Fortune’s 100 Best Companies To Work For list was released late last year. For the seventh time in a row, Google ranked number one, with 97% of its employees saying their workplace was “great.”
It’s unsurprising, really. Google offices are more like theme parks than corporate buildings. Don’t feel like walking? You can ride a colourful pushbike. Don’t want to take the stairs? Just slide into your meeting. Heck, not even up for work? Hop into a nap pod and take a break instead. For such lazy people it’s amazing how much they get done.
And while we can’t all be Google (read: #makeitrain money), employers have a responsibility to look after their staff. Companies are beginning to recognise the link between a healthy workplace and positive employee morale—a happy worker will be a hard worker too.
We spoke to co-founders of TWOSIX Wellness, Bree Pagliuso and Emma Udorovic to see how companies are prioritising wellbeing in 2017. As the owners of a workplace wellness consultancy, with a background in the corporate world, they’ve seen it all.
“As experts in workplace wellness we’ve seen everything from office boxing classes to kale chips becoming a staple in the cupboard,” says Pagliuso and Udorovic.
Here’s what they predict for 2017.
It’s long been known that meditation can enhance productivity levels so it’s no surprise that the corporate world is finally catching on. “By educating teams and individuals on how to effectively use mindfulness and meditation, we teach them to better manage stress, harness their creativity, improve their relationships and stay focused. This can help them to make clearer decisions in work and life.”
“Whether you need to bring your team together to resolve issues, improve their effectiveness or enhance communication skills, learning about meditation and mindfulness can help you and your team to reach your goals. We predict that workplaces around the globe will be stopping for a 10-minute meditation every day this year.”
“We live in a very Yang, driven, and over-stimulated world where our minds are over-active from the continuous use of technology, multitasking, and stimuli. This endless stream of ‘doing’—particularly for office workers—can lead to the body being forever in a state of stress.
Yin yoga and the mindfulness connected with the practice invite us to bring back that quietness and space within us, dropping back into the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). This leads to clearer thoughts, more presence, added focus, less anxiety and stress, and ultimately better mental and physical wellbeing. Almost 90 percent of our clients have requested to move from the traditional Yang-style yoga class to Yin and haven’t looked back.”
“Thanks to foundations like Movember, Smiling Mind and The Men’s Collective, 2016 saw a huge shift towards starting a conversation around Mental Health programs in workplaces. Now that the New Year is here, those conversations have turned into actions.
Learning to talk candidly with colleagues about your limitations and disappointments can be the answer to most employees’ issues. And trust us, these aren’t those humdrum sessions where someone dictates how to deal with depression or stress. Our facilitators believe that open and honest discourse creates connection and safety. We’re continuing to see an increase in requests for our health knowledge sessions that use methods of mindfulness and meditation, helping participants to connect and have conversations that are meaningful and authentic.”
TWOSIX have found dance classes are gaining in popularity.
“Everyone loves to dance, so why not bring this widely researched and proven stress-fighting tool to the workplace? [Our] classes are designed to get you moving, sweating and most importantly smiling laughing. We often hear our clients say “how embarrassing” but they always end up laughing and enjoying themselves. They have so much fun they don’t even realise they’re exercising. We’re predicting the rise of the office Friday dance party this year.”
“Long ingrained in our workplace culture are those networking boozy Friday lunches that somehow turn into an afternoon and evening away from the office, filling the body with alcohol and not-so-good fried foods. This year we’re predicting we’ll see a change for the better, with sweat dates overtaking the boozy lunch.”
“Forget those cocktail making workshops you did at your last team building day, healthy cooking classes are here! [Making] everything from healthy snacks to raw desserts, we even have cacao parties. Cooking together as a group has long been hailed as a great team building exercise. With workplaces becoming increasingly aware of the importance of keeping staff healthy, we’re seeing a rise in healthy cooking classes. The best part of this trend? You get to eat the food at the end!”