Employee Engagement: Are Your Benefits Addressing the Main Issue?

Posted by Tasneem Panchbhaya 

We had a great webinar in June to talk about employee engagement. I sat down with Optimity’s CEO, Jane Wang, to talk through how to engage employees in the workplace. You can watch the full webinar here. Here are a few key takeaway points from the webinar.

What do your benefits look like? If it’s like most traditional benefits programs, it probably includes the usual retirement or pension plan, some health care coverage and paid time off. These are great, but it’s really only useful when you’re trying to attract employees to your organization and less so when it comes to retaining employees. In a study conducted by Mercer, “Inside Employee’s Mind,” survey results from over 4000 employees identified key aspects of a company that are valued by employees from the following choices: pay, benefits, careers, engagement, leadership, performance, and culture. The results showed that over 40% of employees are currently thinking about leaving their jobs, even though they offer benefits. What does that tell us? Well it just means that benefits packages aren’t strong enough to keep employees from leaving their jobs. Oddly enough, there are no real concrete studies that can testify that traditional benefits alone can retain and engage employees with their work. However, there is an abundance of evidence that support the value of workplace wellness programs. To be clear, benefits and wellness programs aren’t interchangeable as they provide two different purposes; however, you can easily incorporate wellness programs with your benefit programs.

With the recent trends, an increasing number of companies are working with digital wellness programs to maximize the money employers are investing into the health and wellness of their employees. To put it blankly, benefits are essential for attracting but do little for retaining –wellness programs are where the real benefits comes from!

Champion Employee Success

So now you may be wondering: If benefits aren’t enough, what should I be doing to keep my employees healthy, happy and engaged with their work? You simply need to provide an effective workplace wellness program that engages your employees. When your employees are engaged, they have a strong sense of pride in their work and an innate desire to go beyond their regular duties and do more for the organization. Unfortunately, only 29% of employees are engaged in their work, 45% are not engaged, and the remaining 26% are actively disengaged. The following are 3 tips on getting the rest of your employees more engaged in their work.

1. Health and Wellness


Encourage your employees to live a healthy lifestyle, which means that employees are getting the recommended amounts of exercise, sleep and nutrition in their life. A healthy employee is more productive, energetic, resilient, and less stressed. Wellness is not longer simply about the employees physical health. Help your employees build a habit of practicing holistic health topics they care about such as financial wellness and community involvement.

2. Learning and Development


Give your employees the opportunity to learn and develop new skills that are outside of their typical job function. Only 24% of employees feel that they have access to the learning and development skills that they need. Providing employees with the opportunity to learn and grow will help retain talent because you’ve engaged your employees by providing them with the ability to build their muscle for learning.

3. Empower your Employees


The best way to empower your employees is by providing leadership opportunities. This allow them to explore their capabilities without micromanagement, which often leads to employees disengaging due to a lack of trust and value their ability to make independent decisions. So as an employer it’s about time you give your employees roles that let them them have more responsibility and influence in their organization.

Employee engagement is a crucial pain point for many organizations, so you are not alone on this mission. However, we’ve seen many organization successfully increase their employee engagement levels by turning to technology. With a digital wellness program, scheduling time for in-person events and neglecting your shift workers or remote workers are no longer problems. Participation with traditional in person events is significantly lower, and tracking your initiatives become tedious. However, with a digital approach, employees are provided with a personalized coaching tool that allows them choose which aspects of their health they want to focus on and when they want to do so. You get to include all segments of your population and increase social communication between coworkers. Technology allows for the gamification of wellness habits as well as simple tracking of progress and participation.

Optimity

With technology, you make the wellness experience smoother for both the employees and employers! Want to learn more on how to implement a successful wellness program that engages all your employees? Reach out to us at engage@myoptimity.com if you want to bring your average 30% engagement levels to over 70%.

Or sign up here to start leading a healthier life and claiming rewards!

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Train At Home With World Cup Athletes!

Posted by Tasneem Panchbhaya

With the world cup upon us, it is very easy to slip into unhealthy habits with eating, drinking, and physical inactivity as you watch the game.

Soccer players are actually some of the fittest athletes, running over 7 miles in a game while using extremely intricate footwork. Even if you don’t have the time to train like a soccer player, these simple workouts can help you stay fit while watching the game!

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Soccer workouts consists of heavy cardiovascular and strength training. Here are some activities you can easily emulate without any equipment:

Pre-game Warmup

As the soccer players make their way onto the field and the anthem is playing, take this time to warm up. Warming up helps get the blood flowing and your joints moving. You can do some simple exercises such as rotating your ankles, hips, and arms in circular motions or slowly jog in place to loosen up.

Strengthening Training

In the first half  of the game, use this time to get some strength training in. Do the following sequence of exercises for 15 reps each, followed by a 5 minute jog in your spot. That’s 1 cycle! Repeat for up to 4-5 times.

Squats

  • Start with your feet a little wider than hip width and your toes pointed straight ahead.
  • Push your hips back into a “seated” position (90 degrees) as you keep your knees wide and your chest up.
  • Press into your feet and return to the standing upright position, squeezing your glutes at the top.

Lunges

  • Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, not pushed out too far, and make sure your other knee doesn’t touch the floor.
  • Keep the weight in your heels as you push back up to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.

Step up

  • To start, place your entire right foot onto a bench or chair. Press through your right heel as you step onto the bench, bringing your left foot to meet your left so you are standing on the bench.
  • Return to the starting position by stepping down with the right foot, then the left so both feet are on the floor.

Bridges

  • Lay on your back with your hands by your sides, your knees bent at a 90 degree angle and feet flat on the floor.
  • Tighten your abdominal and buttock muscles and raise your hips to create a straight line from your knees to shoulders.
  • Squeeze your core and try to pull your belly button back toward your spine.
  • Lower yourself back to the floor and repeat.

 

Cardiovascular Training

Soccer players have to do a lot of running and jogging on the field, which is key if you want to outrun the other team and make goals. For both soccer players and non-athletes, cardiovascular training is great for preventing chronic illnesses such heart diseases, diabetes, as well as boosting your mental health. During the second half of the game, use this time to get your heart rate up by jogging around your house, skipping, doing squat jumps, and any other exercise that’ll help with bringing your heart rate up.

Post-Game Cool Down

In the last ten minutes of the game, take this time to relax and stretch. Stretching will help prevent injury, muscle tension, and will ease any potential soreness you may feel after the workout. Here are a few stretches you can try after your workout:

Reclining Twist

  • Lie on your back and draw your left leg into your chest and keep your right leg straight.
  • Exhale and twist the bent knee across the center of the body. Then press the opposite hand onto the bent knee and extend the other arm.
  • Hold for 30 seconds on each side.

Quad Stretch

  • Standing, bend one leg and hold on to your ankle to get a stretch through your quadriceps.
  • Hold for 30 seconds on each side.Repeat on the other leg.

Hamstring Stretch

  • Stretch out one leg in front of you, with your other leg bent and the foot close to your groin. Bend forward over your outstretched leg, reaching for your toes.
  • Repeat on the other leg.

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Your workout is complete and so is the game! Feel rewarded for getting a workout in, while still enjoying the game. Let us know down below who you’re rooting for this world cup! If you want to learn more about building stronger healthy micro habits, reach out to us at engage@myoptimity.com to learn more.

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Mental Health in the Workplace

Posted by Tasneem Panchbhaya

“Never give up on someone with a mental illness. When ‘I’ is replaced by ‘We’, illness becomes wellness.” – Shannon L. Alder

We had a great webinar in May for mental health awareness week. I sat down with Optimity’s CEO, Jane Wang, to discuss mental health in the workplace and how to foster a positive work environment.  You can watch the full webinar here. Here are a few key takeaway points from the webinar:  
Over recent years we’ve taken great leaps with mental health as it slowly becomes destigmatized. However, this is not the case for many working professionals, as it is estimated that over 1.3 million workers suffer from mental health conditions. That’s one too many! Like most chronic illness, there is much that can be done to prevent mental health.
Before diving in deeper into preventative steps for mental health, let talk about the basics. Quite frequently, the terms “mental health” and “mental illness” are used interchangeably. What is mental health? Well, mental health is our mental well-being, emotions, thoughts and feelings. It determines our ability to solve problems and overcome difficulties, how we perceive our social connections and the world around us. However, mental illness is is an illness that affects the way people think, feel, behave, or interact with others. There are many different mental illnesses that show different symptom, impacting peoples’ lives in different ways.

Although you may not face any mental illnesses, you may struggle with mental health issues, just as you struggle with your physical well-being from time to time. It’s important to remember: “There is no health without mental health.”

It is important to address mental health, especially in the workplace. As an employer it is your duty to foster a health and positive environment. In turn, your employees work productivity will increase and not only create a sense of wellbeing and accomplishment, but also help the company’s profitability.

As a whole, mental illness can have a significant impact on employers in the form of loss of productivity, absenteeism, presenteeism, disability and medical costs. The numbers are staggering: Mental health issues cost employers an estimated $50 billion a year. Half a million employees miss work because of mental health each week and one in three workplace disability claims  are related to mental health.

 

Despite the increase in mental health awareness and popular movements like Bell Let’s Talk, there are still many people suffering in silence in the workplace. As employers, when you contextualize these numbers and the potential impact it can have on your business, you will realize that some serious action needs to be taken to keep these costs at bay.

As we all know the benefits of promoting physical health in the workplace, offering support for mental health is just as important. Imagine the outcomes it can have on your employees but also the employers! It will enhance any existing organization culture you’ve created in the organization and increase a deeper understanding of mental health issues into the workplace.

Mental health is a crucial concern for workplace health promotion. At Optimity, we have helped many organizations tune into the importance of mental health and make adjustments to their workplace wellness approach, executing initiatives that will help support their employees.

The following are our top 3 tips on helping your employees cope and prevent mental health in the workplace:

 

Positive Thinking

Positive thinking doesn’t mean being happy about every situation that happens. It is unrealistic to constantly view unfavourable events such as the loss of a loved one or an argument in a positive light. When someone says to have a positive mindset, they are in reality suggesting healthy thinking: Viewing the world around you in a balanced manner and not with coloured lenses.

Why is positive, or “healthy” thinking so important for your mental health? Your interpretation of a situation can be distorted as you focus solely on the negative aspects of a situation, which ends up making you feel worse. This unbalanced thinking is known as “thinking traps”.

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What are common thinking traps?

Everyone falls into unbalanced thinking traps from time to time. You’re most likely to distort your interpretation of things when you feel sad, angry, anxious, depressed or stressed. You’re also more vulnerable to thinking traps when you’re not taking good care of yourself, like when you’re not eating or sleeping well. See if you can recognize your own thinking traps in the list below:

Overgeneralizing:

Thinking that a negative situation is part of a constant cycle of bad things that happen. People who overgeneralize often use words like “always” or “never.”

So for example, Saying “I wanted to go for a hike, but now it’s raining. This always happens to me! I never get to do fun things!”

Fortune Telling:

Predicting that something bad will happen, without any evidence.

“I worked hard on this project but I know my boss will just hate it.”

Black and White Thinking:

Seeing things as only right or wrong, good or bad, perfect or terrible.

Those who look at situations as blacker white will always see minor issues as a huge failure.

I wanted to eat healthier, but I just had a piece of cake. I’m such a failure, I might as well eat the whole cake now.

A strategy to help separate your thoughts from the actual events is asking yourself questions when faced with a difficult situation.

  • What is the situation?
  • What are my thoughts?
  • What are my emotions?
  • What are my behaviours?

The best way to break a thinking trap is to look at your thoughts like a scientist and consider the hard facts. Use the evidence you’ve collected to challenge your thinking traps. Here is one example:

Examine the evidence: Try to find evidence against the thought. If you make a mistake at work, you might automatically think, “I can’t do anything right! I must be a terrible employee!” When this thought comes up, you might challenge it by asking, “Is there any evidence to support this though? Is there any evidence to disprove this thought?” You might quickly realize that your boss has complimented your work recently, which doesn’t support the idea that you’re a bad employee.

Double-standards: Ask yourself, “Would I judge other people if they did the same thing? Am I being harder on myself than I am on other people?” This is a great method for challenging thinking traps that involve harsh self-criticism.

Social Support

Social support play a strong role in mental health. Those with a weaker social support system tend to report higher levels of depression. The lack of support can make an individual more vulnerable to the onset of mental health issues.

It is best to maintain positive relationships with those around you, like your family, friends, and especially your colleagues. Avoid being alone if you are experiencing a difficult situation such as bereavement or a job loss. Ask for support, as colleagues can be great pillars of support, especially when you spend over 40 hours at work with these same people. Other ways of maintaining your social circle is to engage in leisure activities that you can enjoy and find time to indulge in them. We all need people we can depend on during both the good times and the bad. Maintaining a healthy social support network is hard work and something that requires ongoing effort over time.
Physical Health

Research has pointed to the importance of physical health for maintaining positive mental health. Engaging in a healthy diet, exercise, and adequate sleep is essential for optimal health, including mental health.

Exercise

Exercise helps release endorphins, which is the “feel good” hormone. Even something as simple as a brisk 5 minute walk to climbing the stairs at work will help increase mental alertness and improve mood.

Diet

A nutritious diet is crucial to a healthy and balanced lifestyle. What does a healthy diet look like? It is one that includes the right amounts of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and essential vitamins and minerals. A healthy diet is a great way to maintain your mental health.

Sleep

Sleep more, yes that’s right, sleep! Lack of sleep impacts both your physical and mental health. A lack of sleep can make it difficult to regulate emotions. One strategy to increasing sleep time is to get into bed at least 10 minutes early, and gradually work your way up until you can reach an optimal amount of sleep.

Mental health is one of the fastest growing issues in workplace health promotion. This year we saw more organizations consistently making adjustments to their thinking and execution in supporting their employees. If you want to learn more about implementing a successful wellness program that supports your employees mental wellbeing, be sure to check out the full webinar where we go into full depth on the importance of mental health in the workplace.
If you want to learn more about implementing a comprehensive wellness program that benefits your employees mental health, making them healthier and happy, leading to better gains for your organization, please reach out to us at engage@myoptimity.com.

Or sign up here to start leading a healthier life and claiming rewards!

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Top 3 Health Issues Facing Employees Working with Heavy Machines

Posted by Tasneem Panchbhaya 

With the annual CMPX expo that happened down the street from us this year, it came to a reminder that a lot of employees whose job requirements entails a lot of heavy lifting, and transporting of heavy equipments to new locations, are an overlooked population.  

Because they’re not the average 9-5 office worker, there isn’t much focus surrounding their health and wellness needs. Companies focus a lot of attention on workplace safety and how to prevent physical injuries on the job, but there isn’t a huge focus on these employees other wellness needs.

Employees who work for companies that require them to work around big and heavy machines, face many health outcomes that could have been easily prevented had there been more of a focus on a proactive wellness approach targeted for their needs. The following are the top 3 health issues these employees face who tend to be on the go, working around heavy equipment:

 

Musculoskeletal

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Musculoskeletal disorder, or MSD for short, is a condition that affects the human body’s movements, so that includes, but not limited to the following parts: muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels and more. MSD is the leading cause of pain, and disability in all workplaces, especially amongst employees who have to transport heavy equipment. In North America, MSD’s direct cost is estimated to be $20 billion, and their overall indirect cost are to be between $45-54 billion. These are unnecessary cost, associated to an issue that can be easily prevented had employers implemented a wellness initiatives that focused on these needs. Heavy loads require higher muscular force, and this constant repetitive impact can lead to or promote the development of degenerative disorders. To learn more about posture and movement, check out this webinar, co-hosted with Dr. Kleinberg.

A tip to decrease the likelihood of developing a musculoskeletal disorder is through stretching. Stretching helps improve an individual’s flexibility, essentially the range of movement around a skeletal joint. It allows for that muscle to grow, strengthen and lengthen, leading to its ability to better adapt to the amount of force put upon that muscle. Meaning it’s ability to stretch becomes stronger and longer, which decreases the chances of the muscle tearing, because it will now need a lot more force for it to tear. These small changes, of implementing stretching into your daily routine will decrease the chances of one acquiring a musculoskeletal injury.

Occupational Safety

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When it comes to working with big and heavy machinery, injuries are bound to happen, often even leading to disabilities. the biggest concern for employers of this industry is injury prevention. If the organization’s culture values the importance of injury prevention, and provides wellness initiatives for this, then fewer injuries are less likely to occur. There needs to be thorough training occuring in order to keep information up to date and relevant for employee. In addition to these extensive training, providing constant tips and reminders to employees is an effective thing to do.


Mental Health

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Occupational safety and mental health, work hand in hand. When under stress you put yourself at risk of getting injured. Working around big and heavy machines can become a stressful environment for workers who have to work around them daily. When it comes to handling machines, it requires a lot more work and attention in order for the task to get completed without any injury. These responsibilities and workload can become stressful, and as we all know constant stress can lead to unfavourable health conditions. The best way to minimize these outcomes is by providing early intervention. Employers need to implement a wellness initiative that fosters  proactive approach to mental health. Be sure to join us for our stress management webinar where we’ll go into more depth on the topic of stress management: what it is, and how to prevent it.

 

With a digital wellness platform it can make make getting wellness to all employees easier. The Optimity app is loaded with hundreds of health topics, some of them even relating to occupational safety and injury prevention. Having access to a coaching tool that have activities and information related specifically to occupational safety is important to have. This eliminates the concern that employers have about employees neglecting the importance of occupational safety. With more emphasis put onto this, employee’s overall health is bound to increase, with injuries decreasing, resulting in more productivity and lower injury related cost for employers.

Optimity

We can help make the wellness needs for your employees easier to manage. Optimity’s platform is scientifically supported to provide health content and micro activities that are 30 seconds to 2 minute long in order to prevent chronic health outcomes. The proactive approach will produce better workers, who are more healthier, happier and more productive, while bringing down health care costs for the employer. If you want to learn more about how Optimity can help your employees and your organization, reach out to engage@myoptimity.com and request a demo.

Or sign up here to start leading a healthier life and claiming rewards!

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Unlocking the Hidden Values of HR

Posted by Emily Guterres

You may have heard it before, “ HR is a cost center.” “What does your HR department do exactly?” At most times, the questions about HR’s value are not asked politely.

In 2016, engaged productive employees are the biggest investment and reap the greatest rewards. CEO’s are increasingly investing in health and wellness programs because it may be the single, most powerful enhancer of employee engagement. When business leaders recognize the remarkable benefits of a healthy workplace to the organization, they are more likely to commit the time and resources to support and implement the program.

A strategically designed investment in employees’ social, mental and physical health pays off. Better health often equals greater engagement. Research from Gallup shows that employee engagement is positively correlated with better health – engaged workers are less likely to be obese and have chronic conditions, as explained by Harvard Business Review.

Wellness incentives and benefits should not only be viewed as an-add on, but a strategic imperative. With an aging workforce and health care costs that are only rising. It’s that clear healthy employees are always more productive. Dale Carnegie Training reports that companies with employee-centric characteristics outperform those without by up to 202%.

So how do we empower our employees to be engaged and feel involved in the workplace?

Valuing People and Showing Them You Care

Dale Carnegie study shows that “employees want their managers to care about their personal lives and to take an interest in them as individuals, to care about they feel and support their health and well- being”. A manager’s abilities to lead and foster strong relationships with employees are key to helping employees perform at the highest possible level.

McKesson Canada in 2016 has shown that investment into employee wellness initiatives yields between 3-4x ROI within Canada, and 10-11x ROI in the USA (with about 15% participation in their active prevention programs).

Optimity has seen dramatic changes from hard ROI measures such as reduction to cost of designing and launching a program to cost savings from decreased claims and benefits cost. Not to mention the dramatic employee positive feedback in the forms of softer dollars: more productive hours, lower absenteeism, and improved engagement scores.

Investing in HR at every level

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If you want to attract and retain top talent, you have to invest in employee development. Almost all employees can benefit from an employee development program. However, often times with the pressure of day-to-day business this often gets puts to the side. As a business owner, the ROI when investing in your employees is priceless.

By investing in your employees’ training and development in an organization, you see many positive outcomes. The benefits of employee development seem endless. It includes employee loyalty, engaged employees and most of all it helps attract and keep the greatest employees.

The same can be said about other value-adding coaching functions: wellness, productivity, and fiscal responsibility.

When it comes to building that long-term sustainable competitive advantage – fostering that aspect of growth is key to retaining talent at your workplace.

Overemphasize your investment in your employees, and never underestimate its impact on culture, costs, and profits. Not only will you see short-term changes in sick days, stress leaves, utilization of benefits, the report on motivated people working together as a highly-functional team is never short of positive.

Tell your employees you do care, help them stay engaged and feel passionate about their work, by doing this you will realize there is nothing that they won’t strive to achieve.

Optimity is standing up for employee investment and the outstanding results that come with it.

Where do you stand?

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Find your Financial Bliss

Posted by Tasneem Panchbhaya 

How many of you have found yourself in a situation where you looked at your recent credit card statement and are in disbelief by what you see, because like most, people are now tapping/swiping their cards without giving it much thought, and bringing your spendure to more than expected? Or, have you found yourself in a situation, where your cash income is going to be delayed, so now you don’t know how your going to cover your major, necessary expenses. If any of these situations or similar ones apply to you, just know you’re not the only ones. A Manulife study, states that about 40% of people in North America are financially unwell and 26% of people are doing “okay”. Meaning only 34% of people are making the right strides to better financial health.  

As nice winning the lottery would be nice, it often times actually will not make your financial situations better. More money does not equal better financial wellness, and here’s why: financial wellness is the relationship one has with money, meaning are you able to keep your spending within you comfort, and are prepared for any unexpected financial emergencies (do you have savings/rainy day funds); do you have access to any resources or tools that you need to make good financial decisions; are you ready for the future, have you started making plans to achieve your goals? These are the types of questions that should be surfacing in your mind when you think about your finances. When you think about your financial wellness, it shouldn’t feel like an uncomfortable topic, you shouldn’t have to get depressed every time you think of money (or lack thereof).

Now the overbearing question, why does any of this matter for both the employees and employers? When an individual (employee) has the financial bliss they need, they are able to produce better work because they’re more productive and more engaged, because they’re less stressed, and therefore are more likely to stay on the job.

According to a study by Mercer, when you have financially stressed employees, 22% have reported missing at least 1 work day to take care of any financial issues; 15% have spent more than 20 hours or more in a month while at work, thinking about their financial situations; and 20% said to actually leave their job because of their financial stress.

As employers, who want the best for their employees overall health, as well as retaining productive employees, it’s a matter that should be taken into the hands of the organization in order to provide tools that can help bring upon financial stability for their employees and as a result bringing down any indirect cost associated.  

Here are my top 3 tips for finding better financial wellness!

1. Plan

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Experts cannot stress enough how important planning is for your financial wellness. I know saving for the future and/or emergencies, isn’t as fun as splurging on unnecessary necessities, however planning ahead makes the world of a difference. Planning works hand in hand with goal setting, setting goals (both short, medium, and long term) will help make planning easier, figuring out what you value makes deciding where and how much you need to save for the future. It also makes daily/weekly spendings a lot easier to control since now you can differentiate what you need from what you want.

2. Investing

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Similar to planning, it’s essential that employees start investing into their future retirement, it’s never too early or too late to start. Investing into retirement savings that accumulate compound interest over time will help increase your savings without lifting a finger. Knowing you’re financially prepared for the future will  help release any stress or doubts you were having about life after retirement.

3. Control Debt 

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This last tip is a given, the best way to increase your financial wellness is by decreasing any financial debts that you have. Many of us have to juggle (student) loans, credit card payments, recurring expenses like car or housing, and much more. You’re priority when it comes to paying off loans or debt is to start with the ones with the highest interest rates, if you can clear those ones out first, it’ll be better for you in the long run because the higher the interest rates, the higher accumulation of debt.

Make the most of what you earn through Optimity, we can help you stay on track by providing you with the tools you need to make better strides with your financial wellness. Our platform, is innovating and constantly changing to meet the needs and demands of every busy individual. Let us help you, help yourself. We know that it can be hard to juggle your financial health as well as all other aspects of your wellness, but we can make that easier for you. Contact us to learn more about how you can make the burden of financial wellness easier and fun! All you need is the right platform with the right tools to help guide you!

Sign up here to start leading a healthier life and claiming rewards!

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How to Eat Smart  

Posted by Tasneem Panchbhaya 

Eating healthy shouldn’t be a struggle, don’t let your long busy day hold you back from making healthy choices. Sometimes we know what the right choices are, we just don’t make them because of the unhealthier temptations around us or because we prioritize work over lunch. However, nutrition is vital if we want stay healthy, prevent illness and have a successful job performance, with a positive outlook.

Here are our top 3 tips on how to eat healthy while you work through your busy work day:

1.  Eat Breakfast
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Don’t hit snooze on your alarm, it’s better to get up 10 minutes early and have yourself a quick breakfast than to sleep in a little longer. I know when I’m trying to rush to work, the last thing on my mind is having breakfast in the morning, however studies have shown that skipping breakfast actually leads to obesity and puts you at a higher risk of susceptible chronic illness such as diabetes or cardiovascular illnesses. It’ll also help you get rid of any cranky or moodiness you feel first thing in the morning. Check out our nutrition content in the Optimity app’s library, ranging from healthy recipes to tips on mindful eating to learn more on eating healthy.

Here’s one of my favorite recipes that’s healthy and simple to make, so you can have anywhere, even on the go!

Yogurt Parfait 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup low fat yogurt
  • ¼ cup low fat granola
  • ¼  cup grapes or fruit of choice

Layer your granola and fruit on the yogurt, and enjoy! Your breakfast couldn’t get any easier and healthier than that!

2. Eat with a Buddy

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Distracted eating while working or on your phones may lead to un-healthier food choices and portions. However eating with a friend/colleague will actually boost productivity, since people who eat together will actually work better together, since many researchers attribute eating together as a team building exercise. Eating with a buddy also doubles up as an accountability partner, your buddy can help you stay on track of any health goals you have in place for yourself, as well as make you more conscious of portion sizes when you’re eating with others, you’ll stop yourself from getting a second servings when you’re eating with someone else.

3. Keep Healthy Snacks at hand

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It’s easy to skip meals or substitute your lunch meals with unhealthy processed snacks you have laying around because of how convenient and easy they are to to eat while working. Surround your desk or office kitchen with healthier snacks that you can have between your meals to keep you full. Some helpful suggestion are to have snacks high in fibre and protein, so they can help keep you fuller for longer periods of time. Try keeping a handful of nuts around, but be sure to be cognizant of portion sizes, because too much of anything can actually make you put on weight due to the extra calories. For more helpful suggestions on eating in the workplace, be sure to check out our webinar for more information.

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The way to successfully implement change in your employees healthy lifestyle is to start micro. Micro behaviour changes are key in making positive change to any work environment, because of how easy it is to actually implement. Having an app, like Optimity send out encouraging helpful nudges, and provide really insightful tips and exercise goes a really long way in promoting an overall healthy life.This approach is a lot easier and more rewarding for both the employees and employers, because both have something to gain from the shift. Employees get to change their life, bit by bit, everyday leading to better health, and in addition, get rewarded for it. This as a result, produces better health outcomes for employees, leading to a decrease in health claim cost and a better work ethics.

Optimity

If you want to learn more about implementing a successful workplace wellness program and bring down your cost while increasing productivity and engagement, reach out to us at engage@myoptimity.com to learn more.

Or sign up here to start leading a healthier life and claiming rewards!

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Let us know how you eat healthy throughout your busy workday!