Happy, healthy employees are known to be more productive. We didn’t say it, science did. In fact, there are a number of studies that explore the correlation between employees’ health and their productivity levels: “employees who eat healthy all day long were 25% more likely to have higher job performance”, says one study.
In addition, the same study reveals that employees who exercise for 30 minutes, three times a week, are 15% more productive. In other words, taking long coffee breaks during your workday might not be the best way to boost your energy levels. If you want to keep your concentration levels up, you’re going to have to break a sweat.
To get you inspired, we’ve round up a few companies that lead the way in corporate wellness.
Not only does the company have an amazing internal wellness program, but it also empowers other companies to encourage their employees to lead happier, healthier lifestyles.
“It’s about making the program [Fitbit Wellness] a part of office culture in general – changing that water cooler conversation,” Amy McDonough, VP and GM for Fitbit Wellness says.
As for practicing what they preach, Fitbit organizes “Workout Wednesdays“, a day devoted to fitness where employees can show up at the office in sweats and yoga pants and participate in various workouts throughout the day, such as kickboxing and yoga, pilates and hip hop dance classes. Some classes are led by outside instructors, although most of them are led by employees – and sometimes even execs.
Sounds fun? Wait until you hear about their kitchen pantries, which according to Quartz.com, are always “stocked with healthy snacks and drinks, such as veggie chips and coconut water”.
With its “Wellbeing Zone”, the company manages to provide its employees with “a space for mindfulness, meditation, rest and recovery”, according to Mike Clementi, the vice president of human resources at Unilever.
The Wellbeing Zone features four different sections, each one serving a different purpose: “the Connection Bridge” where employees can unwind and have conversations, a section dedicated to healthy foods and snacks, a “Movement Zone” where different leisure activities are hosted, such as yoga, massage and stretching sessions, and last but not least, a silent zone where employees can go and recharge their batteries.
The company also promotes mental health initiatives for its employees through leadership and management, communication and culture, scoping resilience, managing pressure, and support.
Leave it to a tech giant like Google to pull out all the stops when it comes to corporate wellness. The company’s Silicon Valley campus boasts lavish dining areas and on campus cafes with features like juice bars and “snacks to keep you healthfully energized throughout the day”, on-site fitness centers and free fitness classes which employees can sign up for anytime, as well as intramural sports.
However, it’s not the juice bars and micro kitchens packed with healthy snacks that have put Google in the spotlight, but its futuristic nap pods that allow employees to take a snooze in the middle of the workday.
According to Geek.com, “The EnergyPod is said to use NASA science to help people get their energy back when they need to catch some quick shuteye. It does this by surrounding the occupant in a private space, shutting out any external stimulus, and reclines them in the optimum resting position to provide maximum blood flow throughout their body”.
In 2015 GE implemented a “permissive approach” to paid time off which stipulates that “there no longer will be any limit set on the number of vacation, sick and personal days that executives and those in the so-called senior professional band may take”, according to CNN.com. This policy currently applies to 43% of GE’s salaried U.S. workforce, making GE the one of the largest companies to offer unlimited paid time off.
While this generous policy only applies to employees in a certain rank, the company also offers a 24/7 health hotline for all its employees, health policies that come with free preventative screenings, as well as the Expert Medical Opinion program, which makes employees eligible to receive a second medical opinion from a Cleveland Clinic Specialist at no cost.
What’s more, to help encourage smokers to quit, GE employees who don’t smoke “pay less in health care contributions than those who do light up”, according to Greatist.com.
The company’s list of health benefits for its employees is long, and quite frankly, impressive. A position at Microsoft comes with industry-leading health coverage, paid membership to full-service gyms, physician house calls (for all employees located in the Seattle area), a 24-hour health line accessible to all employees, as well as free on-campus flu shots and health screenings.
The giant tech company also offers new mothers eight weeks of paid maternity leave, and a 12 weeks parental leave for adoptions or foster placements parents.
In terms of paid time off, Microsoft offers “15 paid vacation days, 10 paid sick-leave days, and 10 paid U.S. holidays, plus two personal days to call your own each year”. And to top that off, its Redmond campus boasts a variety of on-campus retail and recreation spots such as a spa salon, a mail center, a bank, 11 restaurants, bike and ski shops, a dry cleaner’s and of course, large sports fields.
It’s easy to get fitter at Twitter thanks to its plethora of healthcare benefits available to all employees. Its Bay Area headquarters features on campus fitness centers where employees can sign up for CrossFit, Yoga and Pilates classes, massage sessions, gourmet lunch spots as well as a dry cleaning service for the busy worker bees. The company also offers unlimited vacation days available to all employees, as well as five months paid maternity leave and 10 weeks paid paternity leave, according to Greatist.com.
However, “the crown jewel of Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters is a 16,500 rooftop deck with expansive views of the city. Employees use the space to socialize, relax and (sometimes) work”.
The Las Vegas-based shoe retailer is known for two things: its premium customer service and its excellent benefits package and employee perks. Zappos’ competitive package comes with 24-hour access to telemedicine, full coverage on primary and routine care for all employees, free dental exams and cleanings, adoption and infertility benefits, and a generous life insurance policy.
Plus an on-site fitness center that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, a weight management program to encourage employees to stay healthy and in-shape, paid for on-site Weight Watchers sessions, and free smoking cessation classes. And just like Google, Zappos too encourages employees to have a midday snooze fest in its cozy, sea-themed nap rooms.
“Zappos has long been a believer in office naps. Dating back to the company’s early days, an enclosed place for cots, pods and couches have always been available to employees. With around-the-clock customer service, sometimes a power nap is all it takes to recharge one’s batteries.”