These days, everyone is looking for ways to bring more fitness and healthier habits into their lives. It can be tough. Whether you’re a parent or a pet parent (or both!), work part-time or full-time, or have parents or family members to care for, we are all pretty busy. Wellness is sometimes the last thing on our minds by necessity.
However, as an employer at Ollie, a company committed to wellness for pets, I consider bringing fitness and general wellness into my workplace culture a moral responsibility. I also consider it a solid business move! People who feel good come to work every day, have more energy, and are generally more motivated to accomplish their goals. So, for me, implementing wellness programs and perks into my company’s typical Monday-Friday office routine is a no-brainer.
Here are four tactics my cofounders — Gabby Slome and Randy Jimenez — and I use to foster workplace wellness at our New York City office:
1. Monthly Team Workouts
Each month we encourage our employees to participate in a different team workout activity, ranging from rock climbing to CrossFit to boxing and more. We always select something that is doable for all levels of athleticism, and we try to introduce our people to different ways to get themselves moving during the day. The hope is that one or two of these activities will really appeal to each employee, and they will begin incorporating those activities into their daily lives somehow.
2. Revamp the Refrigerator
Even the healthiest of eaters snack at work, so I insist on making sure my team has access to a variety of healthy foods and beverages that will give them the 3 p.m. boost we all seem to need. Rather than stacks of bagels and potato chips, our pantry contains fresh fruit, granola bars, string cheese, yogurt, and nuts. That’s not to say we never stock the often in-demand Pork Cloud chips, but we do try to offer employees healthy options, should they prefer them.
3. Food for Thought
One of the main reasons my cofounders and I began Ollie was because we wanted more transparency into the food we were feeding our pups. We feel the same about what we feed ourselves.
Whenever possible, we integrate educational outings into our company milestone celebrations. For example, our team recently visited the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, where we got a tour of the grounds and learned how the center has created a healthy, sustainable food system on its farm. If we want to promote health and wellness among our workers, it is important that we arm them with information on how to maintain nutritional diets both in and outside the office.
4. Camaraderie Counts
We believe the team that sweats together stays together, which is why we prioritize wellness activities that can be done as a group, from our previously mentioned monthly workouts to company-sponsored mini-triathlons.
Because wellness is such an important part of our company DNA, we tend to attract employees who also prioritize it. We’re lucky, then, because that means our employees don’t hesitate to take their wellness into their own hands together. For example, the members of one department all work out with the same trainer at the gym in our office building, and some employees even conduct meetings while working out together.
Our overall mission is to create a culture where fitness is celebrated, makes our employees happier, and brings them closer together. By implementing these four strategies, we’ve been able to achieve just that.
Alex Douzet is cofounder of Ollie.
Alex Douzet is a serial entrepreneur and the cofounder of Ollie, the next-gen direct-to-consumer natural, refrigerated, human-grade pet food and wellness brand. Before Ollie, he was cofounder and CEO of TheLadders, as well as director of online marketing at HotJobs and the manager of marketing planning and analysis for BMG Direct. Alex has an MBA in general management from INSEAD, an MS in direct marketing from New York University, and a BS in business administration from the University of Lyon III in France. He is also a competitive triathlete and a five-time Ironman finisher.