Recently I came across a post on which highlighted how McKesson, a health care drug distribution giant, revamped its head office to enhance “wellness at work”. The concept caught my attention as it made me realize that while organizations design brilliant strategies to motivate, attract and retain talent they tend to overlook this aspect. And honestly, it makes sense how wellness at work can play a pivotal role in enhancing loyalty.

For decades we’ve heard of offices that are ergonomically designed to optimize comfort and reduce physical fatigue. We’ve even been sensitive to cater to the physically disabled. That’s all great, but to achieve your bigger mission of stimulating performance and remaining attractive you have to look beyond. And here are a few suggestions on how you can do just that.

1. Invest in the Ambiance

The days of ‘serving the purpose’ type of furniture, dark or dull colors and blank walls are over. It’s all about colors. Colors pick up the mood. They enlighten people. Colors help to stimulate the brain. There are some interesting color schemes you could work with to add color to your workstations, walls and floors. Place plants to add a touch of green. And while you’re at it, decorate the walls as well. Paintings add an interesting touch to the office which can also double as a conversation starter.

To set an awesome first impression, your office should have a “wow” appeal. Just imagine if your visitors, candidates and suppliers walked in and were amazed by how your office looked. You’ll definitely win mileage this way.

2. Let There Be Light

For this one you’ll need to analyze your office’s structure. Strategically placed windows that let in lots of natural light can really brighten the office. What’s important here is to make sure those windows are letting in light and not heat. The idea here is to make use of natural light to brighten the office place. It can also reduce your electricity bill. But what you don’t want is added cost of cooling the place down because the light is also heating the place up. Seeking structural consultation would help you achieve your purpose.

3. Encourage Movement

Ergonomic chairs are great and comfortable, but you can’t have your workforce sitting around all day. I understand that they need to be at their workstation to get work done. Encouraging them to move about facilitates physical movement that’s important to stay healthy. Consider having a common printer or photocopy machine which will encourage people to go to it. Instead of having tea served to them, have a tea and water station that’ll get them off their chairs. Nothing spells wellness at work more than physically active people.

4. Health Checks

Several organizations have fitness and health checks as a part of their hiring process. It’s a good idea to make sure you’re recruiting healthy and able talent. But what about later on in their tenure? Can you be certain your talent is still taking care of their health? This is why it’s a good idea to have regular health checks. It doesn’t necessarily have to be annual (though that would be wise), and could be done every two years. But encouraging your workforce to get screened will help them focus on their health, identify health issues preemptively and may even reduce your organization’s medical costs.

5. Go on Vacations

This one is often debated though I’m a firm believer that there should be no leave encashment and people need to go on leave at least once a year. The benefit of leave encashment is really counterproductive as people are more inclined to cash out than to go on leave. That’s where you run into issues of burning out, not being able to develop someone else and even audit the work of the person on leave (sometimes that’s necessary). Encouraging people to take time off helps them slow down, spend time with their family, and just relax. When they return, they usually are recharged and produce some outstanding output.

I’m a firm believer that if your workforce is relaxed and charged up they’ll perform better. They need to be at mental peace and physically healthy to be productive. And this can be achieved by altering the environment and surrounding they work in.

International Well Building Institute and Sprout are just some of the organizations that have been encouraging wellness at work. If you really want to stand out as an employer of choice then you may want to consider what they have to offer. As a starting point, some of these ideas that I’ve shared with you can easily be incorporated to give you a starting point towards wellness at work.