Managing Wellness

What Is an Employee Wellness Room and Why Is It Important?

  • Employee wellness rooms can help ease stress and tension around the workplace
  • Per Section 4207 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, new mothers need a private, designated space to nurse
  • In addition to meeting legal requirements, ask employees what they would most value in a workplace wellness space
Posted by October 27, 2018

Employee wellness rooms have become popular among organizations seeking to provide employee job satisfaction and improved workplace productivity. These in-office designated wellness spaces are areas for staff members to focus on their health, recharge and escape the day-to-day stresses of work life. The reasons to offer this amenity are endless.

If you’re looking to create an employee wellness room at your office, here are some insights to consider and tips for successful implementation.

What Is a Wellness Space?

A wellness room is a designated quiet area employees can escape to when feeling the pressure of a fast-paced environment—or to simply take some quiet time when they’re not feeling well. Wellness rooms should also provide a private area for nursing mothers, as dictated by Section 4207 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

What Employees Use Wellness Spaces For

Wellness rooms can serve numerous functions and should be customized to meet the unique needs of employees. For example, in addition to lactation purposes, a company’s wellness space might provide a private area for light therapy (using natural light boxes to ease seasonal depression), a place to administer medication, massage chairs for stress relief or even mats for stretching and meditating. Wellness areas can also offer a place for employees with migraines to receive sensory relief.

Benefits of Employee Wellness Rooms

The benefits of employee wellness areas are widespread. These spaces give employees a place to escape to when stress is simply getting the best of them, helping them to feel better supported.

Sometimes having a safe area to unwind is all it takes for an individual to recharge and get the extra boost of energy needed to increase workplace productivity, performance and job satisfaction. Wellness rooms can also double as a space for workaholics to take much-needed breaks throughout the day.

What Should a Wellness Space Look Like?

The way your company’s wellness area should be set up depends on the needs and wants of your colleagues. Will they mainly use the space for unwinding in a dark room, breast milk expression, receiving light therapy, getting a massage or doing relaxing exercises? Ask your fellow employees what they’d most like to see in a wellness room.

Wellness spaces are often split into different sections. One area might be designated for nursing mothers, while another wellness space can be dimly lit for employees needing a break from sensory overload.

Choose comfortable furniture for colleagues to rest in, with enough flat surfaces to place their belongings. Add a few decorations, such as relaxing pictures on walls or throw pillows on soft couches, but avoid cluttering the room. Having a design scheme with subtle colors—especially pale hues like light gray and beige—makes it easier for employees to relax and unwind.

Poll Fellow Employees for Input

It’s a good idea to have a chat with your coworkers (or hand out employee surveys) to determine what components of an employee wellness room sound most appealing to them. Is it a quiet place to unwind, recharge, pump breast milk or receive light therapy? What about an area filled with mats for yoga or tai chi? Knowing what your colleagues value can help you make the most of a wellness room and fully reap its benefits. Additionally, asking for their input—and implementing related changes—can help demonstrate that you have their best interests in mind.

Looking for other effective ways to engage your fellow employees? Visit United Concordia Dental’s website to learn more about the various wellness resources on offer.

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