Wellness in the workplace is not a new concept; however there has been an increase in awareness of how workplace wellbeing can have an effect on an individual’s personal life in addition to their productivity at work. Most people spend a significant amount of their time working, and the workplace has become a space where many form new habits or alter ones that they used to have.
The awareness has led to the creation of new types of wellness programs, but studies have also shown that the new workforce generation is highly concerned about their wellbeing and how their work plays into other aspects of their life. In other words, we’re seeing how work-life balance is taking one of the top spots in priority lists of workers.
The gig economy, the increased number of freelancers, the increase in demand for flexible work are all a part of this movement towards finding better balance. Companies and businesses alike are finding ways in which to help their workers achieve this, and there’s an opportunity for flexible workspace operators as well.
Wellness and wellbeing are important elements of work-life balance. Think of it this way, if we as individuals don’t feel ‘well’ or at our best, it’s hard for us to find balance in anything. Because of this, wellness programs have become a staple in inspiring workers all over to lead more fulfilling and healthy lives. The better one feels personally, the better one will perform professionally.
Wellness Programs for Flexible Workspaces
So without further ado here are 15 wellness programs (in no particular order) that flexible workspace managers can implement in their workspaces. Your members will thank you, and your workspace community will be all the better for it.
1. Healthy snacks
“You are what you eat.” Ever heard that? While that might be a bit of a stretch, it is true that what you eat affects the way you feel. So consider offering nuts, fruits, and veggies as snacks instead of donuts, chocolate, and candy.
2. Host a healthy cooking class for members
Most workspaces offer different types of events and workshops are part of their efforts to build community and give people the opportunity to network. One way to integrate wellness into these types of events is to invite a chef and host a healthy cooking class–you could even turn it into a regular monthly session
3. Out with canned and sugary drinks, in with tea and natural drinks
Sodas are refreshing and we all crave them sometimes, but take those out of your daily habits and you’ll see some results. Replace sugary drinks with a wide selection of tea and provide milk (almond or regular) as well as natural sweeteners to go with it.
4. Keep members hydrated
This might surprise you, but not everyone keeps as hydrated as they should. Make sure you have water available in different parts of your workspace and that members feel free to fill up their bottles as much as they need.
5. Have a no lunch at the desk rule
I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there, done that but we all really do need to discourage this. Eating lunch at our desks is bad for digestion, but it’s also pretty disgusting (think of all the bacteria), and it leaves our work area sticky, dirty, and prone to ants or other unwelcome visitors.
6. Incentivize smoking cessation
There’s no need to say that smoking is bad; but quitting is easier said than done. Give your members an extra push and some help to get them to quit once and for all. Plus, some things are more easy to go through when you have a group of people supporting you and encouraging you.
7. Have a don’t come in if you’re sick policy
This policy would mainly apply to your workspace staff, but you can set an example for members to refrain from coming into the workspace when they’re sick. This will help keep your workspace and community healthy by preventing bacteria, viruses, and sickness from spreading from one person to another.
8. On site yoga or fitness classes
Yoga can help relieve stress and it can also aid in dealing with some back and neck pains. They can be quick yoga sessions or regular scheduled classes.
9. Start a fitness challenge
Encourage members to keep moving and be physically active by organizing fitness challenges. Have people count their steps and reward them with free snacks or a free fitness class, or get creative with it! Some other ideas are a pushup challenge every day, have a group of members run a short race, do an ab challenge, etc.
10. Encourage people to take breaks during the day
Breaks are necessary to prevent burnout and work-related stress. Encourage people to take small breaks during the day to help their minds and bodies rejuvenate, have them go for a walk, relax on break areas, offer them a coffee break, etc.
11. Incorporate plants in your space
Plants help clean out and filter the air, they contribute to noise reduction, and just seeing some green life inside can help boost one’s mood–it adds color and life (plus, they look pretty!) Besides, you might notice how members will start taking care of the plants and feed off of their energy.
12. Invest in some standing desks and exercise balls
Standing desks have various benefits, one of them being that you’re not sitting/slouching all day, but instead you’re more likely to move around and keep your back up straight. Exercise balls can also help people improve their sitting position plus strengthen core muscles (just, as with everything, don’t over do it).
13. Have a wellness wall
Remember how you can basically turn any wall, door, or flat surface into a whiteboard? Turn one into a wellness wall where everyone can write wellness tips, exercise ideas, healthy recipes, motivational quotes, and where you can give a shout out to those that have won your challenges or have reached a personal wellbeing goal.
14. Organize field trips
Sometimes all that people are missing to go out on an adventurous outing is someone else to go with them. Consider all the different places that are close to your neighborhood or city–you can go on hikes, skiing trips, visit a nearby lake…just go out, disconnect from technology, and re-connect with nature.
15. Encourage laughter
Every now and then all that we need is a good laugh. Share a joke, share a meme, share a video. Simply find ways to get your members laughing. Remember that we associate laughter with happiness, and if your members are happy, they’ll keep coming back.
Pick all, pick some, but let us know how these wellness programs work out for you and your workspace members.