Corporate wellness is no longer limited to select benefits, traditional perks or fitness incentives – employers are increasingly implementing a more comprehensive strategy that deeply integrates health and wellness into the overall workplace experience. In this month’s news aggregate, we explore how this holistic approach to employee wellbeing is influencing modern organizations.
PHYSICAL COGNITIVE AND EMOTIONAL WELLBEING
Forward-thinking employers understand that wellbeing is more than just physical—it involves several factors, including mental and emotional health. As a result, companies are developing new ways to support workers’ cognitive and psychological needs.
Self Magazine notes an uptick in office mindfulness classes, reflecting an increase in efforts to mitigate stress at work. This focus on mindfulness underscores the importance of incorporating spaces that allow for a quiet escape and rejuvenation. Meanwhile, Inc explores how to create a culture that promotes positive wellbeing, commenting on its significant workplace benefits and its connection to employee engagement.
Gensler emphasizes a greater focus on employees to foster several types of wellbeing, with recommendations including connecting to nature, encouraging movement and enriching workplace relationships. Gensler also references Etsy’s Happiness Index, which measures the experiences and sentiment of workers. Etsy’s Brooklyn headquarters was one of seven international winners recently recognized with an Excellence Award from the Center for Active Design, making it one of the most celebrated workplaces worldwide.
DESIGNING SPACE FOR WELLBEING
As a result of a comprehensive approach to wellbeing, office spaces designed with wellness in mind are becoming key considerations for innovative companies. Work Design Magazine highlights the ASID headquarters in Washington D.C., which recently became the first building to earn both LEED and WELL Platinum certifications. The design team carefully deliberated light, air, acoustics and thermal comfort to create a healthier environment and a better atmosphere. Work Design Magazine also discusses activity based working, in which people move between different areas for various tasks, and notes the positive impact this workplace design typology has on mental, physical and social outcomes.
With research indicating the importance of office friendships for work satisfaction, communal areas that promote social wellness are another essential component for modern organizations. In a roundup of design-minded offices from across the U.S., Interior Design features the Slack offices in New York City, which has Paley-Park inspired breakout spaces with skylights and bamboo plants to encourage socializing.
WORKPLACE WELLBEING MATTERS
Earlier this year, we suggested that wellness would be a key trend for 2017, and the conversation surrounding wellbeing in the workplace is still gaining momentum. Inc shares the strong connection between companies that focus on employee wellbeing and those that make the “Best Places To Work” lists. Forbes echoes this sentiment, noting that workplaces are now focusing more on wellbeing, flexibility and collaboration to address the needs of today’s workforce. Moreover, Steelcase emphasizes wellness as a competitive advantage that can affect business outcomes.
While there is no one size fits all method, top companies are certainly paying more attention to the workplace experience and its impact on employees, and successful organizations are creating an overarching strategy that best supports their workers.