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9 ways to empower PR employees to prioritize their mental and physical health

by | Dec 15, 2023 | Public Relations

Mental health is a crucial aspect of overall wellness that significantly impacts physical health. It can lead to a weakened immune system, high blood pressure, heart disease, and reduced life expectancy. 90 percent of those in PR have experienced some form of mental health issue in the last year. Additionally, more than 67 percent of PR employees have reported that an overwhelming workload is a significant source of stress.

Prioritizing mental and physical health should be a primary concern for all PR organizations. Achieving this goal necessitates the active involvement of both leaders and team members. Leaders must offer their team members opportunities to prioritize their mental and physical health while they must take advantage of these opportunities.

Encouraging teams to prioritize their physical health and providing mental health support to employees can create a well-functioning work environment. Healthy employees can lead to increased productivity and better employee retention. 

Here are nine ways to empower employees to prioritize their mental and physical health in the PR workplace:

1) Offer well-being perks

Encouraging physical activity and reducing workplace stress is crucial for your team’s well-being. One way to achieve this is by offering benefits such as a discounted gym membership. With the increasing cost of living, your team may hesitate to purchase their own gym membership so this benefit can be a game-changer.

However, there are other well-being benefits that employees desire. Annual health credits are valuable, providing access to virtual mental health services and physical exercise. Employees can take a more holistic approach to their health and well-being by offering these benefits, leading to a happier and healthier lifestyle.

2) Organize workplace mental health workshops

Some employees may feel hesitant to seek help for their mental health concerns. However, it’s essential to create a supportive environment in the workplace that encourages employees to prioritize their well-being. One way to achieve this is by organizing regular workshops that can help raise awareness about mental health and provide employees with the tools they need to manage work-related stress.

Promoting employee wellness programs, such as yoga or fitness classes over lunch, can positively impact your team. It can help boost morale, increase productivity, and foster community. Additionally, it sends a message that your company prioritizes the well-being of its employees and is committed to creating a supportive work environment and avoiding any workplace accidents.

3) Organize a team building event

Team building events are an excellent way to foster a positive and collaborative work environment. By participating in these activities, employees can build trust and develop social skills to help them work more effectively as a team. That, in turn, can lead to improved mental, physical, and emotional health at work. By working together towards a common goal and engaging in constructive discussions, team members can learn to communicate effectively and achieve better results.

Building a strong team requires a collaborative effort, and organizing team-building activities is a great way to unite everyone. Many creative options are available, such as team baking classes, escape rooms, team meals, volunteering, sporting events, jigsaw challenges, and more. Brainstorm different ideas and ask the team which ones they are most interested in and would enjoy. This way, we can create a fun and engaging experience that everyone can benefit from.

4) Provide healthy snacks

Ordering food for your team can have a significant impact on the mood. It is well-known that offering free food at work can boost morale, make employees happier, and make them feel valued by their employer. Providing healthy snacks such as fruits, nuts, and protein bars in the lunchroom can inspire employees to prioritize their physical health, which can result in boosting productivity. Moreover, for employees who don’t have time to get a healthy lunch, knowing that healthy snacks are available can alleviate some of their stress.

Healthy eating can be encouraged by offering alternative options during company celebrations and birthdays. Instead of serving sweets and cakes, your company could provide sugar-free cookies and fruits. It is a great way to show your team that celebrating is crucial while promoting their health. Additionally, providing prepared, fresh-made, low-calorie meals during meetings can further emphasize your commitment to their well-being.

5) Promote physical activity

Promoting physical activity among employees is crucial to enhancing their mood and overall well-being. Your company can organize various challenges within the office, promote healthy competition, and incentivize physical activity. You can make them use apps with free trackers to create team collaboration and challenge employees to achieve their fitness goals.

If your team doesn’t prefer taking a break for a full workout, suggest they engage in quick activity bursts like walking or running together to improve their concentration. These are also some of the best exercises for a healthy heart. You can also encourage your employees to use recumbent bikes for low-impact cardio during their lunch break to prevent back or knee pain.

Creating a sports team for your company can be a great idea. According to a study, 80 percent of employees believe sports can enhance workplace performance. Additionally, 45 percent of men and women stated that playing sports with colleagues can boost morale and productivity.

6) Invest in bike racks

It’s time to take action and support employees who cycle to work instead of driving. Physical activity has been proven to improve mood and productivity, and cycling can also help prevent stroke, heart attack, and depression. Encourage and promote cycling as a healthy and sustainable alternative to driving. 

Installing bike lockers or bike racks at the workplace is an excellent way to demonstrate your concern for your employees’ physical well-being and provide them with a secure place to store their bikes. Additionally, installing a bike rack indicates that your organization is committed to promoting eco-friendliness.

7) Allow office pets

Encouraging your team to bring their pets to work can positively impact their health and well-being. They can help lower blood pressure, increase happiness, and boost mental health. Additionally, having a dog at work may motivate employees to take their pets for a walk, which can be a great way to stay active and reduce stress. But make sure that everyone is comfortable with animals and doesn’t have pet allergies and avoid any dog bite cases.

You can send out a survey to your team to gather their thoughts on having an office pet. That allows everyone to have a say in decision-making and ensures everyone is on board. You could designate a specific “office pet day” and allow team members to bring their pets for that day only. This approach can boost morale and create a more positive work environment.

8) Create a cozy book club

Encouraging employees to read together can benefit their well-being and productivity. Reading can improve memory, cognitive abilities, and empathy, while fiction can enhance social-cognitive skills. A great way to promote this habit is by creating a small bookcase and a quiet reading corner in the office where employees can take and leave books. It is a low-cost and effective way to show that you care about their well-being and to create a positive work environment.

You can consider organizing a book club to encourage your employees to come together and discuss their reading experiences, which can foster a sense of community and teamwork in the workplace.

9) Inspire employees to use their vacation days

Encouraging employees to take advantage of their vacation days is essential, as it can help them recharge and return to work feeling refreshed and more productive. However, some team members may hesitate to take time off, especially new hires who want to make a good impression. As a manager, having open and supportive conversations with these employees is crucial to help them understand the benefits of taking time off, and working remotely from home to ensure they feel comfortable doing so. 

Taking time off work and sick days is essential for well-being and maintaining a healthy workplace. Ensure to remind employees that their sick and personal days are there to support them when needed. Doing so can create a positive and supportive work environment that values the health and well-being of everyone on the team.

Conclusion

Employers must work collaboratively with their employees to identify and address the factors that cause stress within their PR organization. Similarly, individuals should proactively educate themselves and make positive changes to improve their mental health.

Prioritizing employee well-being at work is a constructive and achievable goal. By implementing the tips mentioned above, your team will be equipped with the necessary tools to prioritize their mental and physical health, and you will create a supportive and productive work environment.

Irina Weber
Irina Weber is a content strategist at SE Ranking. She loves helping brands create, publish, repurpose, and distribute content through marketing channels. She regularly contributes to media outlets like SEW, Adweek, SME, SMT, CMI, etc. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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