Maximizing Wellness In the Workplace Newsletter, November Issue

Welcome to this November’s newsletter that features topics, articles and insights about wellness in the workplace in the real estate and facility management sectors.

The pandemic, these last eight months has dramatically shifted the workplace environment.  A large percentage of the workforce are working remotely from home or following a hybrid office/home-work approach. Covid has brought greater awareness about our health that is being extended into the work environment.

How are employers able to manage productivity and sustain team morale in this climate?

In this issue, dates and topics for the upcoming episodes of The Wellness Factor, a series about the human side of the workplace. What are companies doing about beating social isolation which many of us are experiencing and new ideas to do during the winter months?  Businesses are adapting their workplaces into innovation spaces to support employee convenience, functionality, and well-being.; Watch an inspiring video documentary series about the fascinating and intricate ways that we are connected to each other, the world and the universe at large and some simple health tips for getting through the winter months with a delicious recipe.

Enjoy the news,

Topics:

  1. The Wellness Factor Webcast Series to December 17, 2020
  2. Beating social isolation in the Workplace this winter season
  3. Video: CONNECTED: A must see video connected with Latif Nassar
  4. Stay well in the winter months with these health tips and recipe

The Wellness Factor webcast series

The Wellness Factor, is a FREE webcast series focused on the human side of the workplace. How people and businesses are experiencing these unprecedented times of covid and bringing innovation to health and wellness. We are all concerned about the transition back into the workplace and its unknowns as we strive to get back to normal.

These webcasts are presented every two weeks on Thursdays at 1 pm and will also feature experts in the fields of health, commercial real estate, facility management, HVAC and sanitation speak about their best practices and how to reengage safely back to work.

Register 

Topics

Thursday, November 12 at 1pm: Supporting your tenant’s/employees health concerns by communicating effective messaging and leadership that is tone-appropriate for Covid regulations and best-practices.

  1. The changing uncertainty about covid health regulations
  2. The role in Leadership to effectively communicate health protocols
  3. Health and wellness policies in your workplace

Thursday, November 26 at 1pm: Moving beyond the office space and connecting with your community’s well-being. Creating connections with organizations in your community personifies the corporate social responsibility of a company.

  1. Why organization’s in your community need your support more than ever this year
  2. Building long term relationships in the community
  3. How wellness plays a big role here for your organization

Thursday, December 10 at 1pm: What are leading companies in Toronto doing to build trust with their teams and employees?

  1. Building trust in this time of uncertainty?
  2. Who carries the torch for your team?
  3. How can wellness add to your company’s brand of trust for employees and teams?

Thursday, December 17 at 1pm: Strengthening wellness policies s in your organization and moving forward for 2021.

  1. Hindsight: Year end review of health and wellness policies and attitudes in 2020
  2. What are top five priorities for your company for 2021?
  3. Building a culture of wellness and how that ties into the corporate culture

Register here or contact me for with any questions.

Share any ideas you may have or creative innovation programs you know taking place in the workplace for next year’s topics. I’d love to hear from you! contact me here

#2 Beating social isolation in the workplace this winter season

Covid’s ongoing lockdowns are taking an emotional toll on us and having to socially isolate even more as we move into the winter months.  Last spring’s lockdown was devastating to many living alone or living in difficult circumstances working from home.

Now, eight months later, working remotely has become mainstream and transformed the way we do business and communicate with one another. We are adapting to this changing environment, pivoting our businesses, managing hybrid methods, contactless transactions and juggling much more than we bargained for.

A recent study by the recruitment firm Hays Canada, looked at the opinions of businesses and workers and found a “significant disconnect between Canadian employers and the labour work force. Surprisingly, 49% of employees are seriously considering leaving their jobs. The lack of social interaction from remote working, increased workloads and a lack of support from their managers have heavily weighed on workers. this is a 9% jump from last year and in some provinces it is even higher,  52% of Ontario and in  Quebec 54% are ready to leave their jobs.

Nor are they getting much emotional support.. “54% of employers have admitted they were doing nothing to assist employees with their wellness or mental health. Growing rates of depression and anxiety are paralyzing workers on what steps to take to get help. An initiative  in the USm called One Mind at Work combined services with Psych Hub a resource platform on mental health  to launch Mental health and Wellness in the Workplace.  “Employers and mental health leaders must work together to transform approaches to mental health and addiction and effectively promote mental health as important as physical health,” Garen Staglin, co-founder of One Mind at Work and chair of One Mind.

Have you had that experience with your team? What ways you have reached out to your staff?

It is evident that health and wellness are pivotal for maintaining employee productivity and team morale.

Management has been trying to figure out how best to accommodate this new work environment and support employees for better accountability, productivity, attendance and effective strategies for maintaining team morale.

Some good news…..

Companies are rethinking creative ways to engage employees and reconfigure their work environment adding wellness features and dynamic design to accommodate them feeling safer.

  • The workplace may no longer be a single location but an ecosystem of different locations and experiences to support convenience, functionality, and well-being.
  • This ecosystem will comprise a variety of places for employees to interact since personal connections and bonding are less connected to corporate culture. People will choose where they need to work to get their jobs done and build personal connections differently.
  • The office will have a new purpose! It will provide inspiring destinations that strengthen cultural connections, learning opportunities, bonding with customers and colleagues, that foster creativity and innovation.

Jennifer Britton, from Group Coaching Essentials Realized and author of Effective Virtual Conversations, recommends for leaders to define the parameters of their virtual meetings and share with your team what you and they hope to get out of it. Jennifer promotes:

  • Using visuals to captures people’s attention to prompt new thinking and ideas.
  • Adding music and video to break up the energy
  • Creating breakout rooms to bring people’s voices into the room to explore ideas around varied topics and get people chatting in between work time.
  • Organizing social hours a few times a week to have fun!
What about shifting the conversation away from fear to fun experiences and engage teams in more interactive ways!

At a networking group event,  we invited a cocktail mixologist and chef to demonstrate making Cucumber Collins drinks and a southern Mexican style of guacamole. We made the drinks and food at the same time which was outstanding as an entertain activity.

Organize creative playtime with your team colleagues. …

Introduce creative ways for leading team challenges/activities on health-related topics:

Have your team decide which challenge they would like to try and run it for a couple of weeks. Get them excited by that they are doing, post pics in your online water cooler or a facebook page or whatever platform you’d like to use. Treat it like a game and integrate it into your weekly meetings or make a special time for everyone.

  • A food challenge – try the Unique Salad Challenge as a start to eating well. for example recognized for the most unique ingredients. The winner gets a prize (a recognition award, an amazon card or to a local Café). Pictures are taken and posted in the company newsletter or online. there are some great cookbooks about fun salad combinations especially making them in a jar layered and they look beautiful too.
  • A Fitness challenge – start simple so everyone can participate (some maybe at different levels). A Fit Bit Challenge monitoring 10,000 to 15,000 steps a day or chart a fun course to follow. I never knew how easy it was to get up to 10,000 steps. Connect as a team and challenging each other to travel more steps is a great way to build endurance, see other parts of the town or city you live in, connect with people outdoors walking and building your body strength. Adding weights to your walk and diversifying your walking routes and rhythm also adds variety.

Another way is playing the Pokeman app, getting outside and walking to different places in the city.. Build in Regular Activity-                 Find ways to incorporate more physical activity throughout your day, using mini-breaks to get moving—  try online workouts,                     gardening, or even a home dance party! Fitness, promotes feelings of well-being and enhanced mental health, add regular walks                 during work hours to improve enthusiasm and relaxation, and reduce nervousness.

  • After Five weekly program now presented online is a great way for staff to socialize, share ideas, travel experiences, participate in educational seminars or over beer and food.

The Engineers Canada Association shared that their office social committee were organizing games for anyone interested during virtual lunches. Some of the online platforms they used included: Jackbox.tv, spyfall-netgames.io, codenames (www.horsepaste.com) and thegameofthings.com/app. These games appealed to staff between 20-40 years.  They also did a speed dating/networking activity that  was a great way for people to get to know each other, ask questions and then move on to the next person every five minutes.  All staff participated creating a sense of community!

  • Community engagement challenge:  What corporate social responsibility focus does your company support of a charitable organization? I volunteer at the Daily Bread food bank and companies participate in food sorting and other events there. You can create winter races and events to support a charitable organization. United Way is currently in their annual campaign so now is a perfect time to start.
  • Mindfulness challenges are a great way to introduce meditation for working on building awareness.  I’ve heard of team leaders starting their meetings with a mediation that sets the tone for calmer communication. Also its helpful to meet as a group, over a period of time to establish a daily practice.

When management fosters a culture of wellness at all levels, there are greater possibilities for harnessing positive energies toward new innovations, productive collaborations, and better partnerships that benefit the organization as a whole. When teams are empowered, they take better care of themselves, their family’s, and have the capacity to help friends and community.

#3  Connected on Netflix

Science reporter and host Latif Nasser investigates the fascinating and intricate ways that we are connected to each other, the world and the universe at large. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-aZrftUPlk

Latif Nassar a science journalist known for his work on Radiolab. He created a six part documentary series that connects the dots on some of the biggest questions facing science and humanity today. Latif, travels the world to expose the science of basic topics not typical to what you’d expect::

Surveillance – explains a birds migration from the northern to southern hemisphere from an intuit perspective of surveillance

Poop explained the historical significance of human  excrement and what it does for us

Dusts created in the Sahara Desert travels enormous distances changing landscape terrains.

Digits the unique and amazing power of a numbers formula that detects codes

Clouds how clouds can save and expand service drought areas

Nukes (nuclear weapons) were destructive but their remains produced amazing advancements in our society.

Connected is a fascinating and positive perspective on the magnificence of our world in nature and human intelligence.

#4 Staying well this winter with these tips and a delicious bone broth recipe

When you take care of your total health, you feel better! This includes the food you eat, daily physical activity and getting a good night’s sleep,

  • Did you know that 80% of your immune system is in the gut? That means, what you eat affects your immune system and all those millions of bacteria in your gut are doing something.
  • Good immune tolerance can better fight pathogens/toxins and creates robust bacteria that increases nutrient absorption. Nutrient absorption is key to living healthy.
  • A unhealthy lifestyle that is filled with stress, lack of exercise, regular use of drugs, consumption of chemicals in your diet and environment pollutants, depletes energy and your body’s ability to defend itself.
  • A regular sleep schedule(in particular a regular rising time and bedtime) is fundamental to getting consistent sleep daily. Spending time outside every day regulates the body clock and improves wakefulness and energy. Stay up until you become sleepy and be in bed only when you sleep.
  • Eat Healthy and Stay Hydrated. think about the foods you ae eating that they are nourishing your body and mind. Focus on whole foods, quality proteins, grains, fresh vegetables and fruits The environment where we eat can also influence your dietary habits. Strive for mindful eating by stepping away from your computer at lunchtime, making sure the healthiest choices are the ones in easy reach, and keeping water at your workspace.

Consider taking quality and science-researched supplements to protect yourself against colds, flu, and viruses.

Vitamin C –Ascorbic acid the most versatile its- anti microbial, anti histamine, anti bacterial and anti inflammatory, take throughout the day and increase when sick.

Vitamin D3–take a daily dosage of 1000 – 3000 IU a day. Vitamin D3 is one of the  fundamental vitamins for everyone to use.  Capsules are best (they are tiny) and are excellent for boosting immunity and balance. One a day

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: take one a day  which a meal helps your brain, reduces inflammation, regulates weight and a healthy fat.

Multi-vitamin with a mix of vitamins and minerals and some phytonutrients in it.

Probiotics – select one that works for you that is around 6-11 billion organisms with a variety of strains of probiotic bacteria (There are many variations).

Magnesium helps with joint and muscle inflammation and sleep. there are a variety of magnesium I recommend Magnesium Biglycinate is helpful for both.

Energy boosters such as Echinacea  or astragulus that helps with stress, regulating hormones and boosts energy.

Speak to healthcare professional that none of these conflicts with your medications or chronic illness issues. .

Connect with Nature every day. Set up your work station near a window that offers views of outdoor nature, such as street trees or gardens or adding plants in your home.

Prioritize Daylighting. Getting greater access to sunlight during the workday benefits  is higher melatonin levels at night—which in turn contributes to diminished depressive symptoms and enhanced sleep quality.

RECIPE:  Bone Broth is one of the most delicious, medicinal foods you can eat that nourishes the gut, digestive issues, colds and much more. It’s better for you than chicken soup  Include a variety of bones from chicken, beef, lamb or duck. It’s excellent for detoxing your system.

 Recipe makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:

2-3 lbs chicken, beef, bones, parts (individual or together) (get from butcher and organic if possible

1 large carrot, large chunks, celery, onion and 1/2 bunch parsley

Sea salt/pepper to taste

12 cups water

 Directions:

Roast bones for 30 minutes in oven. Chop vegetables and sauté (with little oil) in large pot. Add roasted bones (you can also mash), mix, then add water. Cook for 4 hours, add salt and pepper and parsley cook for another 8 hours. Stir occasionally. After 12 -15 hours, cool, strain (use double mesh) and enjoy!

It’s golden food filled with excellent fats and nutrients!

Be Well, Stay Safe!