Working with staffing agencies over the years exposed me to a variety of American workspaces, including cubicles, open office designs, shared workstations, and hot desking. Unfortunately, many office spaces are not designed with employee wellness in mind. Throughout my career, which has spanned over 100 companies from an accounting agency in Beverly Hills to a teacher’s organization in Austin, there hasn’t been much change in their design over the years (mid-sized firms).

I distinctly remember a scenario where a vacant desk of a previous worker became the go-to space for temporary staff, cluttered with piles of folders, convention swag, disposable pens, and papers. Working in such a chaotic environment was far from ideal, and it was not uncommon to experience such conditions.

Even the outdoor spaces in some offices were disappointing, if they had them at all. I recall an outdoor space in one company with rusty, dirty benches that served as litter boxes for birds, offering no protection from the sun. Unsurprisingly, few employees ventured outside in those uninviting surroundings, while designated break areas with vending machines were the norm.

The companies that stand out in my recollection were always the ones that truly prioritized employee experiences. This concept isn’t far removed from “User’s Experiences” in UX Design. Years later, I still vividly recall my time working at a convention, where two companies, PeopleSoft and Microsoft, went above and beyond to provide the AV Staff with delicious catered meals and a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere in a convention hall. This was a 10-day assignment my AV pals and I still recall to this day. This experience left a lasting impression. I promised myself that if I ever get into the tech field, I will look up both companies. (I am currently pursuing a UX Design/Research position at Microsoft.)

In recent times, I was pleasantly surprised to encounter my first Wellness Room (where employees could unwind, meditate, or take a short nap). It was such an enjoyable experience to discover something like this. During a stressful time when I wasn’t feeling well for three days, I needed to catch up on sleep during my lunch break, and the Wellness Room was my saving grace. I always felt rejuvenated afterwards. This particular company fostered a close-knit working community and a positive, supportive working space.

The advantages of a Wellness Room in an office space are numerous, including stress reduction, improved productivity, and mental health support. It can also aid in employee retention and attraction while fostering a positive company culture.

In my opinion, every company should seriously consider implementing a Wellness Room, designed with employees’ needs in mind, offering privacy, comfort, and accessibility. Such an investment can significantly contribute to a healthier and more productive work environment. It’s surprising to me that more companies haven’t embraced this idea yet things are changing.

Modern-day companies are developing wellness spaces in the office as a part of their efforts to create a healthier and more supportive work environment. The implementation of wellness spaces varies across industries and company sizes, but certain types of companies are more likely to prioritize employee well-being and invest in such spaces. Here are some examples of the kinds of companies that often develop wellness spaces:

  • Tech Companies
  • Creative Agencies
  • Startups
  • Large Corporations
  • Health and Fitness Companies

Even the outdoor spaces in some offices were disappointing, if they had them at all. I recall an outdoor space in one company with rusty, dirty benches that served as litter boxes for birds, offering no protection from the sun. Unsurprisingly, few employees ventured outside in those uninviting surroundings, while designated break areas with vending machines were the norm.

The companies that stand out in my recollection were always the ones that truly prioritized employee experiences. This concept isn’t far removed from “User’s Experiences” in UX Design. Years later, I still vividly recall my time working at a convention, where two companies, PeopleSoft and Microsoft, went above and beyond to provide the AV Staff with delicious catered meals and a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere in a convention hall. This was a 10-day assignment my AV pals and I still recall to this day. This experience left a lasting impression. I promised myself that if I ever get into the tech field, I will look up both companies. (I am currently pursuing a UX Design/Research position at Microsoft.)

In recent times, I was pleasantly surprised to encounter my first Wellness Room (where employees could unwind, meditate, or take a short nap). It was such an enjoyable experience to discover something like this. During a stressful time when I wasn’t feeling well for three days, I needed to catch up on sleep during my lunch break, and the Wellness Room was my saving grace. I always felt rejuvenated afterwards. This particular company fostered a close-knit working community and a positive, supportive working space.

The advantages of a Wellness Room in an office space are numerous, including stress reduction, improved productivity, and mental health support. It can also aid in employee retention and attraction while fostering a positive company culture.

In my opinion, every company should seriously consider implementing a Wellness Room, designed with employees’ needs in mind, offering privacy, comfort, and accessibility. Such an investment can significantly contribute to a healthier and more productive work environment. It’s surprising to me that more companies haven’t embraced this idea yet things are changing.

 Wellness Ideas for the modern workplace

 

 

Wellness Rooms in Work Spaces, A Must for Increased Productivity

by Cara Harpole