- Even prior to the pandemic, coworking spaces were known for their wellness-oriented offerings, with some brands even basing their whole value system in supporting the health of members.
- However wellness is defined, the value it can bring to any business, especially the coworking industry, is critical for longevity to both the business and the members that drive it.
- Because remote workers flock to coworking spaces for camaraderie and are also at high risk for depleted mental health, introducing a structured wellness program can ensure that this growing population of professionals is supported and nurtured.
Wellness can mean a lot of things to different people, especially in terms of an environment.
For some, it can come to fruition in the form of design, with biophilia-inspired offices lining the walls with live greenery and other natural materials that have been proven to improve the health of occupants.
Others may find it in the form of physical wellness, incorporating yoga studios within their space to make achieving fitness goals easy.
However wellness is defined, prioritizing it can bring immense value to any business, especially in the coworking industry, and is critical for longevity to both the business and the members that drive it.
For one, workplace wellness programs have been found to improve the overall health of workers. In fact, one study from Oxford Academics shows that workers who participated in wellness programs saw lower medical costs, better productivity and a healthier wellbeing.
Because remote workers flock to coworking spaces for camaraderie and are also at high risk for depleted mental health, introducing a structured wellness program can ensure that this growing population of professionals is supported and nurtured.
How Coworking Operators Can Build Their Own Wellness Plans
First and foremost, operators should understand that there are two distinct segments of any wellness program: physical and mental. Once that is clearly in mind, the next step is to get curious.
Building a wellness plan for a coworking center should start with one question: what do your members want?
It’s a loaded inquiry, sure, but knowing the audience is key in curating a program that makes sense and is lucrative for the overall business.
Members should be surveyed directly to know what they desire from their work environment. This can vary widely depending on the member, so having data that validates a specific portion of the program will be crucial.
Once the findings have been collected, operators can begin to narrow down their focus and form a wellness program that touches on all the wishes members have shared.
Creating the foundation for a thorough wellness program can take many forms, but here are just a few steps to get started:
1. Hire someone to lead the initiative
To ensure that members have a full understanding of the wellness benefits they have access to, companies should put someone in charge of the program.
The Chief Wellness Officer (or any other catchy title) would be responsible for making sure that the wellness program is delivered to members in a timely manner — and is meeting both their needs and the space’s business objectives.
2. Partner with organizations that specialize in curating wellness programs
As mentioned before, wellness programs can feature a wide variety of offerings that address the overall wellbeing of workers.
However, to help narrow down the scope, organizations should focus on three components of their programs: mental health, physical health and financial health.
For instance, mental health offerings can come in the form of connecting coworking members to virtual therapy programs. Apps like BetterHelp and TalkSpace are just two examples of websites that have made it easy to connect to a mental health professional.
To support financial health, a coworking center can bring in experts and coaches that provide members with advice and planning on how to manage their finances.
For physical health support, think beyond including a gym facility. Do you have members who could host a yoga class? Could your space partner with a local martial arts studio to teach a self-defense class? Would your members be interested in fielding a softball or kickball team that you could sponsor for a local league?
By curating a wellness program specifically for your coworking members, the benefits of joining the space begin to extend beyond camaraderie and potential collaboration. It shows a distinct interest in supporting the future trajectory of these professionals, while also being proactive in making sure that members can access benefits they may not be able to get on their own or from their current employer.