- Wellness is high on the workplace agenda, with 96% of workers seeking companies that prioritize employee well-being. In turn, more companies are seeking workspaces that offer wellness facilities and events.
- Encouraging your community to get away from the desk and move their bodies through fitness, yoga, or walks out in nature will help them reduce feelings of depression and loneliness.
- Here are five wellness-related social events to schedule into your workspace calendar next.
Wellness in the workplace is now the norm, not the exception. Rising hybrid working trends have resulted in a freedom of choice whether or not to go into the office, meaning that workspaces must offer more than just a place to work. Well-being has to be on the agenda, too.
This shift is partly because the link between work and well-being has become increasingly apparent, especially in the wake of the pandemic. According to the Workplace Wellness Report 2024 conducted by Gympass, “striving for work-life balance by separating our personal and professional wellbeing makes it more difficult to succeed in work or life. In reality, you cannot fully have one without the other — they are interdependent.”
The report claims: “Wellness is non-negotiable for today’s workers,” exposing that “96% of respondents said they will only consider companies that place a clear emphasis on wellbeing next time they are looking for a job.” The knock-on effect is that companies, to avoid well-being washing techniques, will look for shared workspaces that incorporate wellness into their offerings.
To inspire your social calendar, here are 5 wellness-related social events to host in your coworking space next:
1. Move the community with fitness
Movement is integral to our overall mental and physical health. According to Mental Health in the Workplace charity, movement “increases our resilience to stress, improves our sleep, and enhances our mood. It even drives our social interaction, and in fact, there’s lots of research that suggests that we get even more benefits when we move as a tribe.”
From gym workouts to cycling clubs, hosting a regular fitness class is the perfect way to encourage your community to step away from the desk. Fitness in the workspace is now so highly sought after that the recent findings of the Employee Wellbeing Survey conducted by workspace operator, Mindspace, revealed that “an astonishing 9 in 10 employees consider wellbeing facilities and options a critical factor in choosing where to work.”
Even if you don’t have any fitness amenities in your workspace, you can still work your way around this to host active events. A running club, for instance, only requires safe pathways around your workspace, or you can collaborate with local fitness services, like the gym next to your workspace or the climbing center down the road, to offer some fun events away from your coworking space. It’s a fantastic way to support the wider community, too.
2. Calm yoga and meditation sessions
Fitness and intense exercise aren’t for everyone. It might seem overwhelming or impossible for certain members of your community to join in. To align with the inclusive values of coworking, make sure your social events are accessible whilst benefiting everyone’s mind, body, and soul.
Yoga is a sure crowd-pleaser, as the differing practices give participants the option to choose how much they’d like to move their bodies. “Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness, increases body awareness, relieves chronic stress patterns, relaxes the mind, centers attention, and sharpens concentrations,” says osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor, Dr. Nevins, in an article published by the American Osteopathic Association.
Yoga benefits stress reduction by incorporating meditation and breathing techniques. If movement and yoga aren’t possible for everyone, instead schedule a calming 30-minute meditation session into your social schedule to allow your community to take a breath from a busy work day and relax, even for just a few moments. Consider hosting an online session that can include your distributed workspace community who might be away or working from home.
3. Healthy nutrition sessions and community lunches
Greater well-being starts with a good diet and healthy nutrition. Consuming the right foods improves productivity, awareness, and general health conditions, so a healthy diet is highly sought after by today’s modern workers. Support your community’s mission to greater well-being by inviting a nutritionist to talk about healthy food and eating habits.
People quite naturally come together over the love of food. Facilitating this session in your kitchen might spark some creativity in the workspace from your community or yourself. Prepare a community lunch where everyone sits down for some time to eat together and get to know one another a little better.
Some workspaces, like Fento Coworking in Vigo, Spain, host a daily lunch where coworkers cook for the collective. This can strengthen the community, too. “When we cook for a group of people they really get into it. We eat much better, it’s a real community-building thing. We sit down together and eat for 45 minutes. We eat fresh bread from the local bakery every day,” says community member, Bernie Mitchell.
Outside of your social calendar, provide healthy fruit and snacks in your workspace for healthy eating. It also encourages your community to congregate around the snack bowl when they’re feeling peckish, which might enable them to meet new people.
4. A pet-friendly workspace
The surge in dog ownership since the pandemic coupled with hybrid working practices has resulted in more relaxed pet-friendly workspaces. This also sets coworking apart from traditional offices.
Whilst investigating the consensus on pets in the workplace, U.K. supplier Brother found it a welcome change to workplaces. 51% of survey respondents “think that a pet-friendly office is a good idea.” So why not encourage your community to take their furry friend to work with them, and host a puppy party or bring-your-dog-to-work day?
Being around animals is good for reducing stress levels, details John Hopkins Medicine. “Simply petting a dog lowers the stress hormone cortisol, while the social interaction between people and their dogs actually increases levels of the feel-good hormone oxytocin (the same hormone that bonds mothers to babies).”
5. Getting out in nature
Having a dog is a great driver to getting out in the elements, but how do you encourage your community members who don’t have pets to get away from the desk and go outside for some Vitamin C? Try organizing a nature-themed event with wellness at the center of it all.
Hosting regular group walks to connect, move, and get outside will help your community take breaks from their work for a bit of recharging. From improving their mood to boosting confidence, getting out in nature is hugely beneficial for everyone. It allows people to slow down and relax, even for just 20 minutes.
Mind charity has found a link between social interaction and getting out in nature to reduce symptoms of depression and loneliness. Your community will feel these benefits even if it’s just a spontaneous walk with another coworker. Nature walks are also a great way to bring people together and forge new connections that contribute to a strong workspace community.