A Healthy Lifestyle Begins At Work
The 40-hour working week is a thing of the past. A 2015 survey found that half of full-time American employees now spend more time at work than with family or on their own. The new average has risen to 47 hours per week, with 21% of respondents stating they worked between 50-59 hours per week, and a further 18% noting they worked over 60 hours every week. Given these findings, making the workplace a ‘home away from home’ is more crucial than ever.
Here’s how SoL Cups can play their part in your organisation …
Exposure to airborne substances in the workplace can occur through ingestion, inhalation, or skin contact and can cause serious health issues. By providing employees with their own SoL Cup, you can markedly reduce the risk of spreading illnesses such as influenza, which can not only impact employees’ attendance rates but even result in hospitalisation or death.
While most of us are aware of the need to drink water on a daily basis, we are oblivious to the serious neurological effects of dehydration. Maintaining an adequate intake of fluids is essential for your employees to avoid negative impact on functions such as short-term memory, the ability to focus and hand-eye coordination. Researchers in the UK found that just 1.1% body water weight loss increased neural effort when performing common cognitive tasks including arithmetic and general problem solving. In fact, the same scientists found that 90 minutes of sweating without replenishing lost fluids shrinks the brain as much as a year of ageing! Hydrated employees are productive employees!
Fortunately, businesses can reduce the risk and incidence of illness and sub-standard performance by taking a pre-emptive stance and implementing health and wellbeing programs to improve the lifestyle choices and health of their workers. This is achieved through awareness-raising, education, supportive environments, and company policy.
Employers who integrate such programs will reap the benefits by preventing chronic illness, absenteeism and presenteeism and enjoying the associated economic gains.
Why not create an innovative corporate wellness program of your own, such as ‘Water Wednesdays’ to educate and prompt employees about the benefits of drinking plenty of nature’s purest and most vital gift.
Another way of combating workplace stress and physical inactivity is the concept of ‘booster breaks’, which are being introduced in many offices. They involve 10-15 minute blocks of time in both the morning and afternoon when employees gather in large groups and participate in healthful activities, such as stretching, breath training and increasing hydration by drinking water. SoL Cups can play a major role in ‘booster break’ programs, which can be implemented into workplace policies to improve morale and lower health care costs. The favourable effects will be felt all across the community!
The evidence linking certain workplace qualities to employee stress and health is as strong as the evidence linking smoking to lung cancer. Australian research into workers’ lifestyles found that:
> 10 per cent are completely inactive
> 40 per cent do minimal exercise
> 46 per cent live on high fat diets
> 62 per cent are overweight and of these, 28 per cent are obese
> 53 per cent felt overwhelmed with stress and pressure for a significant proportion of the time
> 56 per cent participate in risky behaviours (including smoking and drinking) at medium to high-risk levels
> over 50 per cent do not get enough sleep
> 21 per cent had suffered from a medical condition in the three months preceding the survey.
However by integrating health and wellbeing programs into your business, these alarming statistics can be turned around. One meta-evaluation of worksite health promotion programs found on average these programs:
> decrease sick leave absenteeism by 25.3%
> decrease workers compensation costs by 40.7%
> decrease disability management costs by 24.2%; and
> save $5.81 for every $1 invested in employee health and wellbeing from fewer medical, disability and workers’ comp claims and improved absenteeism.
Research from all corners of the globe has found that when employee health and wellness is properly managed, the percentage of engaged employees increases from 7% to 55% and self-reported creativity and innovation increases from 20% to 72%.
The best programs also target organisational and environmental practices to improve the overall health, happiness and safety of the workplace.
Obligations and Opportunities
Keeping your employees hydrated and happy are both well-known factors in increasing productivity, but did you know you have official obligations?
No matter what size the company, the Safe Work Australia ‘Code of Practice for Managing the Work Environment and Facilities’ states:
Drinking water must be supplied free of charge by employers, and in a hygienic manner, so that workers do not drink directly from a shared container. This may involve a drinking fountain, where the water is delivered in an upward jet or a supply of disposable or washable drinking containers.
Water also needs to be: • free of charge • supplied so that there is one drinking point for every 40 employees or part thereof • situated within 30 metres of each employee or within reach of employees who cannot leave their work task.
Employees such as transport drivers, security personnel, park rangers and gardeners, forestry employees, sales representatives or mobile community health employees must have access to public drinking water facilities, bottled water or containers to to take with them for water.
Permanent workplaces must also provide dining facilities with an adequate number of seats and tables, as well as the appropriate crockery and cutlery. Personalised SoL Cups are the perfect solution for these requirements!
Let SoL Cups Bring The Sunshine In
‘Sol’ is Spanish for sunshine, and our beautiful handblown glass cups will brighten up your working environment, giving it a professional, uniform look and making the office kitchen a place everyone wants to be.
Imagine a cupboard full of sparkling, colourful SoL Cups all neatly lined up – when each employee has their own SoL Cup they’ll also feel valued, being given a high-quality object for their personal use that ensures there’ll be no more rifling around to find the least dirty cup in the kitchen because everyone simply takes responsibility for their own, and makes sure it’s washed to their standards.
Ownership of items helps foster a sense of connection to a physical workspace, with research showing employees thrive in a flexible and relaxed environment, and the subsequent positive atmosphere will enhance motivation, productivity, and satisfaction.
The Individual and the Environment
Did you know over 3.2 billion paper cups are thrown away each year in Australia? How many takeaway cups do you and your employees use on average each week? All those on-the-go car trips to work, meetings, and back home.
The Australian Government-sponsored National Preventative Health Taskforce’s report (2009) showed that health promotions in the workplace are far more effective when the interventions address both individual and environmental influences, which is where SoL Cups tick all the boxes.
SoL Cups have been designed to help people move from a ‘throwaway’ mindset to a more environmentally supportive one, as well as being the perfect chemical-free health choice for your employees.
A recent trial to recycle takeaways cups was conducted in the City of Sydney, with 780 participants each recycling 1.4 coffee cups per week. Extrapolating the results to include offices across the inner city area proved that if any such scheme were ever adopted, more than 25 million coffee cups could potentially be diverted from landfill every year – better still, the use of eco-friendly SoL Cups could stop this waste altogether!
We also offer a biodegradable, re-usable and machine washable pouch to accompany your SoL Cup. It’s our little stroke of genius – the no-spill, no-hassle way to store them in your bag after finishing your drink.
SoL Cups also offer purity of taste – being made from glass they safeguard beverages from residual tastes, odours, germs and leaching chemicals (known to be endocrine disruptors in the body) which plastic cups are guilty of. Your drink is guaranteed to be fresher and cleaner, and you’ll have zero concerns for your health
Be proactive with your corporate social responsibility by choosing SoL Cups and making your business environmentally and health conscious.
SoL Cups – a personalised drinking experience for the office that’s big on health, happiness and the environment.
By Sarah Halfpenny.