The traditional office environment can sometimes enable stagnant and somewhat unhealthy lifestyles. People sitting at desks all day, not getting much exercise, eating unhealthy food – it’s easy for employees in this kind of setting to not be in a position to make the best decisions, health-wise.

Those were the observations Pearl Engineering co-owner AJ Pearl made that led her to take major strides within the organization to promote workplace wellness and healthy decision-making within Pearl Engineering starting in 2015.

A former teacher, AJ always considered health and fitness an important aspect of life.

“There is a lot of sitting for this job,” she said. “I really wanted to promote more movement and healthier behavior around the office. The idea being a healthier workforce is a happier workforce.”

Fitbits and Health Challenges

Pearl Engineering started by purchasing Fitbits for those in the office that wanted one. Through the Fitbits, Pearl Engineering employees count and track their daily steps, receiving reminders to stand up, be active and get their steps in.

This was also a catalyst for kicking off different fitness and health challenges around the office. 3-4 times a year, AJ and the wellness committee organizes office challenges, both individual and team challenges, focusing on different health and fitness objectives.

More recently, Pearl Engineering has also begun offering corporate YMCA memberships for employees in all company locations as well as stocking up the office with a variety of healthy snacks the team has access to throughout the day to encourage better nutrition.

Mental Health

While physical health is of course very important, AJ also believes in promoting mental and social health of employees as well.

In addition to different challenges, AJ also coordinates employee get-togethers, or “Forced Fun Events” as she jokingly calls them. These events have ranged from picnics, baseball games, bowling outings, holiday parties and even get-togethers to watch the Green Bay Packers play.

“Mental and physical health definitely complement each other,” she said. “The challenges and events we do are equally about promoting fitness goals but also just encouraging camaraderie and helping employees know each other on a more personal level outside of work.”

Since beginning promoting workplace wellness in 2015, AJ says she has seen a terrific rise in interest, interaction and participation. She has received lots of positive feedback from Pearl Engineering employees and estimates the office sees around 75% participation in the fitness challenges and “Forced Fun Events”.

Getting started

Any organization interested in beginning work wellness initiatives of their own have lots of resources at their disposal, AJ says. Recently, Pearl Engineering joined the Wellness Council of Wisconsin an organization with branches nationwide dedicated to helping employers design results-oriented wellness programs to maximize the health and productivity of their employees. Their organization has resources available for organizations and even hosts conferences.

AJ has also attended Fitbit’s conference in the past. She used much of what she learned from these organizations in structuring Pearl Engineering’s program, as well as enlisting the help of employees. She leads a committee within Pearl Engineering where, alongside employees, the group plans challenges and brainstorms ideas together.

In the end, she continues to strive towards her goal of making Pearl Engineering a better and healthier place to work. Want to learn more about the great things AJ is doing around the office? Contact the team to learn more!