Why companies should support employee healthy lifestyle
Editor note: As we spend most of our lives at work, we often neglect the role of healthy food. And while we started working from home, it was not as big of an issue as it used to be. Ismail Peinado, now CTO at Toptal recalls his days(pre-Covid) at AdsWizz embracing the Health Month. Does your company provide you with a stipend for fresh groceries?
Nowadays more and more companies are raising awareness towards employee satisfaction, whether it’s with cooler open office spaces, tons of employee benefits, flexible working hours, working from home, free donuts, etc..
Here at AdsWizz we always try to go one step further and introduce a few extra “goodies” now and then — like offering free pizza for the guys who attend long meetings, funding out-of-the-office group activities, most awesome team-building events, fun hackathons, and so on.
However in my last few years, I noticed that we often overlook one important part within the “Employee Satisfaction” category: The Healthy Personal Lifestyle Program.
This takes me a few years back, when I was handing over tons of free pizza, chips, chocolate bars, cookies, energy drinks and ice cream to my engineering team. They were indeed happier than my Labrador chasing a tennis ball, each time the large container of sugar-bloating, diabetes-inducing items appear through the door. I thought, ‘Was that really the best thing for them?’ or questioned the long term effects. Would that have been a healthy contribution or encouragement towards a healthy lifestyle? Was there really a benefit? Well, the answer was NO, not really.
So to balance the ingestion of not-so-healthy products, and reduce some of the less healthy items, we availed some fruits, and we even built a full blown gym (with showers) in our building!!! But none of those made significant difference. However, our beloved engineers went on to continue the consumption of unhealthy food, did not take advantage of the brand new gym and sadly, did not even touch the healthy fruit treats.
Now back to AdsWizz.
In our employee satisfaction quest to encourage a Healthy Lifestyle, we will continue the practice and dedicate a month from each quarter to be “The Health Month”.
So what’s The Health Month? What’s the fuzz about?
Every quarter, we will pick up an entire month to focus on a Healthy Lifestyle. A typical Health Month will be sponsored by AdsWizz and will be FREE to employees in our office. Throughout the month, from Monday through Friday, we will provide the following healthy fare:
- Monday: Fruits Galore Day.
- Tuesday: Assorted Salads/Soups for Lunch.
- Wednesday: Fresh Orange Juice day
- Tuesday: More Fruits Galore.
- Friday: Salads for Lunch
During the Health Month, AdsWizz will also sponsor and host activities like to promote exercise in and outside the office environment. These can be but not limited to: Marathons, obstacle races, ping-pong tournaments, gym personal training, yoga, Pilates, etc…
For a healthier choice, we now also have an automated fresh orange juice machine in the office that Swizzers can enjoy anytime at a very low cost (0.60$ a cup). As an alternative to caffeine-packed/jitter-inducing coffee, there is no better way to start your day than with a cold and drink full of Vitamin C!!!
Since we first did The Health Month, the results have been excellent and far exceeded our expectations, as the point was not to have just one month of healthy practices and move on, but to introduce and encourage healthy habits for all Swizzers to continue on their own. And it works! We saw some of the pizza-addicted guys, opt for more salads and fruits on their own (outside the health month period). Rather than just driving their cars to work, many of our colleagues began walking or using the bicycle instead. More are also participating in company sport events! Lastly, consumption of coffee has gone down and OJ is now the drink of choice, seen on more desks at Adswizz!
This is just the beginning of a long journey, and obviously not every company will have the budget (or time) to implement such initiatives exactly as described here, but it’s worth a try even at a smaller scale. And will make people not only happier but more motivated, engaged and on a longer term, healthier.