Trends like fitness and wellness have been gaining momentum in the corporate workplace for some time now. According to Forbes, 70% of companies offer a workplace wellness program in efforts to help their employees live a healthier lifestyle. At exaqueo, we believe in the importance of bringing our Whole Self to work. The Whole Self is a belief that there isn’t a divide between work and life, but rather work is really a part of life, and the two can impact and influence each other. And that includes our commitments to focus on health and wellness.
Incorporating employee wellness activities into your organization doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive, or even time-consuming. Often the most effective initiatives are the simplest ones and employees are more likely to participate if it’s easy to follow along. So, whether you’re in human resources, part of an employee resource group, or a corporate wellness leader, we hope you find these activities, curated by team exaqueo, helpful in building healthy habits at your organization!
1. Start an employee walking club that walks in the morning, lunch, and/or after work. If budget allows, create maps of the office, inside and outside, with mile markers.
2. Host a yoga class using free services like YouTube and project in a conference room. If your local yoga studios have teacher training programs, check to see if any trainees are willing to donate time for teaching hours and a free class.
3. Encourage walk-and-talk meetings instead of sitting at your desks or in a conference room.
4. Partner with local fitness instructors and see if they’ll offer low-cost or discounted classes on location to employees.
5. Encourage employee workout times or days at nearby gyms with high employee membership.
6. Create step challenges for employees that use trackers or counters. Have employees with a competitive spirit? Offer weekly or monthly prize awards for top steppers.
7. Partner with local drug stores or shoe companies to donate gift cards for employees who are most active and may need shoes or insoles faster.
8. Start a healthy cooking class where employees bring their own supplies and learn cooking best practices from YouTube.
9. Pick a day of the week where employees bring fresh fruit or healthy snacks to share on a first come first serve basis. Consider limiting unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks in company break rooms and on-site cafeterias, and offering healthier alternatives.
10. Host monthly lunch and learns with healthy food, and local fitness and wellness groups or invite employees to share their wellness expertise with each other.
11. Invite leadership to host a cooking class like T-Mobile CEO, John Legere, who hosts #SlowCookerSunday on Facebook.
12. Remind employees of the importance of taking time off and using their already allotted vacation and PTO time.
13. Celebrate #NationalColoringBookDay (August 2) with an adult coloring activity. Print out coloring exercises or purchase coloring books for employees. Check out the coloring masterpieces from #teamexaqueo and #exaqueokids on Instagram and Facebook!
14. Give back to your community by stuffing bags for vets, writing cards for children's hospitals, or any volunteer activity that aligns with your organization’s mission and values.
15. Encourage mindfulness and meditation by having company-sponsored 10-15 minute meditation sessions or allowing employees to expense mindfulness maps, apps, or other meditation programs.
16. Start a health and wellness book club that meets regularly to discuss books focused on health and wellness.
17. Have prompted journaling exercises over coffee, lunch, or after work for employees to start their days with intention or reflection at the end of the day.
18. Use your internal communication channels (newsletters, intranet, Yammer, etc.) to share tips and information about staying healthy and active at work. Make it easy for employees to tag other and share with their social media networks.
19. Identify a ‘wellness champion’ at each office location to serve as a key POC to help keep employees engaged and active across the organization.
20. Give employees their birthday off so they can spend their special day relaxing with friends and family. Or, talk with your HR leader about offering quarterly, paid mental health days as part of your benefits.
21. Develop a rewards program where employees can earn points towards an adjustable desk, exercise ball chairs, or other healthy office gear for completing wellness challenges. Or purchase on treadmill desk that employees can sign up to use.
22. Offer branded water bottles as company swag to reduce bottled beverage costs.
23. Provide laptop risers and anti-glare screen protectors to reduce physical fatigue and eye strain.
24. Add picnic tables or other outdoor seating to create an outside area for employees to enjoy their lunch or take a break.
25. Keep finding ways to stay positive and encourage employees to continue striving for a healthy, well-balanced life. Read how Marriott's EVP and Global CHRO, David Rodriguez, went from an IV line to the finish line and how being diagnosed with leukemia changed his perception on wellness.
Building a strong culture of wellness will not only help you become a healthier person, it’ll keep your employees encouraged and engaged at work. Healthy employees are productive employees because they know they work for a company that supports their health and wellness. And, healthy employer brands start from the inside by supporting your employees’ Whole Self.
Have other ideas for employee wellness activities that cost little to nothing? Share by posting a comment below or by tweeting at us @exaqueo!