Our jobs have become so stressful that wellness is no longer a luxury but a real need if we wish to stay healthy both physically and mentally. Business owners and HR managers have realised this a long time ago, as we have seen a rise in corporate wellness programs.

Simply put, a healthy employee most often equals a happy employee and only a happy employee can be creative and productive. One of the most cost-effective, yet highly efficient ways to improve workers’ health is setting up an office wellness room.

The bare necessities

You should start setting up the room by thinking about what a wellness room is and what should it feature. Some refer to this space as the recharge room which implies that you should aim for a design utterly different than the one of the office.

Nothing in the room’s design should be reminiscent of work, apart from a wall it shares with the adjoining office space. In this sense, there are some bare necessities necessary for the workers to fully unwind and engage in the activities they enjoy.

The exact list of amenities the wellness room should contain is individual in nature. Conduct a poll to find out what your employees want to see in the wellness room. However, there a few items that every recharge room should have, starting from a comfortable seating area, to list just one example.

Furthermore, add soft blankets for those employees who enjoy an afternoon nap or constantly feel cold. Mount a hand sanitiser on the wall, add a lamp or two, throw in a small fridge, and stock the kitchen area with healthy snacks and drinks.

An active break

In every company, there are employees who like to take active breaks and the aforementioned nappers. As far as the former are concerned, you shouldn’t just give them a gym membership card and consider it done. Studies have shown that most people never use this card so you are basically wasting money on something people won’t use.

A wiser strategy is to buy gym equipment for the wellness room and set an area where employees can exercise. Some will meditate on a yoga mat, while others will take up weightlifting using curl barbells and weights. You will be surprised by the number of people who do CrossFit at home and are willing to pick up barbells at work as well.

Show and tell

HR departments often fall into the snare of setting up the office wellness room without communicating with employees. This results in only a few individuals knowing what amenities the wellness room contains. Remember, you are setting up this space to serve the entire workforce, not only a couple of people.

Take the time to draft a communication strategy that will let everyone know what to expect. The wellness room is actually a product you’re trying to sell so you ought to treat it as such. Explain each and every amenity located inside the room so no piece of equipment would fall into disuse because folks don’t what it is or how to use it. The more high-tech the room is, the more people it will draw but you’ll need to do extra explaining as well.

What you can and can’t do

Although the wellness room is meant as a place for relaxation, this doesn’t mean that there are no house rules. These are not strict and should come in the form of guidelines but you nevertheless need to put them into practice.

For example, not every employee should be allowed to take a nap, as in the example above. Certain professions benefit from a short nap but in general, the comfy sofa is there to take a short rest, not sleep on the job. Also, teach employees reasonability by putting them in charge of stocking the fridge and cleaning after themselves.

Another common rule in wellness rooms is the “no screen” policy. Workers can bring their laptops and cellphones inside but they aren’t allowed to use them. Not only are they straining their eyes and minds but they are effectively stopping others from resting properly.

Finally, the wellness room can be used in shifts. This means that it won’t get overcrowded inside and every person will have the peace and quiet needed to take a break from work. Time slots might not be popular but they ensure the wellness room lives up to its purpose.

Solving the issue of privacy

Although an open plan wellness room is cheaper and easier to create, make sure individual workers get some privacy. In fact, you are required by law to provide nursing mothers with a private space to breastfeed or pump milk. Mobile shades and cubicles are the most convenient design solutions.

A wellness room that is used by all employees (but not at the same time) will soon start raising productivity levels. As people as able to unwind better, the will be more focused on business tasks once they get back to their respective work stations.   

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