How do you create a culture of wellness and self-improvement when half of your workforce works remotely or only comes into the office a few days per week? The new hybrid work environment created by the pandemic comes with a unique series of challenges. Creating a healthy hybrid work environment requires a lot of finesse, but it is possible to strike the right balance.
Employee well-being shouldn’t be overlooked
Before you use the new hybrid “normal” of the work environment as an excuse to put your employees’ well-being on the back burner – stop. Even with this new working arrangement, employee well-being shouldn’t be overlooked. The right office space and a wellness-centric culture go a long way toward attracting and retaining employees—particularly young millennial and Gen Z employees. In addition, wellness offerings result in less sick days and better work-life balance.
According to Forbes, nearly 100% of workers in the tech industry say they would stay longer at a company if that company offered a healthier workspace, with benefits such as wellness rooms, fitness perks, standing desks, healthy lunches, and ergonomic chairs. Across the board, nearly 90% of workers actively wish their employer would provide more health-focused office spaces, equipped with those same benefits and perks.
Both millennials and Gen Z employees see the draw of a physical office space, especially those that might have been forced to work in cramped or shared spaces when working remotely, as reported by the BBC. They crave being back at the office for the benefits that can only happen in person such as access to select networking events and mentorship from senior leaders.
But, of course, to attract those workers who want to return to the office, and retain them, wellness perks go a long way. After all, who would want to go into an office filled with depressing fluorescent lighting, fake plants, and gray cubicles, when working from all the amenities of home – couch included – is still an option?
What should a healthy hybrid office space look like?
Here’s a hint: It shouldn’t look like your office from the pre-pandemic era – and it shouldn’t be sloppily thrown together.
Consider how your employees work. What kind of spaces do they need? What’s going to make them feel welcomed and engaged? Don’t rely too heavily on open floor plans for engagement. In fact, some studies have shown that open floor plans in the office actually reduce face-to-face conversation by as much as 70%.
According to one Inc. article, it’s more common that a post-pandemic workspace is going to look more akin to a spa retreat than a dingy, dreary corporate office with office additions geared toward mental health that range from salt therapy rooms to Peloton studios.
However, at the end of the day, it’s the in-office culture that will make or break your hybrid office space. You can add as many white noise machines and no-tech nature spaces to your office as you want, but it won’t matter if you’re not actively celebrating employees’ decisions to put mental health first, even over work.
How can you create a wellness culture within your hybrid workforce?
A Harvard Business Review article states, “Taking breaks is not always easy, especially if employees are being monitored with surveillance software or managed by bosses who focus on screen time rather than productive output. Make it clear that it’s fine to take a lunch break or to reschedule an 8:00 AM meeting to accommodate someone’s regular morning run or swim or yoga practice. Here again, role-modeling matters. It can be as simple as setting your status on Slack or another tool to say ‘I’m out for lunch’ or ‘I’m online all week except Thursdays.’ Recognize that sometimes people need a long weekend or a holiday.”
A comprehensive, corporate wellness program could be exactly what you need to create a culture of wellness within your hybrid workspace, especially if you’re starting from scratch. From health coaching to meditation to seminars, Arootah’s Corporate Wellness Programs are designed to suit the specific needs of your company to help your team feel great and perform better:
- Sleep: Greater energy, higher productivity, and increased creativity throughout the day
- Nutrition: More consistent energy and metabolism throughout the entire workday
- Exercise: Peak physical and mental health always includes movement
- Stress Management: Stress management through difficult projects and hard deadlines
- Coaching: One-on-one private support to cover the needs of everyone’s unique challenges
- Prioritization: Get better at saying NO – so you can say YES
- Habit training: Instilling daily habits to transform your life
Our coaches build a forward-thinking workforce focused on The Success Formula which is geared towards an impressive ROI on energy, time management, and health costs. Beyond crafting a full corporate wellness program, Arootah also works with organizations to achieve peak performance by designing in-office gyms, planning curated wellness-focused events, and arranging office nutrition and catering.
The Arootah result is a healthier team with less sick days and better work-life balance.
The bottom line
Find out what your employees really want. Make data-driven decisions based on what would make their lives easier and more stress-free. Listen to what they need and want, and provide them with the wellness resources to address their individual wellness challenges.
To get started on a customized Arootah Corporate Wellness Program, start by meeting with a Corporate Wellness representative to learn more about our services. Fill out a few details here and we’ll be in touch!