You may have heard the term “wellness room” lately in conversations or articles about workplace layouts and office design.
If you’re not familiar with the phrase, here’s an introduction to this relatively new concept that’s taking workplaces by storm and how you can create one at your company.
What Is a Wellness Room?
A wellness room is a special area in the workplace that’s designated for quiet time, privacy, recuperation, and escape from the noise and fast pace of the typical office environment.
If you work in an open office space without traditional offices that have walls and doors, you may have noticed an uptick in anxiety and a downturn in your productivity, both consequences of loud, distracting work settings.
Why Are Open Offices So Challenging?
Multiple studies show that, contrary to what was initially believed, open office spaces are more detrimental than helpful. Some of the problems with open office environments include:
- Noise from chatter, meetings, computers, music, and office equipment
- Visual disturbances from others working in the vicinity and passersby
- Time lost when having to regain focus after a disruption
- Lack of privacy for both work conversations and personal business
- Anxiety and depression from a stressful work environment
- Poor employee retention and inability to recruit new employees
- No space for office meetings and other activities requiring a separate room
As you can imagine, all of these factors affect employees’ ability to conduct business, which translates to lost revenue.
Why Should Your Office Have a Wellness Room?
Understanding how troublesome open office environments are, you can probably think of numerous reasons why a wellness room would be beneficial for your workplace.
1. To Meet Legal Requirements for Moms
If you have nursing mothers in your office, it is required you give them a private space for nursing or pumping milk, according to Section 4207 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. A wellness room is the ideal solution for meeting this requirement, and it helps new moms transition back to the workplace after maternity leave.
2. To Create an Atmosphere Conducive to Productive Work
Without any quiet places to work, employees can become frustrated, upset, and ultimately, unproductive. Work teams need a space to meet where they can talk together without disturbing other employees or having to curtail their conversations.
A wellness room can be used for one or two employees who are engaged in high-focus tasks, or it can be utilized for small group meetings, such as for planning, project updates, or practicing presentations.
3. To Provide Privacy for Discreet Conversations and Activities
In every office, there are times when people need to have private conversations:
- Manager feedback on performance and annual employee reviews
- Employees speaking with prospective clients on the phone
- Workers calling a spouse, doctor, or childcare provider
- Management discussing employees, salaries, or other confidential information
- Client pitches and contractor meetings
A wellness room provides a place where anyone can carry on a discussion without being overheard. For employees who need to take regular medication or give themselves injections, a wellness room is also a perfect idea.
4. To Give Employees a Place to Rest and Recuperate
Employees who are working overtime on a project or who aren’t feeling well will appreciate a wellness room as a place to relax and recuperate when they need a bit of rest. This is especially enjoyed by employees with chronic illnesses, migraine sufferers, those back to work after surgery, or those undergoing taxing procedures like chemotherapy.
5. To Offer Space for Employee Extras
A wellness room gives employers in open offices the opportunity to offer little extras that would otherwise not be feasible. For example, companies with wellness rooms use them for:
- Light therapy
- Health screenings
- Massage and alternative health treatments
- Meditation and stretching
These bonuses go a long way in reducing employee frustration and can help increase productivity and employee retention. Happy, relaxed employees are naturally more likely to feel positive about their workplace, and that benefits the employer’s profits when all is said and done.
How Can You Create a Wellness Room in Your Office?
If you are concerned that creating a wellness room in your workplace is a daunting task, rest assured it’s not as difficult as it seems. You don’t have to hire a contractor and build one from scratch thanks to the availability of portable office phone booths and meeting rooms. These booths hold 1-6 people, have electrical outlets and are designed for all the tasks mentioned above.
Products like Zenbooth come in a variety of sizes, with the four-person Executive Room having the perfect dimensions for a wellness room. It’s large enough to fit a table and chairs for meetings and employee reviews and to allow an employee to lie on a yoga mat or enjoy a reclining massage chair.
The Zenbooth Executive Room comes with built-in ventilation and electrical outlets, as well as USB charging stations for portable devices. It’s perfect for both nursing moms and employees who need to work on a laptop or talk on the phone.
It can serve as everything from an impromptu conference room to a meditation room. Other benefits of the Executive Room include:
- Attractive natural wood exterior
- 3.5-inch thick wall construction provides acoustic privacy
- Self-closing door with accessible handle and magnetic latch
- Low door threshold for improved accessibility
- A grommet for phone and data lines
- Shatterproof plexiglass ceiling for natural light
- Three-year warranty
To make your wellness room super functional for your employees or coworkers, consider conducting a survey prior to setting it up, so everyone’s needs are met as best as possible. You may want to add a privacy curtain to the door, depending on your use.
If your wellness room winds up being very popular, you can set up a sign-up sheet, so everyone gets a turn. You may find you want two or three!
For more information about how Zenbooth can easily create a wellness room in your office, contact Zenbooth today. Your employees will thank you, and your business’s bottom line will too!