Wellness rooms in the workplace are becoming increasingly popular in today’s society. Companies are looking for creative ways to boost productivity and increase job satisfaction. For many, a wellness room is a perfect solution.
So, what is a wellness room at work? A wellness room is a private area where an employee can escape if they are feeling unwell, stressed, or if a nursing mother needs to pump. It can provide a vital break from others in the open spaces of the office.
Learning specific uses for wellness rooms, how to create one, and the benefits of having one available can be helpful in determining if providing such a room to your own employees would make an impact.
Uses For a Wellness Room
There are a variety of reasons that an employee might need a wellness room. These reasons can include mental health, physical health, or maternal necessity. By offering workers a wellness room an employer can ensure that privacy is needed for health reasons as needed.
When it comes to mental health, the ability to escape a stressful situation can be incredibly helpful. If the job is especially straining, escaping to be alone for a few minutes can allow the brain time to relax and recharge. Since stress affects the body in a number of harmful ways, from migraines to weight problems and more, that brief reprieve can help to ensure that employees’ health is kept in check.
The physical health concerns that can be taken care of in a wellness room are endless. If an employee is feeling ill, he or she can easily take a break away from prying eyes. Other reasons might be if a worker is experiencing back pain and the job requires being on his or her feet a lot. A wellness room would offer said employee a space to sit down until the pain improves. Whatever the physical need, a wellness room can offer something to assist with it.
A wellness room also has the ability to provide a private area where a nursing mother can pump breast milk. In fact, it is required by law that a woman be allowed to privately pump in the workplace. The private area is not allowed to be a bathroom and it must be away from coworkers or any other people that might invade privacy.
Taking the needs of employees into consideration can help to determine how best to set up a wellness room in your company. For example, a person with mental illness might require a space with a lot of natural light and quiet, soothing music. It might also offer an exercise bike or treadmill, as exercise works wonders on stress. Since these suggestions don’t really mesh well together, it may be necessary to offer a variety of types of wellness rooms. A wellness room does not have to have a solution to every kind of illness or situation.
A wellness room for physical aspects might also have exercise equipment. Additionally, it could have comfortable or ergonomic seating for those with back problems, a selection of eye masks for those looking to take a power nap, or a fridge for bottled water or sports drinks for workers feeling dehydrated.
A fridge can also be useful in a mother’s pumping room. By offering a fridge as a place to store pumped milk, moms can ensure that the milk they are taking home has not spoiled throughout the day. It is also necessary for a room being utilized for this purpose to have an accessible electrical outlet, as most breast pumps are powered with a power cable rather than a battery. Another important part to include in this room is complete privacy by being sure that any windows are covered and the door has a lock. If the mother would like to work as she pumps, it can be a good idea to have a workstation set up as well.
Benefits of a Wellness Room
The widespread advantages of a wellness room are likely to inspire most companies to offer such a perk to its employees. The benefits tend to lend an increase to productivity, although the how varies in a number of ways.
By providing a space in which employees can take care of themselves or their needs, an employer is displaying the care they hold for their team. It shows that workers are more than just bodies, but respected members of the business. Because of this, employees will be more likely to put forth their best efforts, rather than the bare minimum to get by. This is simply one impact made on productivity.
A wellness room that offers fitness equipment has the ability to improve the physical health of employees. While the better health is a great benefit to the worker personally, it is also an advantage to the employer. A healthy employee costs less in insurance premiums. He or she will require fewer sick days. They are also more likely to have the energy needed to accomplish tasks – perhaps even more than expected.
A room designed to decrease stress or meditate will allow employees a moment to breathe or decompress. Becoming less stressed improves productivity by making it easier to sleep at night and decreasing depression. Although these are just two of many effects of less stress on the body, a well-rested employee is one that is not falling asleep at his or her desk. They think better, have better reflexes, and work faster. Lessening depression also improves motivation, thus increasing productivity.
A wellness room offering mothers the opportunity to return to work and still breastfeed can be a huge draw for keeping moms in their positions. As a former working and nursing mother myself, I know this to be true. After taking the time and resources to train a person for a role, a company would hate to lose a good employee if she decided it would be too difficult to pump at work. By offering a wellness room specific to pumping, she will feel appreciated and will likely find it easier to complete work in a private area.
If productivity has become an issue for your company, it can be a good idea to analyze the needs of your employees. What kinds of health and wellness concerns do they have for themselves? What would make them feel appreciated? By finding the answers to questions like these, a company can implement the necessary wellness rooms and monitor the increase in productivity.
Even a test wellness room might display incredible changes in productivity. By continuing to monitor the productivity levels, a business is more likely to understand exactly what works and doesn’t work for the company’s wellness room(s). With time, the right kind of wellness room can be offered and productivity can be improved.
Are there disadvantages to providing employees with an on-site gym? One of the biggest disadvantages to having an on-site gym is the cost of the equipment coupled with the cost of cleaning and maintenance. These are factors to consider prior to creating a gym in your business office.
Why isn’t an office considered a wellness room? While a private office can offer some parts of a wellness room, the escape from work is unlikely in an office setting. When the stressful situation or stress-inducing work is within the employee’s sight, taking a break from it is unlikely.