4 ways to support mental and physical health with office wellness rooms
As the global community returns to normal, we must not forget the pandemic has had serious repercussions on mental health, and returning to the office may trigger serious mental health concerns, such as suicide, for certain employees.
According to a 2020 survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 30 percent of Americans reported symptoms of anxiety disorder or depressive disorder compared to 2019 when only 10.8 percent reported those symptoms.
The number is equally alarming for male construction workers, who in 2012 and 2015 reached 53.2 suicides per 100,000 workers, making construction the profession with the highest suicide rate.
In recognition of mental health and suicide prevention efforts, we’re highlighting one of
Skanska’s many offerings to help employees feel safe, respected and healthy as they re-enter the workplace—our wellness rooms.
Each Skanska office is equipped with a wellness room to help employees temporarily take their minds off work and return to their tasks feeling mentally and physically rejuvenated.
Wellness rooms improve employees’ mental health and promote rest and relaxation. When employees feel lower levels of stress and anxiety, they feel more valued and happier at work, therefore boosting their confidence and performance.
Here are four ways employees can utilize wellness rooms:
- Prayer and meditation. For employees looking to relax and recharge with prayer or meditation, the dimmed natural lighting, presence of plants, and minimal yet comfortable furniture provides a welcome conduit for employees to ground themselves.
- Stretching and yoga. To avoid the aches and pains from prolonged chair usage at the office, employees can find reprieve in the wellness rooms to stretch and realign themselves for a productive day at work.
- Medical and social needs. As employees adjust to re-entering the office, having a space to allow for wellness-related calls with care providers or loved ones without distraction is important to sustaining a healthy transition and maintaining the work-life balance employees deserve. In fact, 46 percent of companies with more than 5,000 employees saw a significant increase in the number of workers utilizing mental health services offered by their employers since the pandemic started.
- Maternity support. While required by law, Skanska’s wellness rooms are a crucial place for pregnant and postpartum staff. For pregnant employees, a wellness room can provide a quiet, uncluttered space to relax, especially when suffering any common side effects associated with pregnancy. Wellness rooms can also serve postpartum employees who need a private location to breastfeed or pump.
Skanska encourages all employees to use the wellness rooms to improve their mental health, and to seek support when needed.
Beyond wellness rooms, Skanska has been rolling out a variety of mental health initiatives including the Start the Conversation program and additional employee training programs in its ongoing efforts to foster employee health during the transition back to the office.