How to Lower Health Care Costs: Offer Flexible Work Arrangements

If I’m to be productive, I have to get in my zone. Usually this means drinking large amounts of organic green tea and listening to John Mayer on Slacker. It’s best if the day starts with a 6:30AM yoga class followed by a breakfast of greek yogurt with walnuts. This is the perfect recipe for getting lost in my work.

I’m a lucky girl. My job is such that I don’t need to be in the office all of the time. In fact, I’m encouraged to use my time as strategically as possible, which means being in the office for meetings and being in a coffee shop or at home to get the real work done. I do this with productivity in mind, but there is an added benefit: I’m healthier too.

Let me explain.

Not only is the modern workplace structured to maximize interruptions, but it is also exists to derail any attempt at a healthy lifestyle. Corporate wellness programs have gained popularity in recent years, and the ROI can be as much as seven to one. However, wellness should be embraced as a lifestyle and flexible work arrangements support that lifestyle.

Here’s how:

1. You get more sleep. The absence of a lengthy commute and less time needed to get ready means that you can hit the snooze button a few more times. Getting more sleep can mean a healthier heart, cancer prevention, lower stress, improved memory, and a healthier weight. If that isn’t enough, getting enough sleep is essential to preventing wrinkles.

2. You avoid a stressful commute. People who drive to work every day are subject to traffic jams, blaring sirens and near-missed accidents, which takes its toll on cardiovascular health.

3. It is easier to stick to your diet. I’m good at choosing healthy food to eat, but I’m bad at eating frequently enough. When I’m in the office, I often become distracted by meetings/phone calls/emails and suddenly realize that I haven’t eaten anything all day. Working from home minimizes those distractions.

4. More time to exercise.Working from home means that the time normally spent in the car on the way to the office can be spent on the treadmill or at an AM yoga class.

Of course, working from home can also mean that you spend your day sitting on the couch, snacking on junk food between conference calls. Wellness is the responsibility of the individual. However, for the person who is prioritizing their mental and physical sustainability, flexible work arrangements provide the daily infrastructure to do so.


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