B1 – 90 Garry St. Winnipeg, MB R3C 4H1 - Phone: (204) 478-6644, Fax: 204-478-6677 - info@indep.ca

Archive for June, 2014

6 On-The-Job Practices For A Healthy Workplace

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African American businesswoman relaxing at workA healthy workplace is a productive workplace. So it’s important that we all take measures to ensure that our working environments are both safe and the type that foster healthful lifestyles. However, many employers forget to consider the “health” aspect of their businesses when managing their staffs. Of course, there are injuries and illnesses that may develop outside of the workplace which business owners can’t do anything about.

But when employees return to work, fully capable of completing their assigned tasks, there are a few practices that can be implemented to help employees remain healthy. Remember that the healthier your employees are, the better they will be able to do their jobs – and the longer they’ll be able to do them! Let’s take a look at six on-the-job practices that can keep people healthy at work.

1. Start a breakfast program. According to HealthyChoicesAtWork.com, “Healthy eating habits in the workplace overall increase your productivity. This is because better eating habits = better brain function, and better brain function = increased productivity.” However, we all know people who rush in to work each morning after skipping breakfast in order to be there on time. With breakfast widely known as “the most important meal of the day”, you may want to offer some healthy options at work so that your employees never go without a bite to eat in the morning.

2. Make disinfectants available. There’s no accounting for people’s hygiene habits That is, unless you’re able to provide the necessary means for people to keep their workstations clean. Consider the number of things we all touch in a day. That includes the meals we eat at lunch and on our breaks. Our computers, desks and other work materials are bound to get dirty if we’re not properly washing up. On Healthline.com, Ryan Wallace recommends that employees clean their workspaces with antibacterial wipes regularly.

3. Implement “stretch breaks”. HealthyChoicesAtWork.com recommends that workers get up and walk around every few hours. This helps to clear their heads and keep them more energized. Naturally, employees get regular breaks throughout the day. But by implementing smaller stretch breaks every couple of hours to allow your team members to get up, stretch and allow their blood to circulate, you’ll be energizing your staff. As the site points out, “research has shown that workers who are more physically active during the day tend to be more productive.”

4. Encourage outside-of-the-office lunches. Wallace believes that it’s an unhealthy practice to eat lunch at your workstation. So why not make it a rule that no one can eat at their desks? Not only will it make for a much cleaner and neater working environment, it will help your staff members get those much-needed mental breaks as well. Encourage your employees to get up and get out when their lunches and break times come.

5. Keep things light. As a business owner, one of the best things you can do for your staff is exhibit a positive attitude. Boosting employee morale is a great way to keep the members of your team both healthy and productive. As HealthyChoicesAtWork.com points out, “negativity draws everyone down and decreases productivity and employee morale. If you believe that you can have successful outcomes, you have greatly increased your chance of being successful.”

6. Make water available. Do you have a water cooler at your place of business? If not, get one! It should go without saying that water provides the cleansing hydration we all need to function on a regular basis. Wallace notes that water is “one of the most plentiful resources in the office… that gets ignored the most.” It helps for the mind and body to work efficiently, he adds. Not to mention, providing this source of refreshment allows for easy pick-me-ups for everyone on your staff.

Outlining The Benefits Of Our “Return To Work Program”

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Business woman standing with her staff in backgroundEveryone enjoys getting a day off work now and again. A long weekend, a statutory holiday and whenever necessary taking a personal day are all occasions that most workers thoroughly enjoy. It never hurts to get an extra day in there to relax, recharge and rejuvenate yourself for work. But you never want to actually get hurt in order to be able to take those days off! It should go without saying that we all wish to avoid illness and injury at all costs.

Sadly, this isn’t something that we can guarantee ourselves. So when an incident occurs that forces people to miss lengthy periods of time from their jobs, it’s important for them to get the appropriate support they need in order to return to work. It’s not just about returning to work though. Of course, it’s important for employers to have their staff members healthy in order to advance their company’s productivity levels.

But optimizing a person’s health is necessary for the benefit of all those involved – the employer, his or her insurance company, and most importantly the employee. Rushing an employee back to the job before he or she is ready benefits no one. Consider the fact that even when a worker is ready to work again, it will take some time for that person to ease back into the regular flow of things on the job.

This is why Independence Incorporated has a very comprehensive “Return To Work Program”. This very important service ensures that all of the issues related to an employee’s return to work are managed so that the transition is both a comfortable and appropriate one. Again, it’s integral that, for everyone’s sake, a worker is fully capable of the tasks given to him or her when arriving back on the job. Our program, therefore, involves a number of steps.

Clarification of any work related restrictions and/or accommodation requirements. In some cases, employees are healthy enough to return back to work but may not be able to completely manage all of the assignments that they used to be capable of taking on. We ensure that both employee and employee are fully aware of the limitations that may exist and work to put in place the necessary means of assistance to help the worker complete his or her assigned tasks.

Identification of available return to work options (same, modified or alternate work). Keeping in mind that an employee may be able to return to work in a limited capacity, we make it our job to ensure that there is clarification about how much the employee is able to contribute. In some instances, employees able to perform the same functions previous to their illness or injury. And in others, they require modified assignments or different tasks altogether.

Development, implementation and monitoring of graduated return to work plan. It’s always important to measure one’s ability to be productive on the job when he or she returns to it. A lot goes into one’s rehabilitation before he or she returns to work, but we remain mindful that the rehabilitation process continues once a person is back on the job. Is he or she easing back into a routine easily? Or is additional assistance required to make for an easier transition?

At Independence Incorporated, we are committed to the process of ensuring that employees are ready to be back at work as fully capable, productive members of their staffs. One way that we accomplish this is by ensuring that there is open communication between family physicians, treatment providers, employees and their employers. For more information about our “Return To Work Program”, please feel free to call us at 204-478-6644.

6 Ways To Show Support To Your Ill Or Injured Loved One

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male and female hands with red heartWhen a loved one becomes sick or injured, it doesn’t make life easy, does it? Talk about an understatement. The health of our family members and friends is more important than anything. And naturally, when someone close to us is unwell, we want to do all we can to support that person. Depending on how severe your loved one’s illness or injury is, the entire ordeal can take a lot out of you.

If you’ve found yourself in this situation, you’re not alone. Many of us have been through it and many more will, at some point, experience it for themselves. It’s no fun, of course. But your love and support can truly become the keys to the recovery of that person you cherish so deeply. Here are six ways you can show support to your family member or friend during his or her recovery period.

1. Don’t shy away from expressing your love. No matter how ill or injured your loved one is, it hasn’t changed the way you feel. Let your loved one know just how loved he or she is. Your support will truly mean a lot considering that many people who are sick or physically disabled feel guilty about what they are putting their family and friends through. It will really help your loved one to know that your love and support is unconditional.

2. Educate yourself about the illness or injury. The more you know about what your loved one is facing, the better you’ll be at understanding how to support him or her. Locate books about the condition or be sure to browse websites when you have the time to attain as much information you can about the sickness. Learn about the treatments so that you can be better aware about the fight you’re helping out with.

3. Give of your time. It’s not easy to find time in your schedule to be by one’s bedside regularly. But during tough times, it’s important to find as much of it as you can. Consider it “hang out time”. Watch movies, share stories and laughs, go through old photos – you get the picture (pun intended). Anything you can do to brighten the spirits of your loved one will be very helpful in the recovery process.

4. Become a chef. Okay, you don’t actually have to become the next Gordon Ramsay. But if you can cook up some of your loved one’s favourite meals, it will go a long way in brightening his or her spirits. Depending on the appetite your loved one may have, his or her favourite dishes will help with nourishment as well. After all, most hospital food (should a hospital stay be required) isn’t all that appetizing.

5. Don’t feel guilty. It’s not your fault. Yes, it’s completely understandable to feel bad about your loved one’s situation. But, it’s important to keep in mind that you didn’t put your loved one in his or her present situation. If you’re going to be a good support person, you can’t forget about yourself. Your loved one needs you to be at your best. This will be especially important when your loved one is understandably irritable and cranky.

6. Put together a support team. No one expects you to do this all on your own. You may be the closest person to your injured or ill loved one (a spouse, for example), but you don’t have to be alone in your mission to show love and support. Ask for the assistance of your other family members and friends to allow you a break and some time for yourself. When it comes to showing someone love and support, the more, the merrier.