It’s common knowledge that maintaining healthy habits and taking breaks throughout the day improves focus and mood, productivity, and general well-being. Yet even the most health-conscious individuals often find themselves stationed in front of a computer for hours on end while at work and resort to catching up with all things wellness in the off-hours… if at all. So why not create opportunities for your members to practice wellness during the day?
Encouraging good health is an often overlooked aspect of coworking that may improve the atmosphere of your space as well as draw in new members. As an owner or manager of a coworking space, you may not be able to establish policies around wellness, but you can certainly create a culture of wellness. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Hold a regular yoga class in your space. This might be taught by a local teacher you invite in or perhaps you have someone working at your space who has the skill to share. Offer the class for free, charge it as an add-on to a membership, or make it a donation-based class where the money goes directly to the teacher.
- Provide healthy(er) snacks in the kitchen. We all love donuts, cookies, and other baked goods. But many people really appreciate seeing food that provides nourishment, satiety and does not cause a blood sugar high followed by a crash. Try fruit, cheese, hummus, olives, seeds and nuts, dark chocolate, or baked goods that have a bit more to offer (quiche, homemade energy bars, etc).
- Establish a space “lunch hour”. Of course, this cannot be mandatory, but creating the norm of taking a midday break is huge for re-focusing. Members can spend it eating, walking, reading a book… just about anything that gets them away from the desk and screens.
- Create a comfortable room dedicated to quiet wellness activities. This space can be used for stretching, reading, napping, or writing. Think yoga mats, foam rollers, a meditation pillow, a bookshelf, a couch, a cozy rug, and tea.
- Provide fruit and herb-infused water. Next to the coffee pot, fill a large pitcher of water with citrus slices, mint leaves, or lemon verbena sprigs. Get creative and watch your members enjoy an excuse to drink more water.
- Organize a daily walk around the neighborhood. If it’s at the same time every day, interested members can plan accordingly.
- Collaborate with gyms. Post the schedules of local gyms and studios to inform members of exercise classes and special offers in the area. Consider collaborating with a local gym to offer a membership discount for your coworkers or vice-versa.
- Set up your space as a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box pick-up site. Support farmers and make local produce accessible to your members at the same time.
- Share a recipe. Feature a recipe using seasonal produce each week. This will save everyone the extra step of figuring out what to make for dinner at the end of the day. Your members will very likely have some great contributions!
- Make use of any outdoor space you have. Large or small, a patio with comfortable chairs, a table for eating, a few potted plants or an herb garden gives members the space to leave the confines of the building for fresh air and still work or take a phone call.
- Expand your desk options. Have alternative desk options available that allow members to stand and move. Ergonomic chairs and sit-stand desks give your members a whole new way to work.
- Encourage wellness practitioners to work out of your space. Having acupuncturists, massage therapists, nutritionists, physical therapists, etc. on-site will enhance your wellness vibe and make it inexcusably convenient for members to schedule appointments.
At the end of the day, it’s really up to your members to take control of their own health, however, they will likely find additional value in your coworking space if you’re making it as easy as possible with these supportive steps towards wellness.