What if you actually looked forward to going into the office each day? What if your work environment nurtured your whole self and you could feel energized at the end of the day? It that even possible? Can you find workplace wellness?
We have been focused on becoming WELL certified as a workspace, which means we are creating an environment that addresses all aspects of wellness—physical, mental, air filtration, water, sounds, lighting, textures and so much more. It is about creating more psychologically safe and healthier work environments for the people that work here.
As we work feverishly to open the second phase of our workspace in spring 2023, we will be bringing in wellness practitioners such as massage therapists, physical therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, estheticians and more, so we are now looking at ways to also get members focused on their overall wellness.
Once just an afterthought, workplace wellness and employee wellbeing have become top priorities for many organizations. With COVID-19, quiet-quitting, and the uncertainty of the recession still looming over everyone’s shoulders, stress levels are high and something has to be done to address the wellness of the people in our work spaces.
In a new research report from Workhuman and Gallup, employee wellness had a hand in reduced levels of burnout, better social wellbeing, higher levels of belonging, and an increased feeling of thriving. Productivity is another byproduct of implementing a wellness-focused work place. Low productivity means physically being at work but not working during that time due to low energy, illness, or other mental distractions. “Presenteeism” is a term that refers to this kind of low productivity.
According to a study funded by Rand Corporation and the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report, 80% of employees at companies with robust health and wellness programs at work feel engaged and cared for by their employers and more than half of Gen-Zers and millennials consider wellness programs important or extremely important when looking for a job.
If all of this doesn’t convince you that we need to put wellness at the center of our work places, I don’t know what else would. But what is an organization to do? Where do you begin? Sure, there are companies that can help you setup and run wellness programs like Workhuman or Corestream, but if you take even a few of the ideas we have come up with and implement one or two a month, you will be well on your way! Appoint wellness ambassadors or governors each quarter or monthly to oversee a specific activity and watch how the buy-in increases.
The ideas below are from a list we are already working through here at The Village Work and Wellness Center, and we would love to share more about how they have been implemented and received with you if you’re interested. We’d also love to hear any ideas you have to add to this incredible mission of becoming more wellness-focused everywhere.
- Hosting lunch and learns with personal and professional development topics
- Book Clubs (and not just business books)
- Inspirational quotes posted around the workspace
- A wellness wall for members to share recipes, tips, workout buddy requests
- Hosting a “Tea and Mindfulness” experience- Learn to brew and taste 3-6 globally sourced loose leaf teas as an afternoon break
- Inspirational tea break – Place a bowl with inspirational quotes next to tea bags, cups, and a healthy snack around 10am and 2pm when energy slumps
- Start WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS where you pick one event or tip to share near the morning coffee stations
- Offer healthy food options instead of fast-food lunches or chips and sugary snacks
- Flavored water stations – Inchoate with a “Hydrate to Feel Great” challenge
- Host a Health/Wellness fair
- Bring in a local comic for an improv comedy night— laughter is great medicine as well as great team bonding
- Throw out the microphones and start a spontaneous Karaoke afternoon
- Sell or give out TIME TO MOVE timers (Also recommend apps such as TIME OUT- BREAK REMINDERS)
- Weekend wellness and friendship— Plan weekend events that people can take advantage of like a Hiking date; Kayaking, or Bike Club
- Avoid Eye Strain- Flux or PangoBright utility to change screen lighting based on window glare
- Daily or weekly yoga and stretch classes
- Challenge – Couch to 5K as a group
- Hold Walk clubs and Walking meetings – Stanford researchers uncovered a compelling correlation between walking and creativity
- Create a fun indoor or outdoor scavenger hunt to connect with others, walk and win prizes
- Wall sits, Planks, and Pushup challenge or a station inside to stop, drop and give me 10…seconds, 20 seconds… etc
- Host a team field day with games like grade school days
- Mile-a-day challenge (inside or out) – pre-measure and mark a mile inside and out with signs
- Hold healthy cooking classes and demos
- Bring in someone to teach a DESKERCISE class (mini workouts done in chairs and office)
- Encourage power naps and use of apps like Pzizz to assist
- Create a Gratitude Wall with markers and for the month encourage daily gratitude posts
- Have board games out and encourage lunch time recess
- Have themed days and themed happy hours
- Turn up the tunes and start a 3:00 Dance Party
- Have bikes people can borrow
- Newsletter wellness tips
- Add more plants
- Host new hire lunches
- Host monthly birthday celebrations
- Make the office space pet-friendly (Dogs are great therapy)
- Volunteer together
- Host a movie day or night
- Offer laundry / dry cleaning drop off and pick up service
- Print VILLAGE BUCKS (or your own company’s play money) and give the out for hitting wellness goals such as number of glasses of water drank or miles walked
- Appoint a Wellness “Governor”
- Host a story jam or poetry slam night