Intuition may say the holiday season is a time to take a break from emphasizing worksite well-being efforts, but experts say it’s the time for employers to double down on their efforts to keep employees productive and engaged during this stressful time of year.

Intuition may say the holiday season is a time to take a break from emphasizing worksite well-being efforts, but experts say it’s the time for employers to double down on their efforts to keep employees productive and engaged during this stressful time of year.

To support local worksites that have made a commitment to improve well-being, the Blue Zones Project is providing toolkits with local resources and ideas that make it easy to keep well-being at the forefront of our priorities over the holidays. This toolkit is designed to help local leaders and their designated holiday event planners emphasize the recommendations made by worksite well-being experts.

• Encourage time off — More than 50 percent of employees in the U.S. ended last year with unused time off, yet it is known that putting family first and downshifting improves longevity.

• Provide stress relief opportunities — Many local employers have created new spaces for employees to utilize to relieve stress. The holidays are a stressful time of year, so keep that space clear for its intended use and remind employees that it’s available.

• Host a healthy potluck — Unhealthy, excessive food offering leads to overeating, resulting in an unhealthy, tired, unproductive workforce. Encourage employees to bring their best healthy dishes to potluck events and consider offering a prize for the best Blue Zones Project inspired dish.

• Encourage exercise — Incorporate a scavenger hunt, Christmas light walking tour, implementing 10-minute walking clubs, workstation stretch breaks, or a physical activity guest presenters/instructors into events and throughout the holiday season.

• Provide healthy snacks — Consider stocking the break room/workstations with healthy foods to ensure that employees can enjoy a good-for-you snack and are less likely to overindulge in those productivity draining holiday treats.