David Vollmer is the CEO of Isolator Fitness.
Keeping the body healthy and fit -- through both exercise and nutrition -- is the key to a better life, not only at home but also on the job. At my company, Isolator Fitness, business revolves around making sure that everyone feels empowered to reach their health and fitness goals. We encourage all businesses to adopt this philosophy and promote nutritious diets, daily workout routines and healthy stress management.
Employee health affects productivity in the workplace: poor health can lead to higher stress levels, less concentration, inaccuracy and decreased productivity. A nutritious diet does more than just feed the body; it also feeds the mind. In fact, glucose levels in the body affect our productivity more than one might believe -- a steady glucose level throughout the work day ensures that employees are able to focus better and have increased attention to detail.Second only to sleep, nutrition is the most important facet to a person's ability to gain and keep focus. As an employer, instilling a healthy sleep routine is rather difficult, but encouraging nutritious meal prep so your employees can save money, eat better and live longer happens to be one of the easiest ways to save the company a massive loss in productivity and revenue. These are the top three ways we've noticed improvement:
- Increased productivity. When employees prepare their meals for the day ahead of time and bring their lunch into work, they spend less time out of the office buying lunch and more time being productive. By encouraging employees to bring lunch, we've also carved out more time for them to engage in socialization with co-workers. According to Alexander Kjerulf, an international author focused on happiness in the workplace, "Socializing and getting to know them [co-workers] as people will help you to communicate better, trust each other more and work better together. Also, employees who have positive workplace relationships are happier at work, and we know that people who are happy at work are more productive, more creative and more successful overall."
- Less opportunity for crash. Before we implemented a meal prep strategy, we had to make sure that our employees understood that it was designed to create a healthier, happier, more successful self and that the best way in which they could achieve that was by packing healthy options full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
- Better concentration. We noticed that when employees got hungry, it meant that their glucose levels had already begun to drop. They were becoming distracted much more easily. Until their blood sugar levels were back to normal, the distractions would only continue to increase in frequency and severity. Having high protein and low carb options pre-cooked and packed with them helped to make sure that their hunger was immediately addressed, and that their glucose levels remained balanced throughout the day.
- We host potlucks. Our employees participate in an office-wide healthy meals potluck once or twice a month. When people are able to share their favorite healthy recipes with their co-workers, they'll be more likely to spend the time on meal preparation for themselves as well.
- We encourage meal planning. We taught our employees about the benefits of meal planning. You might be surprised by how many people are already interested in this concept but are unsure about where to start.
- We set a lunch period. It doesn't necessarily have to be at the same time every day, but our employees take a break from their work anywhere between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to indulge in a lunch packed with nutrients and healthy socialization with their co-workers.
- We lead by example. We have demonstrated that eating nutritious meals and leading a generally healthy lifestyle has been crucial to our success as a company. By proving that good health has helped us, our new employees are more likely to follow along.
- We use real figures. We've shown our employees the financial benefits that they are able to receive from the company healthcare provider for simply changing their eating patterns or activity levels. We've found that people tend to focus more of their energy on change when they see benefits and advancement in their own personal lives.