The Innovative Ways These Companies Are Managing Employee Stress

Onsite spas, group rock climbing outings, meditation rooms, and vacation money: These companies are serious about keeping their employees happy.

The Innovative Ways These Companies Are Managing Employee Stress
[Photo: Rawpixel]

Occasional stress is a normal byproduct of a successful career, but an office of employees with soaring cortisol levels doesn’t make for a positive working environment. While every company should manage and prioritize the happiness of their staff, some businesses go above and beyond the traditional offerings to ensure and stabilize team morale.


While there is no sure-fire, magical solution to prevent overwhelming periods or quarters, these solutions provide opportunities to destress, recenter, and feel better prepared to conquer the next task at hand. From the fitness company Orangetheory to the human resources tool provider BambooHR, you’d be amazed by the lengths these corporations go to supercharge their employees with zen.

They Help Pay For Their Employees’ Vacations

For many overworked, stressed employees, taking time off seems unreasonable with their workload. Human resources tool provider BambooHR so thoroughly believes in the power and benefit of travel that they help pay for their employees’ vacations. BambooHR fronts the cost for plane tickets, hotel rooms, and other travel expenses up to $2,000. Their “anti-workaholic” policy’s theory is that when staff have the freedom, permission, and resources to see the world or unwind on a beach, they’ll be more productive and effective in their roles.

“Treating your people to a vacation is a sure-fire way to build loyalty and goodwill. We’ve seen that not only do our people come back from their trips with an appreciation for Bamboo, but it also helps permeate a culture of gratitude at our office,” explains creative copywriter Bryson Kearl. BambooHR also offers “Financial Peace University,” where they will pay for employees to enroll in a money management class. Kearls says this curriculum has helped their workers pay off hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt over the years.

They Offer Meditation Rooms, Onsite Gyms, And Access To Hiking Trails

Washington State-based beverage company Talking Rain Beverage Co. is nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Thanks to their location and the forethought of their executives, the company makes wellness a pillar of their success. As Vice President of Human Resources Vivian Page explains, “Our belief is that in order to be your best self, you need access to great collaborative spaces that allow you to connect with your colleagues, an open-door policy with executives, and casual and engaging activities that stimulate thought-provoking ideas and conversation.” In addition to the basic layout of their headquarters, they also offer meditation rooms, onsite gyms with personal trainers, yoga classes, wellness classes, and as a bonus, easy access to hiking trails and walking paths for on-the-go meetings or mid-afternoon breaks.

They Hold Monthly, Employee-Planned Out-Of-Office Team-Building Activities

NOMATIC designs and sells function bags and travel gear for wanderlusters. Cofounder Jon Richards says as a company, they always put family first and encourage their employees to attend to the needs of their children or spouses above the business. They also prioritize team building and a sense of community between various departments by hosting monthly employee-planned, out-of-office activities. So far in 2018, they’ve gone mountain biking, snow skiing, indoor skydiving, surfing, rock climbing, and attended a local basketball game. These events are held on company time, encouraging camaraderie, laughter—and of course, the benefit of releasing endorphins.

They Encourage Employees To Spend 20% Of Their Working Hours On Continuous Self-Improvement

Chanje (Pronounced “change”) is a Los Angeles-based commercial electric vehicle (EV) company. As they speed into the next planet-friendly terrain of their industry, they take the time to encourage self-improvement within their staff. President Ian Gardner encourages team members to allocate 20% of their working hours to self-improvement via a formal program. To help develop their leadership skills and stimulate career growth, this curriculum includes ongoing coaching, meditation, instruction on how to give and receive feedback, journaling and more. “Through this program we are giving our team members the tools to navigate the typical pressures of business,” Gardner says.


He should know firsthand, since it was Gardner’s own crossroads a few years ago that sparked the idea. “I was working with a longtime executive coach when it occurred to me that drama was a big part of the problem. I realized that the same personal development work I was undertaking would benefit everyone in my organization. That’s when the shackles came off,” he says.

They Offer A Workout Studio, A Spa, And Access To A Full-Time Wellness Manager

It’s likely no surprise that interval-training fitness concept company Orangetheory offers its 130 employees free, unlimited access to a gym and classes. They also redesigned their corporate headquarters with work/life balance at the forefront of their vision. The impressive end product is an onsite wellness center that offers a spa, gym, a track, shuffleboard, ping-pong tables, monthly nutritional seminars, onsite yoga classes, meditation spaces, and a masseuse, to name a few. At their Oasis Spa, employees can enjoy amenities that help them unwind and de-stress during the day, including sleep pods, an infrared sauna, a Coldtub polar plunge tub, and a Dream Pod floatation tank. They also have a full-time wellness manager to coordinate activities and programs that promote a healthy lifestyle.

They Have An Onsite Spa And Offer A Biweekly Healthy Series

Personal finance technology company Credit Karma offers a suite of products for members to monitor and improve credit health, prepare and file taxes, and more. For their employees, they decrease stress levels by offering ample resources that mitigate triggers. Head of Talent Development Lindsey Caplan says they developed a “Happy is Healthy” series that give employees the chance to participate in a variety of biweekly activities. This might be candle making, creating earthquake emergency kits, and other events that use different part of their brains.

Another big perk? Their onsite spa offers subsidized massages, manicures and pedicures, meditation and yoga classes, and more. “We strive to bring together our diverse employees outside of day-to-day work tasks and throw several events throughout the year, from local volunteering days to a speaker series, and more. As we continue to grow and expand, it’s more important than ever to foster a connected community at work,” she says.