Tips to Set Up a Workplace Wellness Room
If you work in an office with an open space setting, you might have observed a decline in your productivity, coupled with an uptick in anxiety. These are consequences of a loud, distracting work setting.
A stressful workplace can affect the health and wellbeing of employees and consequently lower their productivity rate. Having a wellness room at work is an effective way to overcome this challenge and boost performance.
What is an office wellness room?
An office wellness room or recharge room is different from a break room, small café or a seating arena. It is a quiet, private space specifically designed to help employees recuperate and escape from the noise and other work-related stressors of the typical office environment.
An office wellness room is usually within the vicinity of the workplace. The general idea behind its setup is to boost productivity.
What Are the Tips to Set Up a Workplace Wellness Room?
Designing wellness rooms has evolved over the years, and there’s no particular standard to follow when creating such space. However, the arena should provide comfortable structures for workers to relax and catch some air before returning to their work stations.
Consider the following tips to help you choose a wellness room design that’s best for your company.
Make Physical Wellness a Priority
Work environments often provide little or no room for employees to be physically engaged, which is not ideal for the human body. Moreover, we need a suitable amount of physical activities to be healthy.
Studies have shown that some poor health conditions such as obesity or hypertension arise because employees are seated all day. Working on the computer screen for several hours also has diverse effects on health.
Besides, it is almost impossible to avoid prolonged exposure to electronic gadgets and ultraviolet rays. Setting up a wellness room fitted with essential fitness equipment could help remedy the situation while also providing physical improvement.
It could also provide workers with the required break from operating office gadgets.
Promote Mental Wellness
The physical work toll is not the only contributing factor to the decline in employees’ productivity. The ever-increasing work demands may be overwhelming for your employees to handle. Early commute or sleepless nights spent to complete project presentations may also force workers to work despite the lack of proper rest.
Thus, to boost your employees' morale, you need to pay attention to their mental wellbeing. Dedicating a wellness room for them to rest is a perfect solution to help overworked staff. Setting up a wellness room with this goal in mind doesn't require much; a comfortable couch, some cushions and blankets should do the trick.
Besides, break rooms used to be the best option for employees who work at odd or long hours because of caffeine's promise. However, studies show that too much caffeine intake has severe effects on their health.
A wellness room can aid the reduction of employees’ caffeine intake while also guaranteeing a healthier staff.
Create a Serene Environment
Whether a worker meditates or not, quiet mindfulness has loads of benefits. Studies show that a few minutes of quiet downtime, like afternoon naps in a day, can help improve breathing, restore focus and reduce stress levels. A few minutes of simple stretching or yoga can help improve focus and blood flow; thus, providing a substitute for a fitness gym.
Meditation rooms also provide employees with a few minutes of peace and relative silence needed to jump back at work and generate fresh ideas.
Solve the Issue of Privacy
An open-plan office wellness room is cheaper and easier to setup. However, it would help if you made provisions for the privacy of each worker. Make provisions for discreet conversations and activities.
Make Plans for Nursing Mothers.
Breastfeeding or milk pumping at work without proper accommodations can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety in nursing mothers.
Besides common corporate courtesy, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to provide nursing mothers with a private space (mother’s room) for them to pump milk or breastfeed offspring. Under this law, employers are to provide both a reasonable break time for nursing mothers to lactate and a shielded space from view and free of intrusion from other coworkers.
The mother's room should also include basic amenities such as electrical outlets and comfortable seats, a mini-fridge for milk storage, a sink for washing bottles and pumps, and a set of lockers to store pumps and supplies when not in use.
In case your company has multiple nursing mothers (all of whom equally deserve the same level of respect and privacy), consider putting up curtains or privacy dividers to separate each stall. You can also consider erecting several smaller, physically divided rooms to maintain comfort for all.
Inculcate Good Communication Strategy
HR departments often make the mistake of setting up the wellness rooms without proper communication with employees, which often leads to only a few workers knowing and utilizing the wellness room's amenities. It’s important to note that you are not setting up the space to serve a few folks but the entire workforce.
Take a poll to know the amenities your employees want in the wellness room. Is it a quiet place to recharge, unwind, lactate or receive light therapy? Or an area filled with mats for tai chi or yoga? An understanding of the needs of your employees will help you to know how to help them best.
Also, take the time to draft a good communication strategy to inform your workers about the wellness room's amenities. This prevents any equipment from falling into disuse because people do not know what it is or how to operate it.
Set House Rules
Although the idea of a wellness room is to provide a place for relaxation, that doesn’t make it devoid of house rules. The rules shouldn’t be so strict and should come as guidelines that need to be practiced.
For instance, do not allow all employees to take a nap. While some professions benefit from taking a short nap, the comfy sofa is there for them to rest, not to sleep on the job. Also, encourage the employees to stock the fridge and clean up after themselves.
Besides, a common rule in wellness rooms is the "no screen" policy, which means employees cannot use their laptops or mobile devices within the wellness rooms' confines. The approach is to prevent them from disturbing others' rest and reduce their eye strain.
Choose a Suitable Color Scheme.
Color plays a vital role in eye and mind stimulation. According to the concept of color therapy, some colors are referred to as “healing colors” and can influence human emotions. Thus, it is crucial to take advantage of this when designing your wellness room.
Experts suggest that neutral colors are best used in wellness rooms. Warm colors are known to evoke a homey and relaxing feel, perfect for employees looking to break away from office artificial lights.
According to psychology and theory of color, green helps rest your eyes and soothes anxiety. It is also closely related to optimism. Blues evokes a peaceful ambiance for a meditation room because it reduces stress and creates a sense of serenity and order.
Use a Controlled Lighting System
Lighting is another important but overlooked aspect of space. Most employees hardly get natural light at their workplace, which poses a considerable health risk to workers. There’s a need to consider the amount of natural light while planning your corporate wellness room.
However, it would be best to install thick, block-out curtains to control the amount that enters the wellness room to help employees who need to rest or take a quick nap.
Use Cozy Furniture
Due to varying employee needs, ensure the furniture in your office wellness room is as comfy as possible. Go couches for soft and plush fabrics. Though not necessary, massagers and recliners are also useful additions.
On a Final Note
Although the idea behind an office wellness room is to boost productivity, the tides could turn when employees lose track of time while in the wellness room. Traqq is a time management software that helps employees keep tabs on how they spend their time. The tool comes in handy with incredible features such as real-time logging of events, website and app monitoring, mouse and keyboard tracking, and lots more.