Just last week I wrote a blog post about hospitals using local art to help create healing environments. Another trend I support is the move by hospitals and healthcare organizations to introduce healthy food options into their cafeterias. Some have even eliminated fast food options (Wendy’s, McDonalds) from their facilities.
It is my belief that those of us who work in healthcare, whether we’re vendors, consultants or direct hospital employees, should model healthy behavior. And those of us in management positions should work to create healthy environments for our employees.
After 15 years in our old location, my firm recently moved our North Carolina office to a new location. This gave us the opportunity we needed to create a more healthy and positive workspace for our employees. For years we’ve lived with a tiny kitchen area that was just big enough for a microwave, coffee maker, and a dorm-sized fridge. It was not conducive to healthy eating, food prep, or even refrigerating fresh foods. We also had no workout space or shower facilities.
When we started looking for our new space, my business partner (Paige) and I specified that we needed to walk-the-walk, not just talk-the-talk when it comes to facilitating healthy living. We take health seriously at Jennings and only seek out clients who work to make the world a healthier place. It’s who we are. So we need to live it.
I’m so proud of our new work environment! We have an outdoor terrace garden where we are growing fresh vegetables, flowers and one cactus (my pet project). One of our art directors, Suzanne Williams, has a serious green thumb and has taken on the garden as her personal project. It’s been amazing to watch its progress. We harvested our first tomato from the garden last week and Suzanne had it for lunch mixed in with a green salad. (See photo below)
Paige and I also added a workout room to our new facility. It’s just big enough for an elliptical machine and a treadmill. And, for those who workout during the day, we added a shower for easy cleanup! (We’re encouraging good health and hygiene!) Our fitness equipment was just delivered two weeks ago. I can’t wait for people to get in the habit of incorporating a workout into their workday.
The feature we added that gets the most use is our new kitchen. It is amazing to have a full-sized fridge with an ice maker! We even have a dishwasher. Speaking for myself, I am eating healthier lunches because of this kitchen. I’ve been on a health kick lately, working out regularly (even on the road) and trying to eat better, so the kitchen has been a great complement to that effort. Hopefully it has the same impact on all of our employees. As a big water drinker, I love having cold, filtered water all day long. It is such a treat.
At Jennings, we want a healthy workforce. Whether we accomplish that by proving a cool workspace (yes, we have a pool table), by promoting healthy eating and exercise, or by adding a terrace garden for employees to enjoy, we are committed to modeling healthy behavior at work. We firmly believe that healthier employees will be happier employees who will provide better service to our clients – and bring better solutions to their marketing challenges.