Health Links (HL): What does being a healthy business mean to your organization?
Ambient Energy (AE): Health has many different aspects and we’ve taken great care to be sure to address as many of the factors that play into being a healthy business as we can. Certainly, health includes making smart choices in your diet, having a good level of activity, and a good work/life balance. As part of the WELL certification we are pursuing, we take health a step further and look at the total work environment we provide for our staff. We test and monitor the air quality. We make sure the lighting and sound are at optimal levels for productivity. We have plants throughout the office and use art and shapes that mimic nature in our designs. We have different spaces for different functions: work, collaboration, quiet learning/studying, and games. All of these aspects combine together to create our healthy work environment.
HL: How does your organization create a culture of health, safety, and well-being for employees?
AE: We talk about it and uphold it as a value. We start every team meeting with an inspiring quote for the mind. We purchase healthy snacks each week for the employees. We encourage walking meetings around the campus, especially on nice days. We provide proper safety training and gear for our staff. We encourage our staff to take time off when they are ill or at a minimum work from home so they don’t spread germs. Overall, we do our best to give our staff as many tools and opportunities as possible to make healthy choices for themselves and we reinforce the value in that through our actions and offerings.
HL: What changes have you seen among your employees, their families, or the surrounding community as a result of your program(s)?
AE: We have seen good engagement from our staff as they utilize the tools we provide and give us suggestions as to what we can do better. Since we are a small firm, we have flexibility in our offerings if we find there is something different our staff would prefer. We poll them annually for feedback and have an open forum to talk about our offerings anytime. In our new office, we often give tours to other organizations and student groups. These tours give us a platform to talk about our wellness offerings.
HL: How has Health Links helped your organization?
AE: Health Links has been such a wonderful resource. Even with the many things we are already offering and doing, they help us to identify ways to get to the next level. Our certification shows our staff and our community that we are dedicated to maintaining a healthy work environment. Our Health Links sticker on our door has sparked conversation with guests and provides us with opportunities to not only showcase what we are doing but gives them ideas to take back to their offices.
HL: What tips or pieces of advice would you give to a business looking to create a healthier, safer, and happier environment?
AE: Determine what your staff values and pick one or two of those to focus on each year. Make it a point to be mindful of health and safety in all that you do; something as little as taking a 5-minute water, movement, and brain break when a meeting lasts more than an hour. Sneak in a deep breathing exercise at the start of a presentation. Lead by example to help your staff form healthy work habits and see the value in those offerings.