What Tech Companies Are Doing to Keep Employees Healthy

by Modis on July 31, 2017

Tech companies focus on improving employee health

A techie’s day can be hectic on the best of days, making it difficult to focus on health. Here are some tech companies that believe in doing their part to help encourage employee health, leading to higher levels of productivity and innovation.

 

 

Mind

GreenPal (Uber for Lawn Mowing) co-founder Gene Caballero says “what we offer is a unique perk to all of our 13 employees, and future employees, it’s a music room.” Why a music room? Originally Caballero started doing this during a move when he realized he didn’t have room for his keyboard and guitar in his new apartment and decided to bring the instruments into the office.

How does this help employee health? Caballero believes “playing an instrument has been scientifically proven to engage practically every area of the brain at once especially the visual, auditory, and motor cortices.” He goes on to say “the brain is a muscle and learning and playing music is like a full body workout strengthens those brain functions, allowing us to apply that strength to other activities… like creativity.”

Body

At Badger Mapping, a field sales route planning software company, founder and CEO, Steven Benson says he believes in “providing healthy snacks, food and drinks at the office is a very important aspect of establishing a health-conscious work environment. I’ve made this decision early on and my employees have become healthier, happier and ultimately more productive.”

When it comes to the body’s ‘input’ Benson’s company offers employees a selection of healthy foods like eggs, avocados, spinach, a variety of nuts such as almonds and cashews, fresh fruit and other produce delivered fresh daily. Employees can even use a hard-boiled egg steamer the company has made available. In the kitchen, employees frequently use the water machine for filtered water or make coffee with the company’s own cold brew 10 gallon cold brew maker. “One great thing about cold brew is that people use less or no sugar in it, because it’s not as bitter as normal coffee”, says Benson. The company helps employees stay healthy and does not stock sugary drinks like sodas. At Badger Mapping, leadership believes even though it costs much more to buy healthy food versus high calorie snacks, it’s worth it!” Benson says “I believe it enhances our employees quality of life.”

When it comes to ‘output’ James McCarthy, CEO of two tech firms, BoldTask, a web design company, and Placement Labs, an SEO services company says, “the health and well-being of my employees is something that I consider to be paramount, as a healthy employee is very often a productive employee.” McCarthy has provided each employee with a FitBit activity tracker and encouraged they link up with their co-workers, so everyone can see everyone else’s activity.

McCarthy shares, “it seems to have fostered a healthy competition (literally and figuratively), as they seem engaged in attempting to be the weekly winner for most steps walked.” He even encourages teams to get up every hour and move around more, not just to burn calories, but also to give their eyes and brains a rest.

Sébastien Pierre, CEO of FFunction, a Canadian based data visualization company, tells Modis, last year they implemented a bike-to-work initiative, whereby “the company covers the cost of bike tune-ups and repairs for the team to encourage everyone to commute to work by bicycle.

Soul

Since the implementation of the FitBits at Badger Mapping, McCarthy says he has seen a fairly sharp decrease in illness-related absenteeism, and several times. “Employees have even reached out to thank me for their tracker, as they have seen weight loss results which they enjoy,” he says.

Pierre says at FFunction, the initiative is working well; they currently have around 50% of their staff biking to the studio.

At Greenpal, Caballero shares that one of their employees who has been using the office music room is now even become a singer/songwriter and is pitching a few of his songs to a couple publishing companies.

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