Why Wellbeing Wednesday is a great employee benefit?

A quick summary:

  • What is wellbeing Wednesday?
  • Why does it work so brilliantly?
  • 6 wellbeing Wednesday ideas to try
  • Our final thoughts on wellbeing Wednesday

When we think of employee benefits and how wellbeing fits into the equation, Wellbeing Wednesday is the perfect combination. Not only does it support a happier, healthier work-life balance, but also serves as a benefit to be excited about each week.

What’s also great about Wellbeing Wednesday is its simplicity. Essentially, all we have is a themed day, which gives leadership teams the flexibility of how best to spend it - something we’ll discuss later on. 

When it comes to popularity, we found the term ‘Wellbeing Wednesday’ to have more than 1,900 Google searches each month. This just goes to show how much individuals, groups, and organisations are picking up on this trend. In addition to this, a further 390 searches are made for “Wellbeing Wednesday ideas” each month.

So, what’s all this hype really about? Is Wellbeing Wednesday here to stay, or does it simply tick a box and offer little meaning to the overall employee experience?

In this article, we’ll explore a number of things. We’ll start by establishing a solid definition of the term, before turning our attention to the benefits, and finally, some ideas for you to try — let’s jump right into this one!

What is Wellbeing Wednesday?

It would be wrong to assume every leader understands what Wellbeing Wednesday means. After all, many organisations are still to make the leap towards more health and wellbeing benefits.

According to Small Business Trends, Wellbeing Wednesday refers to the promotion of healthier lifestyles by organisations. It’s about sharing tips and ideas around things like sleep health, nutrition, mindfulness and exercise.

The above statement is a very suitable summary, but let’s add our own Heka spin on the subject. We’d add that in addition to promoting healthier living, it’s important employers are proactive and intentional with their efforts.

Leadership teams possess a lot of influence over their workforce, so encouragement can go a long way. However, people should also be given the tools to improve their physical, mental or emotional wellbeing.

This, of course, comes in the form of Wellbeing Wednesdays, but also flexibility in general. Can employees hit the gym in the morning and start work later? Do employees have access to discounted fitness memberships or feel as though their health and happiness are true priorities for employers?

Fundamentally, this themed wellbeing day does offer a lot of positivity when it comes to team morale, job satisfaction, employee engagement and more. I can be an extremely cost-effective addition to your benefits package, and something your team may genuinely look forward to each week.

A calendar next to a coffee and bread basket
What is employee wellbeing?

Why does Wellbeing Wednesday work brilliantly? 

To dive deeper into why Wellbeing Wednesday works so brilliantly, you must consider who exactly benefits from it and why. 

For leadership teams, Wellbeing Wednesday is the perfect answer to an employee benefits package. Why? Because it’s their chance to really get to know their team's attributes and individual personalities.

In a laid-back environment, people are themselves, and this proves great for connecting with employees and building better relationships. 

Now, this of course depends on how leaders choose to spend Wellbeing Wednesday, but if it’s a group activity that involves communication or collaboration, this is great news!

The thing some companies fail to see with Wellbeing Wednesday is its flexibility for it to be whatever you choose. The best leaders will find ways to combine teamwork and collaboration without making the activity feel too corporate and boring. 

Our advice to leadership teams is to truly think of clever wellbeing activities that give insight into the people in the team. No, this isn’t a team-building exercise, but it also doesn’t have to be just a silly gathering. 

Here at Heka, we host our own Wellbeing Wednesday, which takes shape in one of two ways. Each Wednesday, the team either finishes early to focus on a wellbeing activity, or we all play a virtual game together. Yes, it’s as simple as that, and yes, team members really do reap the benefits of these kinds of events.

Move away from workload

To begin with, Wellbeing Wednesday allows your team to step away from their workloads and focus on something else. While it isn’t directly a break as such, this change in focus will enrich the productivity and happiness of your team.

Sometimes, employees feel guilty about taking breaks, but there are so many benefits from moving away from busy schedules and workloads. In fact, the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) recommends taking regular breaks. Instead of having 20 minutes every two hours, HSE suggests a five to ten-minute pause each hour.

The benefits of working in intervals include boosted creativity, reduced stress, fewer injuries, aches and pains and so much more. We highlight this, because the only difference between a break and a Wellbeing Wednesday activity, is that it also improves employee engagement too!

Build relationships with team members

Wellbeing Wednesday also improves relationships not with leadership teams, but amongst colleagues and across other departments. It can sometimes be difficult collectively engaging in something other than work tasks and work-related meetings, so Wellbeing Wednesday is a great option. 

Whether it’s supporting one another with mental health discussions, or explaining the benefits of breathwork training to a colleague, Wellbeing Wednesday does wonders for relationships throughout the company and at all levels. 

Still not sold? Here’s one simple stat that might change your mind: employee satisfaction increases nearly 50% when developing closer relationships at work.

Enhance overall employee wellbeing

Last but most certainly not least, Wellbeing Wednesday enhances overall employee wellbeing. That’s because it breaks up the week and offers team members something to look forward to. Whether it’s finishing early, playing virtual games, or in-office yoga sessions, everyone can benefit. For some, it’s focusing on a new activity that alleviates stress, for others it’s the social interaction that enriches our day. Ultimately, it’s the theme of wellbeing and self-care that helps transform teams at this midweek event. 

Other benefits to consider of Wellbeing Wednesday:

Below, we’ve included six other benefits. While these didn’t make the list above, they are equally important and should be considered in your decision-making.

  1. Improved retention
  2. Higher levels of engagement
  3. Fewer employee healthcare costs
  4. Less frequent sick days
  5. Increased sense of togetherness
  6. Enhanced work-life balance
A woman doing a yoga pose in a fitness studio setting
Why does Wellbeing Wednesday work so well?

What are some Wellbeing Wednesday Ideas?

As we mentioned earlier, we would finally reach the topic of Wellbeing Wednesday ideas, and the various ways your team can celebrate this weekly occasion. Below, we’ve compiled some of the most common Wellbeing Wednesday ideas to implement into your wider employee benefits package. 

On-site Wellbeing Wednesday Ideas

Starting with on-site wellbeing ideas, these work best for teams that are working together in the same space. So, get the team together and give these a try!

Lunch & Learn

Lunch and Learns have become a modern-day phenomenon in progressive and forward-thinking companies. Each Wednesday, leadership teams can organise a lunch and learn that focuses on something entirely unrelated to work and closer to self-care, health and wellbeing. 

For example, one lunch and learn idea would be to a financial wellbeing session, followed by a short discussion about the benefits of budgeting, saving and investing - leaders could even go one step further and hire an external financial coach to deliver the talks. 

A group of employees taking notes during a lunch and learn session at work
Lunch and learns have increased in popularity tenfold

Chair Yoga Classes

Developed in 1982, chair yoga is exactly what it sounds like, yoga involving a chair. It takes influences from asanas, which is often used in modern-day yoga as exercise. The reason chair yoga is so effective as a wellbeing Wednesday idea is its practicality, simplicity and emphasis on employee wellbeing.

With little more than knowledge of chair yoga poses and the office space to host a class, this Wellbeing Wednesday idea acts as a great introduction to yoga in general. If the idea of yoga is so well received from team members, leaders could consider mat yoga hosted by external teachers - will you be adding chair yoga to your Wellbeing Wednesday?

Outdoor meetings

Each week, leaders could make outdoor meetings a regular Wednesday occurrence. Getting away from the office from time to time really is a breath of fresh air, literally! Whether it’s walking and talking or simply sitting somewhere in the sun for the duration of the meeting, this is bound to improve employee wellbeing and is a great Wellbeing Wednesday idea. 

Two female employees holding an outdoor meeting in the sun
Outdoor meetings are a great idea for Wellbeing Wednesday

Start a book club

This final idea might sound bizarre, but hear us out! Starting a book club is a great addition to your Wellbeing Wednesdays. Reading not only improves brain connectivity but also reduces stress and can lower blood pressure.

Granted, there isn’t much reading done during a book club session, but it’s an opportunity to promote healthier habits outside the workplace while increasing communication and building relationships in the work setting.

During these Wellbeing Wednesday sessions, leaders should prompt employees to share their thoughts and feelings. It’s this openness that will help employees become more comfortable with one another and increase trust and honesty.

Virtual Wellbeing Wednesday Ideas

When it comes to working remotely, some teams struggle with a lack of social interaction and the lack of team spirit. In fact, 33% of respondents to a survey said their biggest concern for remote work is the lack of social interaction and feeling disconnected from colleagues, according to reworked.co. 

Team-wide webinars

Like office-based lunch and learns, webinars allow for much more scope and the choice to discuss wider topics. That’s because the leadership team has the opportunity to hire a variety of different speakers and teachers, at a much cheaper cost. 

Keeping on the theme of employee wellbeing, these webinars can be hosted around mental health, wellbeing and other self-care or holistic health topics. It’s a no-brainer for your Wellbeing Wednesday ideas list.

Virtual interactive games

Another great employee benefit and Wellbeing Wednesday idea is playing virtual games. This particular idea should focus on team-building and collaboration. For example, there are many virtual murder mysteries and escape room activities for the whole team to get involved in. 

Leaders will need to get their thinking hat on and be creative or give the responsibility of finding new games to a different team member each week.

Fitness challenge video call

It’s no secret that fitness and exercise improve health, happiness and wellbeing! Well, why not consider a virtual fitness class each Wednesday in the morning, at lunch or after work?

For instance, each week a team member will select an exercise routine and everyone joins in and follows along. After just 30 minutes, the team has achieved three things: getting fitter, socialising and boosting their wellbeing!

A male employee in a yoga pose while working from home
Fitness challenges can get the blood pumping during work

Hire a virtual comedian

Picture this, you’ve joined a midday Wellbeing Wednesday session. You’re not sure what to expect, when out comes a comedian to have the team in stitches for an hour. Virtual comedy can be a great opportunity for your team, and as they say, laughter is the best medicine.

What’s great about hiring a virtual comedian is that it doesn’t need to break the bank. Given that it’s a virtual gig, you have access to a cost-effective library of comedians all across the country or the world.

Do some research, find an affordable comedian and give your team the gift of laughter for an hour during Wellbeing Wednesday — you won’t regret it!

Ultimately, there are many great Wellbeing Wednesday ideas that contribute to employee wellbeing and a wider employee benefits package. However, if you’re not quite sure any of these ideas are suitable for your team, why not take a look at what we do here at Heka?

Final thoughts on Wellbeing Wednesdays

That’s a wrap! While we’ve touched on a number of on-site and virtual Wellbeing Wednesday ideas, there are so many more to consider. The possibilities are endless and it really comes down to rigorous planning and top-notch creativity.

Hand the responsibility over to someone who ticks these boxes, who you believe can organise a session that will drive engagement and morale through the roof. These sessions, while laid back, must have an underpinning objective.

For most forward-thinking companies, Wellbeing Wednesdays are about creating healthier, happier employees. What are your reasons for hosting these themed days? Remember, your employees are one of, if not the biggest stakeholders in your company.

Delivered effectively, your organisation should reap the true benefits of Wellbeing Wednesdays. Look beyond the ‘free’ hour granted for these sessions and recognise the increased productivity and performance of your team.

Access 1000s of wellbeing experiences

Implementing an employee wellness programme alongside a great employee benefits package isn’t easy. Leaders must understand the values of each team member, their interests, lifestyle choices and more. Not only that, but things get tricky when teams grow. 

Here at Heka, our wellbeing platform makes creating healthier, happier teams so much more straightforward for every team in any industry. From therapy sessions, life coaching, personal trainers and healthy meal delivery, Heka members have access to more than one thousand wellbeing products, services and experiences - all at their fingertips!

We love meeting new people here at Heka, so be sure to reach out to one of our wellbeing experts to book a demo. This way, you can find out more about what’s available to your teams and the different ways in which it can benefit them. 

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