- Wellness programs can help organizations increase engagement and happiness in the workplace.
- Jon Cohn, CEO and co-founder of Fitspot Wellness, offers 5 easy ways to implement wellness programs in flexible workspaces.
- A top suggestion is to invite local experts to host lunchtime workshops, which can range from stress management to smoothie-making.
Wellness has become one of the core elements of workplace design and experience. We’re living in the era of the human experience workplace, where people and purpose reign.
In fact, a survey conducted by HqO found that 62% of workers desired offerings related to fitness and wellness, such as onsite gyms, nutritionists and workout classes.
The above aligns with recent workplace trends. Over the past few years we’ve observed how the workplace has shifted its focus from functionality towards wellness; organizations have started to recognize biophilia and the importance of plants in the office, natural light, air quality, ergonomic furniture, yoga rooms, nap pods, and even healthy snacks.
Organizations are moving in the right direction; they’re learning about people’s needs and they’re seeking to cater to them. Modern organizations are eager to improve the lives of their people, making sure they are positively contributing to their lifestyles.
Neil Shah from The Stress Management Society says that workplaces shouldn’t just mitigate stress or poor wellbeing, but flip that notion on its head and actually improve an individual’s health by being at work.
Workplace wellness programs
There are two main arguments why wellness programs should be implemented in the workplace. For one, they will improve the wellbeing of individuals. For another, they can help build a sense of community and give people the opportunity to connect over something other than work.
The best part is that you don’t need to overhaul a workplace in order to implement certain wellness programs.
Allwork.Space spoke with Jon Cohn, CEO and co-founder of Fitspot Wellness, about easy to implement wellness programs in coworking and flexible workspaces.
“Before you set out to implement any program, you need to look at your demographics and know the needs and interests of your people. Their age, profession, and even preferred method of commute can provide you with valuable insights that can help you select the right type of program.
“Doing this will help you decide between yoga or zumba and chair massages or lunch and learns. It will also help you determine how long or short a program should be and what time of day will work best for people.
“You also have to take into consideration the space you have. You can get creative with it, like using small conference rooms as meditation rooms or for chair massages; similarly if you have a terrace or an empty private office space you can use them to host fitness classes. Also, if you have a shower on-site you should consider organizing high-intensity workouts during lunch hour or rush hour.”
The 5 easiest to implement wellness programs
Even if you’re short on space or resources there’s a lot you can do. From food bars, smoothie stations and yogurt bars to essential oil blendings, it’s all about getting creative.
Cohn shares 5 wellness programs that can be easily implemented in most workspaces.
1) Wearable challenges. There are wearables out in the market that are as cheap as $20. Encourage your coworking members or employees to purchase one and host a series of challenges that encourage physical activity. People can track how much they walked, how many stairs they went up, how much they slept, etc.
2) Fitness classes. Use your empty offices or meeting rooms to host yoga classes, circuit training classes, zumba classes, etc. If your workplace is located within a mixed-use building, ask the landlord if you can use the rooftop or communal social areas.
3) Tap into local experts. Support the local community by reaching out to local experts — such as nutritionists, financial experts, massage therapists, psychologists — and invite them into your space to host sessions on financial, mental, and physical wellness; as well as stress management.
4) Chair massages. Once a week, twice a week, once a month, however often you like, invite a massage therapist to give chair massages to your members and workers. According to a study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, a 15-minute chair massage helps improve brain power, alertness and productivity. Cohn also notes that when people slow down and relax, their mind has the opportunity to release thoughts; which can help with problem-solving.
5) Food or drink bars. Once a week you can help people stay healthy by giving them access to a food or drink bar. Have several recipes available and invite a local nutritionist or fitness instructor to teach the basics about smoothie making or the benefits of drinking kombucha or eating yogurt. Food is a catalyst for social interaction and it will help people break out of their usual meals and encourage them to try new, healthy foods.