looking for ideas for workplace wellbeing. Then again, is planning out your staff wellbeing really worth it?
Yes. Yes it is.
Numerous studies show that investing in the wellbeing of your staff has incredible benefits in terms of productivity and ultimately your bottom line.
But still, coming up with interesting ideas for workplace wellbeing activities can be a chore. Especially when trying to find activities that support and get the best from your staff. Luckily, we’re the experts in workplace wellbeing, so we’ve got you covered.
With this in mind, here are 52 ideas for workplace wellbeing in 2023 (that’s one for every week of the year!)
Table of Contents
Mental Health Ideas for Workplace Wellbeing
Mental wellbeing is still a top priority when it comes to workplace wellbeing. Staff often feel uncomfortable discussing mental health issues for fear of discrimination. Many managers also don’t have the right level of training to spot signs and symptoms. Below, we’ve put together a list of mental health ideas for workplace wellbeing to help you create a happy and supportive environment in the workplace.
- Gratitude journals: Encourage staff to note the things they are grateful for, helping to inspire positivity.
- Mindfulness breaks: Give staff the tools to practice mindfulness. Encourage them to practise this throughout the day to help tackle stress and overwhelming feelings.
- Mental health apps: There are plenty of mental health apps on offer, covering mindfulness, guided meditation, gratitude and more. Why not promote an app internally?
More In-Depth Ideas
- Manager check-ins: Give your managers the tools to support mental health in the workplace. Then ensure they have regular mental health check-ins with their team.
- Open-door policy: As above, make sure managers have an open-door policy, where staff can approach them with mental health concerns.
- Add plenty of natural light: Natural light can have a huge effect on mood. Make sure there’s plenty of light in the workplace or consider investing in some lights that help tackle Seasonal Affective Disorder.
- Add colour to dreary workspaces: Similarly, a drab and boring workplace won’t inspire much positivity. Add some colours, or encourage staff to personalise their workplace
- Bring your pet to work day: Dogs can offer a huge boost to mood. Consider designating a weekly or monthly day where staff can bring their good boys and girls into the workplace!
Big Ideas for Workplace Wellbeing
- Mental health training courses: Give your staff the knowledge and tools to manage their stress and develop resilience. This can help prevent issues like burnout.
- Workplace counselling: Family and social issues can often affect work. For serious issues, consider offering workplace counselling to staff.
- Mental Health First Aiders: Mental Health First Aiders operate just like physical first aiders, but for mental health issues. The role is fast becoming an integral part of many workplaces.
- Suicide First Aiders: Like a Mental Health First Aider, Suicide First Aiders are trained to address suicidal thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. They also support people to let them get the right help.
- Encourage sick days off for mental health: There is still plenty of stigma around mental health. Many staff may feel guilty about taking a day off for mental health. Encourage staff to take the time to rest and recover.
Physical Health Ideas for Workplace Wellbeing
Physical wellbeing can have a surprising impact on productivity and general wellbeing at work. Staff who maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly and get plenty of good-quality sleep are less likely to fall ill and take days off. Good physical health also contributes towards positive mental health, so there are plenty of extra benefits.
As for workplace wellbeing ideas when it comes to physical health, we’ve collected some initiatives below. You can easily implement most of these in your workplace, but we’ve also added some more in-depth solutions.
- Healthy snacks: Why not switch out sugary snacks in vending machines for healthy options? You could even provide fruit bowls around the workplace. Help your staff cut down on unhealthy habits.
- Walking breaks: If your staff spend a lot of time sitting at desks, encourage them to take a break every so often to get up on their feet and have a walk. Preferably outside for a mental health boost, too.
- Desk yoga: A sedentary lifestyle can lead to numerous health problems. Getting some activity in can be a huge boost to health. Desk yoga is a fun and interesting way to stay active and most people can try it. There are plenty of free tutorials available on YouTube, too!
- Wellness Tracker: Keeping track of general wellbeing can help you stick to your exercise and healthy eating goals. We’ve even got a free one you can download here.
- Fancy water stations: Like the healthy snacks pointer above, why not introduce some healthy hydration options? Instead of a simple water cooler, why not offer some fresh fruit slices that staff can add to their water?
More In-Depth Ideas for Workplace Wellbeing
- Cycle to work scheme: Encourage staff to bike in, or even park further away and walk. They’ll get some quick and easy exercise in each morning and evening.
- Gamify exercise: Buy some cheap pedometers for your staff and see who can generate the most steps at the end of each day. Keep a leaderboard and offer prizes for winners and the most improved.
- Ergonomic workstations: Good back and wrist support is essential for desk workers. You can also offer standing desks to get staff on their feet and moving about more.
- Charity exercise challenge: Host a workplace-wide charity endeavour by encouraging staff to work together and raise money. It could be using an exercise bike to cycle the equivalent length of the country, or even a 24-hr long game of football (with plenty of subs, of course). Get creative!
- Sleep workshops: Sleep is such an important (and overlooked) part of our physical and mental wellbeing. Bad sleep habits can lead to issues with blood pressure and cardiovascular health, as well as poor mental health. Teach your staff how to sleep well.
- Health checks: Help your staff get to know their key health stats, like blood pressure, visceral fat and muscle mass. These can be indicative of general health and may point to some underlying problems.
- Diabetes awareness: There are many risk factors for type 2 diabetes, such as weight and age. A lack of exercise, however, can also have a big impact. Host a workshop for your staff or help them get tested in the workplace to raise awareness.
- Relaxation/nap spaces: The high stress of modern living can leave us feeling tired and drained. Research shows that a short nap during the day can be hugely beneficial for productivity. This is why many big organisations already offer this perk!
- Workplace massage: A quick over-the-clothes massage can help to reduce stress and boost productivity. Staff will absolutely love this one.
- Menopause and Andropause workshops: Menopause-aged women are one of the fastest-growing demographics in the UK workplace. Offering education and awareness around menopause and andropause (yes, men go through a change, too!) can help your staff be more aware of the signs and symptoms of problems, and to get the right help if they need it.
- Subsidised gym memberships: The money spent on subsidising a gym membership for your staff will likely come back to you in terms of productivity and loyalty. Better yet, if you’ve got the space and the means, why not host an on-site gym?
Social Health Ideas for Workplace Wellbeing
Social health is often overlooked when it comes to developing ideas for workplace wellbeing. In fact, it’s one of the most important aspects of a person’s wellbeing. It can have a huge impact on other aspects of wellbeing too, such as mental health. The ideas we’ve gathered below are effective and many of them are quick wins, too.
Simple Ideas for Workplace Wellbeing
- Early finish on Fridays: Who doesn’t love an early finish on a Friday every now and again? It gives staff time to catch up with loved ones or pick the kids up from school. Or maybe just to get ahead on a few chores before the weekend!
- Fun Breakout space: Set up a small area for staff to get away from their workstation and take a fun break. You could add some books or boardgames – something to help staff relax.
- Walking meetings: Meetings are incredibly boring, everyone knows that. Taking a meeting outside or around the workplace can help liven things up a bit. They can inspire creativity and help things feel a little less stuffy and formal. The physical activity is a bonus, too!
- Fun afternoons: Got a particularly quiet afternoon coming up? Instead of having everyone sitting at their desks trying to look busy, why not do something fun? Play some board games, have a paper plane making competition, or just get everyone together for a chat.
- Casual dress: Dressing down is a nice perk, especially if corporate attire is the norm in your workplace. You could even go for a fancy dress theme to inspire some friendly competition.
More In-Depth Ideas
- Have a designated lunch area: Eating lunch at your desk is no fun. Make sure staff have a designated work-free zone to relax during lunch.
- Start a book club: Reading is a great way to continue learning throughout life. Giving your staff the opportunity to host their own book club is a fantastic way to inspire employees through continuous self-improvement.
- Flexitime for family events: As much as employers like to think work is the most important aspect of life, family usually comes first. Giving staff the flexibility to be with their families for important occasions during work time will be massively appreciated.
- Establish fundraising initiatives: Fundraising for charities is a great way to boost morale and inspire positive self-worth. You can have a bake sale, a physical challenge, or maybe even a sponsored silence! Maybe not if you work in a call centre, though.
- Company lunches: Lunch on the boss is always a nice treat. Plus it usually gives staff the opportunity to get away from their desk and chat.
- Teambuilding activities: It sounds a bit cliché, but getting staff out of the office and doing something fun can be great for boosting morale and social health. Just be mindful that not everyone may want to get involved.
- Found a sports or quiz team: Encourage your staff to take part in extra-curricular activities, whether sporty or otherwise. It will build morale and create a nice social atmosphere in the workplace.
- Four-day work week: Lots of workplaces are beginning to sign up to the four-day work week. Many are reporting positive results and noting an increase in productivity for the business, along with an increase in happiness for the individual.
- Give staff their birthday off: Give your staff an extra day’s holiday during the year by allowing them to take their birthday (or their closest working day) off, to spend with family and friends.
Financial Health Ideas for Workplace Wellbeing
The cost-of-living crisis is impacting almost everyone in the UK. Incorporating financial wellbeing initiatives into your wellbeing strategy is an almost essential step for most UK businesses currently. Below, we’ve gathered a few financial workplace wellbeing ideas to help you support your staff through a difficult time.
- Create a network for savvy shopping: Many of us use shop-specific points cards, but we may not always spend them. Encourage staff to swap or sell points they won’t use with each other. You could also create a pool of coupons, where staff donate their unwanted vouchers that other staff can use.
- Outline career progression opportunities: Realistically, most people want to progress in their careers in order to earn more money. Set out a clear career progression for staff roles, so your employees can see what they need to do to progress, and where it will take them.
- Pension enrolment information: Many people who are living pay-day to pay-day won’t be too concerned with their finances in later life. But at some stage, they will most likely want to retire. Ensuring staff understand how their pension contributions work is a great benefit that not many consider, especially early in their careers.
More In-Depth Ideas
- Be mindful of expenses (like commuting): The cost of living continues to rise. As such, costs such as fuel and public transport can really add up. Consider subsidising these costs for staff if it’s essential that they travel to work. Otherwise, allow your staff to work from home, where they can, to start saving the expense.
- Useful branded swag: We all know about branded pens or stress balls, but who gets excited about them? Offering staff something useful, like a branded water bottle or coat, may not be the coolest thing in the world but could help them save on an expense for something they were going to buy elsewhere. Ask your staff what they’d find useful.
- Offer financial planning support: If many of your staff are on lower wages, chances are that they won’t be able to save much each month. Offering support around financial planning for the future will help staff better utilise their finances in the long term.
Big Ideas for Workplace Wellbeing
- Finance education workshops: They don’t teach about taxes or budgeting in schools. Most people are left to figure this out for themselves. Why not start by offering your staff free workshops to help them get more for their money?
- Sign up for an employee perks programme: There are many different employee perks programmes out there. Some include cashback reward platforms and discount apps. Find one that works for your staff and that fits your budget.
- Offer health/dental insurance: As we mentioned earlier, physical health plays a huge role in productivity and morale. With it becoming increasingly difficult (and sometimes expensive) to access various forms of healthcare, offering some form of insurance to your staff could provide a huge boost to their health.
So, there you have it – workplace wellbeing activity or idea for every week of the year. Not every single one is going to be achievable for every business out there. Hopefully, though, a few of these will get you thinking.
So now it’s time to get planning! And if you need a bit of help with that, why not download our Workplace Wellbeing Calendar for 2023? It’s packed with useful awareness dates so that you can schedule your campaigns at the right time for maximum impact and effectiveness. Click here to download your copy.