Patricia Chaney

How to Set Up an Office Wellness Room

Promoting wellness among your employees is all about offering them opportunities to improve their health. You can do so in multiple ways, from comprehensive benefits education to corporate wellness programs.

Ensuring that your business’s physical space is conducive to good health is another piece of the wellness puzzle. One step to consider? Establishing a wellness room.

What Is a Wellness Room?

This space, also called a recharge room, meditation room or whatever description best fits its purpose, is simply a designated area within your office that supports employee wellness goals. You have plenty of flexibility within this definition, so when planning your room consider what your particular workforce needs. Should it complement your wellness program or stand on its own? Do your employees need a private space for pumping breast milk and conducting telemedicine appointments, or would they get more use out of a health-focused break room with healthy snacks and yoga mats?

To get the most value out of the room, refer back to the goals of your wellness program and any employee surveys you’ve collected about your staff’s health care needs and preferences — or do some fresh fact-finding with a new employee survey that gathers employee wellness ideas about fun, healthy activities and stress management.

You don’t have to set aside a large area or a significant budget to let employees know that you’ve heard their feedback. An unused office or small conference room, if you have one to spare, will work. Possible things to put inside the space include:

  • Comfortable chairs
  • Soft throw blankets
  • A white noise or nature sounds machine
  • A small refrigerator for storing expressed milk
  • A nice lamp
  • Hand sanitizer
  • A computer with video conferencing
  • Healthy snacks and drinks
  • Yoga mats

Tips for a Successful Wellness Room

After you’ve set up the new room, take a moment to plan your communication strategy. Let your staff know that the perk exists, and explain what’s included — no one will think to use the fancy aromatherapy diffuser tucked away in the corner if they don’t know it’s there.

Also outline some guidelines for using the room. Taking a 15-minute break from an overwhelming project is fine, while napping through the afternoon probably isn’t. Decide where the line is in your office and make your expectations clear. For example, when creating a wellness room that’s intended to be a screen-free zone, ask employees to leave their phones at their desks. If there’s high demand for the room and it’s starting to become crowded, consider creating a sign-up sheet with time slots. Make sure employees know whether they’re responsible for keeping the room clean or stocking some of the food.

As the wellness industry balloons and employees focus more on their health, employers have an opportunity to honor those priorities in the workplace with a tangible perk. Offering a space to unwind after a difficult client call or recharge after an early morning shows you understand that your employees are human. Your commitment to their well-being reflects your commitment to them — and that’s a good look for any business.

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