But some companies are going above and beyond the predictable, encouraging their employees to live wellness-centered lives by offering free bikes, nap rooms, standing desks, and even scuba diving lessons (for increased cardio capacity?).
We spoke to healthy-leaning leaders in the business world to bring you this inside peek at seven amazing healthy office perks. Start updating your resume now. —Lisa Elaine Held
Clif Bar’s logo isn’t playing. The protein bar company’s Bay Area headquarters includes a 40-foot climbing wall, and employees get 2.5 paid hours of workout time each week, which they can spend scaling it. They can also work out with a personal trainer, attend a group fitness class, get a subsidized massage or acupuncture session, or get nutritional counseling—all without leaving the premises.
(Photo: Clif Bar)
Missy Farren and Associates (MFA)
Missy Farren’s PR firm represents brands that advocate an active lifestyle, so it makes sense that she wants each of her employees to have one, too. In addition to optional early dismissal on Mondays for workouts and monthly group fitness outings to classes like Equinox’s 30-60-90, full-time employees get a brand-new Schwinn, Cannondale, or Mongoose bike to add calorie-burning to their commutes (or for pedaling leisurely on Sundays).
(Photo: Schwinn Bikes)
No, the staffers at this in-the-know foodie newsletter do not sit around eating Cronuts all day. In fact, they all get to choose between a regular seated desk, a Pilates ball chair, or a standing desk—and the vast majority have opted to stand all day. “I’ve definitely noticed you move around a little more, and you’re more aware of your posture and not so scrunched over your keyboard,” says communications manager Samantha Bernstein. They were also all outfitted with Jawbone Up Bands recently and have been competing against each other for the most steps (with free fitness classes as the prize). So there’s plenty of incentive to pace while both typing and tasting.
(Photo: Tasting Table)
“Sleep is a performance enhancement tool,” Arianna Huffington told The Today Show when they featured the Huffington Post’s two nap rooms on the show, and Huffington is famously sleep-obsessed, dedicating an entire section of her site to the topic. So she encourages her employees to get more by keeping futuristic-looking “nap pods” in said rooms, along with comfy recliners that can also be used for some quick shut-eye.
Healthy app development company Noom has a staff full of engineers and designers, but it also boasts a full-time professional chef, Jane Sakong, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute. Sakong turns the office into a super healthy restaurant every day, with dishes like asparagus with soft tofu and shiso leaf dressing and wild rice with roasted cherry tomatoes, pistachios, and spinach with basil dressing (pictured). Which may make your Pret A Manger wrap taste like a slap in the face.
The Match.com of doctor-patient relationships is known for its healthy perks, but its in-office yoga (pictured) is just the beginning. Rather than trying to find adult leagues around the city, employees can play intramural sports with colleagues, like basketball, soccer, and dodge ball. The less team-sports-inclined can join the Running or Outdoors Club to get active. And the sort-of lazy can at least leave their desks to hit the ping pong table or arcade games once a day.
Chesapeake Energy Corporation
Oklahoma City is not exactly a seaside town, but among the crazy wellness perks that this company based there provides? Scuba diving lessons. (At half price.) Perhaps it encourages vacation time? Employees can also enroll in ballet, aerobics, and flying lessons or take advantage of basketball and racquetball courts.
(Photo: Matthew Mahon for CNN Money)