Chances are, you’ll agree that the work environment can sometimes get notoriously stressful. More and more organisations are acknowledging the importance of employee wellbeing and are keen on implementing wellness initiatives in the workplace—like the ‘Wellness Day’. Let’s delve deeper into how planning the ultimate office ‘Wellness Day’ could be the transformative solution your workplace needs to boost overall health and wellbeing.
What is a Wellness Day?
Wellness Day—an entire day dedicated to fostering employee health and wellness at work—provides a refreshing pause, a much-desired escape from routine stressors, and a time to focus on rejuvenating the mind, and body. Imagine spending an entire day engaging in yoga sessions, participating in mindfulness workshops, or learning stress management techniques! And the best part is that incorporating such a day in your work routine can bring tangible benefits like lower stress levels, increased employee engagement, lower employee turnover, and improved overall team morale.
Why Your Office Needs a Wellness Day
Our workplaces can be a major source of stress. With proven benefits for employee health and wellbeing, more organisations are implementing wellness initiatives like Wellness Day events. Wellness Day provides a full day dedicated to employee health, stress management, and self-care skills. It’s a chance for staff to pause their usual workload and focus on activities that rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit. From yoga sessions to mindfulness workshops, employees learn positive ways to better manage stress and life balance.
The advantages of a Wellness Day are numerous. It boosts morale, satisfaction, and team bonding. It promotes a culture of health that reduces burnout and improves concentration. With healthier, happier, and less stressed employees, organisations see increased creativity and engagement. Wellness Days also show employees that leadership cares about their wellbeing. This investment in people can pay off through better retention.
For both employees and employers, Wellness Day delivers a much-needed break from daily stresses to refresh, gain perspective, and prioritise wellbeing. When incorporated as an ongoing program, it can provide lasting changes that benefit not just individuals and but organisations, too.
Reducing Employee Stress
Workplace stress is a major concern for both employees and employers. According to studies, over 76% of workers feel stressed on the job. High stress levels can lead to burnout, lower engagement and productivity, and increased absenteeism.
There are many potential causes of workplace stress:
- Excessive work demands and “always on” work culture
- Lack of control over one’s schedule, workload, or decision-making
- Office politics, conflict with coworkers or managers
- Long commutes, noisy or cramped office environments
- Job insecurity or lack of social support
Chronic stress takes a toll on both physical and mental health. Effects can include fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, weight gain, weakened immune system, and increased risk for various diseases.
To combat workplace stress, companies can promote stress-reducing initiatives such as:
- Flexible work options – ability to work remotely, adjust start/end times, take time off
- Wellness programs – onsite massages, yoga classes, discounted gym memberships
- Mindfulness and meditation training
- Employee support programs providing counseling and stress management resources
- Workspaces designed for comfort, natural light, and calm
- Team building activities to improve workplace culture and relationships
- Workload adjustments to prevent burnout
- Training managers to spot signs of stress and provide support
- First Aid for Mental Health Courses for Managers and team leaders to help spot signs of mental health issues
By making employee wellbeing a priority and reducing stress triggers, companies can cultivate a healthier, more engaged, and happier workforce.
Promoting Work-Life Balance
A healthy work-life balance is key for reducing employee stress and burnout. Companies can take steps to promote better balance for their staff.
Encouraging Employees to Take Breaks
Employers should encourage workers to take regular breaks throughout the day. Taking short 5-10 minute breaks every 1-2 hours allows the mind to rest and recharge. Stepping away from the desk to stretch, grab a snack, chat with co-workers, or even meditate for a few minutes can provide mental relief. Breaks are essential for productivity and wellbeing.
Offering Flexible Work Arrangements
Providing options like remote working, flexible schedules, or job sharing gives employees more control over their time. This allows them to better manage personal responsibilities alongside work. Flexibility empowers people to take care of needs at home while still performing excellently at their jobs.
Setting Healthy Boundaries
Workers need help setting boundaries and leaving work behind at the end of the day. Managers can set the example by not sending late night emails or calling after hours. Policies can also discourage off-the-clock work. Creating a cut-off time where people must leave the office prevents overwork. Employees should be coached on strategies to mentally “switch off” at the end of the workday.
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and focusing your awareness on your thoughts, feelings and surroundings. It has become a popular way for people to combat stress and anxiety.
Practicing mindfulness can provide a number of benefits for employees:
- Improved focus and concentration
- Decreased stress and anxiety
- Increased resilience and ability to manage challenges
- More positive outlook and improved wellbeing
There are simple mindfulness techniques employees can practice during the workday to help refresh and reset:
- Taking a short breathing break – stop what you’re doing, close your eyes, take 10 deep breaths
- Going for a mindful walk – walk slowly while paying close attention to your senses and surroundings
- Practicing mindful listening – focus completely on what a co-worker or client is saying without interrupting or multitasking
- Consciously relaxing your body – notice areas of muscle tension and consciously relax them
Wellbeing in Your Office offers Mindfulness in the Workplace workshops which have been proven to reduce stress and improve engagement in the workplace. Training often involves guided meditations, mindful communication practices and periods of silent reflection. Studies show mindfulness programs in the workplace can improve employee wellbeing, focus, empathy and resilience over time.
Setting aside dedicated time for mindfulness practice, whether individually or as a group, is an impactful wellness initiative. A little mindfulness goes a long way towards helping employees manage stress and performance.
Taking Time for Wellness Activities
Taking time out of the workday for wellness activities like yoga, meditation, or stretching breaks can provide huge benefits for employee health, wellbeing, and productivity. Giving employees designated times for movement, mindfulness, or other wellbeing practices helps reduce stress, improve focus, boost energy levels, enhance morale, and more.
Getting employees up and moving for even just 5-10 minutes every hour has been shown to increase blood flow to the brain, allowing people to think more clearly and be more productive. Taking short breaks to stand, stretch, or do light exercises at the desk can help relieve muscle tension and eyestrain from computer work. This helps avoid repetitive stress injuries while also refreshing the mind.
Having a dedicated space at the office for wellness activities makes it easier for employees to take quick wellbeing breaks. Companies like Google, LinkedIn, and Apple have designed creative nap pods, meditation rooms, and indoor walking paths to promote movement and mental resets during the workday. Providing yoga mats, stretch bands, or open floor areas for brief workout breaks can encourage employees to be more active.
Setting aside time for longer wellness sessions like a 30-minute onsite yoga class at lunch or a guided meditation mid-afternoon is another great initiative. This allows employees to fully immerse themselves and gives permission to take a substantial mental recharge break. Whether it’s yoga, meditation, dance breaks, breathwork, or simple stretching sessions, taking time during work for wellness boosts energy, motivation, and focus so employees can be at their best.
Creating Healthy Office Spaces
A healthy office environment can make a big difference in reducing employee stress and promoting wellbeing. Here are some ways to design and organise your office to support wellness:
Suggestions for ergonomic workstations
- Invest in adjustable desks and chairs so employees can find the right positioning for their bodies. This helps prevent neck, back, wrist, and eye strain.
- Provide ergonomic keyboards, mice, and wrist rests to allow for better wrist positioning and reduce risk of repetitive strain injuries.
- Offer large enough monitors so employees don’t have to strain their eyes or necks to view their screens properly.
- Make sure employees take regular breaks from sitting – standing desks or balance boards can help.
Natural lighting, plants, and layouts
- Maximise natural lighting through windows, skylights, and other openings to boost energy and moods.
- Incorporate live plants which can reduce stress, increase creativity, and purify indoor air.
- Organise space to encourage movement, collaboration, and variety – avoid employees being sedentary all day.
- Use calming colors on walls and ensure clutter is minimised.
Walking meetings outdoors
- Taking meetings outdoors while walking around the office or the neighborhood gets people moving and sharing ideas in a relaxed, creative environment.
- Walking meetings break up the day, reducing restlessness from excessive sitting and screen time.
- Being outside in nature, exposing skin to sunlight, and breathing fresh air has measurable benefits for mental health, focus, and outlook.
- Employees often feel more comfortable conversing while walking side-by-side than sitting across a table, enhancing communication.
Supporting Employee Wellness
A wellness day event is a great way to introduce employees to self-care practices and wellbeing initiatives, but the support shouldn’t end after the event is over. To create a culture that truly prioritises employee health and wellbeing, organisations need to provide ongoing resources, model healthy behaviors from leadership, and normalise conversations about stress and burnout.
Some ways managers can continue supporting employee wellness include:
- Stocking the office kitchen with healthy snacks and beverages. Having nutritious options on hand makes it easier for employees to avoid junk food and make better choices throughout the workday.
- Distributing a monthly wellness newsletter with health tips, stress management advice, and information about local wellbeing events and activities.
- Maintaining an internal channel dedicated to wellness where people can access resources and connect with each other. Having an online hub prevents wellness from getting lost among other communications.
- Sponsoring discounted gym memberships or yoga classes to remove barriers to exercise and mindfulness practices. Even small incentives demonstrate that the company cares.
- Allowing flexible schedules so employees can attend medical appointments or care for personal needs. Accommodating individual circumstances relieves stress.
- Encouraging walking meetings and movement breaks to interrupt long periods of sedentary work. This gets people energised and promotes better health.
- Having managers model self-care by avoiding emails after hours, using up all the holiday time, and talking openly about the importance of work-life balance. Employees are more likely to prioritise wellness if leaders do.
- Destigmatising stress, anxiety, and burnout by speaking openly about the impacts of stress and acknowledging that it’s a common struggle. Normalising these conversations encourages people to seek help early before problems escalate.
With ongoing investment in resources and culture change, the impact of a wellness day can ripple far beyond the day itself. Employees will feel valued and supported in making their health a priority.
Planning a Wellness Day Event
A Wellness Day is a great opportunity to provide employees with a break from their usual routine and a chance to focus on their health and wellbeing. Here are some tips for planning a successful event:
Activities to Include
- Yoga or meditation sessions – Hire an instructor to lead a yoga, tai chi, or meditation class. This promotes mindfulness and stress relief.
- Chair massages – Massage therapists can provide short 5-10 minute shoulder and neck massages to employees right at their desks.
- Fitness challenges – Set up stations for activities like push-ups, squats, or planks and have employees challenge each other. Offer prizes for winners.
- Healthy snacks – Provide nutrient-dense foods like fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, or yogurt. Avoid sugary or processed foods.
- Wellness workshops – Host workshops on nutrition, ergonomics, stress management, or work-life balance.
- Walking challenges – Encourage employees to track steps and have walking meetings. Offer rewards for hitting step goals.
- Promote the event in advance through emails, posters, intranet announcements, and team meetings. Emphasise the activities, prizes, and how employees will benefit.
- Incentivise participation by providing perks like gift cards, extra time off, or casual dress days for those who attend sessions or events.
- Get team leaders engaged and challenge different departments to have the highest attendance. Make it competitive and fun.
Invite Wellness Vendors
- Look for local wellness businesses or specialists like gyms, spas, health food stores, or mental health counselors and invite them to host sessions or activities.
- Vendors may provide services at reduced costs in exchange for promotional opportunities at the event.
- Having outside experts lead sessions adds variety and expertise.
The Wellness Day should serve as a motivating and re-energising break from work. With thoughtful planning and promotion, you can create an event that improves morale, reduces stress, and supports employee health.
Following Up After Wellness Day
It’s important to follow up after a wellness day event to keep the momentum going and make wellness a continual priority at your organisation. Here are some tips:
- Send out surveys to employees to gather feedback on what they enjoyed from wellness day and what they’d like to see more of. Consider sending one survey right after the event while it’s fresh and another a few weeks later to see if they’ve implemented anything they learned.
- Discuss at company meetings or in your internal communications ways to keep wellness top of mind. Highlight wellness resources available, share success stories, and brainstorm new ideas.
- Provide ongoing resources like discounted gym memberships, access to meditation apps, healthy snacks in the office, standing desks, etc. Wellness can’t just be one day – it needs to be woven into company culture.
- Set up a Wellness Committee or appoint Wellness Ambassadors to help organise future events and initiatives. This gives employees ownership over wellness programs.
- Consider monthly or quarterly wellness days/weeks focused on specific themes like mental health, physical fitness, nutrition, sleep, etc. This makes wellness an ongoing emphasis.
- Offer incentives like gift cards to employees who achieve wellness goals.
- Share tips and advice regularly through newsletters, email, intranet, or other channels on wellness topics like ergonomics, stress management, healthy eating on a budget, etc.
The key is sustaining the energy from your wellness day by making resources and activities conveniently accessible to employees on an ongoing basis. Following up shows you care about their wellbeing long-term.
The Benefits of Prioritising Wellness in the Workplace
Making wellness a priority in the workplace provides a wide range of benefits for both individual employees and the organisation as a whole. When employees are supported in reducing stress, achieving work-life balance, and practicing mindfulness, they become more engaged, productive, and likely to thrive at work.
Regular wellbeing programs and activities lead to higher job satisfaction, better focus, improved morale, and lower absenteeism. Employees experience less burnout when their wellness needs are met. They have the energy and positivity to handle daily workplace challenges and be fully present.
For the organisation, a culture of wellness results in higher retention rates, stronger company loyalty, better talent recruitment, and a more resilient workforce. By supporting employees holistically, companies see gains in productivity, innovation, and bottom lines.
When companies walk the talk and make wellness central to their culture, it sends a powerful message. Employees feel valued as whole people, not just workers. They feel invested in and supported, empowering them to do their best work. A shared commitment to wellness builds community and connectivity.
By taking the time for wellness, companies tap into the deep human need for health and purpose. An inspired, thriving team is the secret ingredient behind any organisation’s success. The benefits begin by taking that first step to prioritise employee wellbeing. When companies support the whole person, they unleash their greatest asset: human potential. The returns are immense.
Wellness Day: Conclusion
As we’ve discovered throughout this conversation on wellness, a fundamental shift towards a healthier and more balanced work environment offers meaningful rewards for both employees and organizations. An Office Wellness Day isn’t just a feel-good event—it’s an investment in human capital, turbocharging productivity, boosting morale, and promoting a culture of wellness that yields significant results
To reap these benefits, advocates for wellness need to go beyond organizing one-off initiatives—they should strive to integrate wellness into the company culture in a way that is ongoing, sustainable, and that values each employee’s unique health needs. The commitment to employee wellbeing must extend beyond the Wellness Day itself to create a nurturing, healthy environment that promotes individual and collective wellbeing every day.
Let us help you with your Wellness Day
Let Wellbeing in Your Office be your partner in creating the perfect Office Wellness Day for your organisation. Our wide range of services—including Wellness Workshops, Office Yoga, Chair Yoga, Stress Reduction, Mindfulness at Work sessions, and Nutrition or Art Therapy workshops—provide the comprehensive support needed to design an incredible and personalised Wellness Day experience that caters to every employee’s individual needs. Our online workshops are accessible from anywhere in the world!
Join the ranks of our many satisfied clients and give your team the tools to thrive in a happier and healthier work environment. Get in touch with our passionate team of wellbeing experts today to start planning your unforgettable Office Wellness Day event!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for general knowledge and educational purposes only. It should not be construed as professional health, legal, or business advice. Readers should always consult with appropriate health professionals, human resource experts, or legal advisors for specific concerns related to mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of publication, Wellbeing In Your Office cannot be held responsible for any subsequent changes, updates, or revisions of the aforementioned content.