How does your role at Haworth help you to make workplace wellness choices not only for your own office, but for others as well?
With my role at Haworth, I have the opportunity to work directly with clients to imbed wellness into the design of workspaces. At an individual scale, Haworth can provide ergonomic furniture; on a larger scale, we can work with project teams to ensure the entire office landscape supports movement throughout the day. At Haworth, we do a lot of research to support the positive returns organizations can see on their investment in wellness programs. We look to both quantitative and qualitative measures and find that many of the most impactful results are considerably harder to measure.
In your opinion, what are some of the best ways to create and encourage workplace wellness?
I strongly believe that the most important first steps for an organization to create and encourage workplace wellness is through clear communication and leadership buy-in. Communication needs to come from the top down and the bottom up. Employees need to see their leaders embracing the changes, as this will give them permission to follow suit; yet it’s also very important that leaders understand what programs are relevant to their own employees. If the program doesn’t fit with the company’s culture, old habits will return.
You serve on the mspWellness committee. What made you want to join the mspWellness committee?
I joined the mspWellness committee because I believe wellness is something we all deserve in our workplaces. Larger companies are recognizing the value of wellness programs and often have internal champions or even dedicated staff to run them. The mspWellness program gives access to these ideas to companies that maybe don’t yet have the resources to invest individually. The committee is made up of a diverse group of people that know that a workplace doesn’t have to erode healthy behaviors. In fact, we know that a workplace can actually support individuals in an organization to leave work at the end of the day healthier – physically and mentally – than when they first arrived.
How do you think you and the committee will help to shape and grow the mspWellness program going forward?
I think the strength of this committee will come from our diverse backgrounds. Wellness can and should mean different things to everyone, and I appreciate that we have varying categories of expertise. “Where do I start?” is typically the hardest answer to arrive at for an organization interested in implementing a wellness program. This committee can use our collective knowledge base to guide organizations on those first steps. I think our committee can call ourselves successful if we are able to keep the conversation on wellness going; education will go a long way to making our collective business community that much healthier.