Workplace wellness, like individual wellness, will look different for everyone. At Work Life, we promote a progressive work environment with policies and programs to ensure a healthy and supportive workplace, while also emphasizing the importance and benefits of self care. We encourage employees to bring their whole selves to work and to participate in creating a culture that prioritizes flexibility, mental health, and work-life integration.
Caring for ourselves often falls to the bottom of our to-do lists, but workplace wellness starts with putting yourself and your health first. Self care can mean many things, whether it’s getting enough sleep, prioritizing some alone time each day, incorporating healthy remote work practices, or finding ways to reset and recharge. At Work Life, we believe that a culture of self care is essential for establishing a healthy, thriving, and progressive university. Below, you’ll find several resources dedicated to improving your mental well-being.
The way we work has drastically changed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and while some stressors like daily commutes have been eliminated, workers report feeling more anxious and less engaged than before. Though we can’t change the current situation, we can all exercise some personal agency toward healthier lives, and managers and leaders can help shape positive cultural expectations of the work environment. Below are some workplace initiatives designed to encourage employee and workplace wellbeing.
Creating and fostering community within individual departments and units is another way to positively contribute to our mental well-being, especially as we continue to work remotely. Below you’ll find some ideas for ways to encourage colleagues to come together and stay connected during this academic year.
During the 2019-2020 academic year, The Work Life office partnered with two departments to co-host a pilot program called Wellness Wednesdays. For one hour on Wednesday afternoons, department colleagues would participate in different wellness activities, which ranged from journaling and walking tours to volunteering and playing with therapy dogs.
While wellness is an individual commitment, there are benefits to a shared experience. We encourage offices and departments across NYU to think about ways to collectively improve wellbeing and provide a space to relax and connect with one another. Some ideas for (virtual!) Wellness Wednesdays include starting a book club, Zoom-friendly games like pictionary and charades, crafting, drawing, and stretching.
For more information about ways your department can incorporate wellness activities, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research indicates that younger and older employees experience ageism, which affects how we think, feel, and act towards ourselves and others. And it’s important to note that ageism has significant negative consequences on the health and wellbeing of people of all ages. Through our programming, Work Life invites NYU community members across all ages to engage and amplify the conversation surrounding age and ageism in the workplace.
Work Life is thrilled to launch The Wrinkle Project @ NYU Work Life, an initiative led by Work Life Program Director Stacey Gordon that is designed to change the way we think about age throughout the life cycle. The Wrinkle Project aims to disrupt the negative narrative about growing older and create new ways for people to enjoy every stage of life—in the workplace, in the community, and at home.
- NYC Well App Library: NYC Well provides apps and online tools to help you manage your health and emotional wellbeing. You can even filter the apps to help you with specific needs like depression, anxiety, mindfulness, and substance abuse.
- Office of Mental Health Emotional Support Line: More than 6,000 Mental Health professionals have signed up to provide free online mental health services during COVID-19. You can call 1-844-863-9314 to schedule an appointment.
- Headspace Partnership with New York: The meditation app Headspace is giving New Yorkers free access to some of their movement, meditation, and sleep exercises.
- ThriveNYC Community Resources: The Mayor's Office of ThriveNYC compiled a list of local and national organizations to help people during COVID-19.