OKW Architects believes that everyone should have a safe and enjoyable environment to do their best work. As part of our operations, we have a Wellness Committee that organizes monthly initiatives to bolster the employee experience.
The goal is to encourage our staff to make health and wellness a priority in their daily lives. Previous themes have ranged from nutrition to personal finance, mental puzzle games, exploration, and physical fitness.
Every year, as the weather turns from winter to spring, the Wellness Committee focuses on getting everyone moving, and hence the name of April’s theme. The firm enjoyed a month-long program centered on small but effective changes each employee can make to improve their overall wellness.
Although the main goal of our Get Moving! challenge is to encourage easy and sustainable fitness habits for our employees, we added an element of competition as a bonus incentive. Individual wellness activities were assigned point values and the three overall winners earned prizes. The program was thoughtfully created so that everyone, regardless of fitness, could participate.
Among these activities were taking the stairs for every trip in and out of the office; hosting standing meetings; biking to work whenever safe; walking from our office to various Chicago landmarks such as the Bean, the Lake, and Wolf Point; and taking regular stretching breaks.
Lastly, for one week out of the month, everyone was invited to participate in a Steps Challenge. Every day, employees would submit their steps from the day before - as measured by their phones, or their step tracker of choice - and the Committee would provide regular updates of the standings. By the week’s end, those who participated had logged over 1,000,000 steps and traveled over 200 miles.
The winners averaged between 20,000 and 25,000 daily steps, pulling everyone up in their bid to win.