Our health can take a heavy a hit from our work schedules. On average, Americans spend around half their lives at work, and workplace culture can have a huge impact on our well-being. If you've ever worked in a cubicle farm where boss-provided donuts were considered the most exciting thing since the invention of the iPhone, you know what I mean. A toxic, unhealthy work environment will wear off on you, no matter how hard you fight back.
Here are seven NYC tech companies that take a positive, healthy office culture seriously.
A clear head and a sense of adventure.
Employees at Button enjoy an unlimited vacation policy, as well as a program that offers them a $500 travel stipend. Put together, it's a recipe for adventure, and adventures are just what the doctor ordered. If nothing else, one 9-year study found that men who took at least one vacation a year were 30 percent less likely to die from a heart attack, while another study found that people who did not take vacations were twice as likely to die of a heart attack. Travel, meanwhile, has been shown to decrease depression, increase vaccination rates, reduce stress, and decrease rates of employee absenteeism.
TONS of fitness classes.
ClassPass encourages their employees to show up in exercise gear so that they can take advantage of their free ClassPass memberships. It turns out that changing up your exercise habits, as is encouraged with ClassPass, can have some big impacts on the results you get from your routine. Your body's muscles and nervous system will adapt to whatever your workout routine is in as little as six to eight weeks, and you'll begin to plateau. If you mix it up, your body will constantly be struggling to catch up, which will produce more results.
Commuting for health.
Employees at Newsela benefit from a CitiBike reimbursement plan. While that may sound like a recipe for a sweaty office, cycling to work has shown some pretty amazing health benefits. On average, bicycle commuters lose around 13 pounds in their first year of cycling. They also get a good cardiovascular workout, avoid traffic and packed subway cars and are less likely to call in sick than their peers.
A yogic lifestyle.
Employees at MediaMath enjoy some pretty amazing views of Manhattan from their offices in 4 World Trade Center. But, in one of the few rooms in their offices without a view, they also enjoy in-office yoga classes. Even NIH studies have shown that Yoga has been shown to reduce pain and improve function in people who suffer from chronic lower back pain, and may reduce heart rate, blood pressure, anxiety and depression. What's more, yoga can boost immunity, ease migraines, boost sexual performance and help you sleep better.
A nap a day.
While Betterment's offices in no way resemble a daycare facility, they do have one striking similarity — a nap room. While it might just sound lazy to take a nap at work, napping has some pretty amazing benefits. Not only will napping reduce fatigue, it has been shown to increase increase alertness, improve mood, improve reaction time and memory and, of course, increase relaxation.
A holistic office environment.
Employees at LittleThings not only enjoy working at a company dedicated to bringing uplifting content to the web, they also enjoy things like in-office massages and group meditation. Studies have shown that massage reduces stress, pain and muscle tension, while meditation reduces blood pressure and may ease symptoms of anxiety and depression.
A healthy baby and family.
New parents at Etsy enjoy one of the city's most generous parental leave policies. Every employee is eligible for 26 weeks of fully paid leave when they give birth or adopt a child. That perk is valid regardless of the employee’s gender, country of residence or family circumstance, and can be used at any time over two years. More time at home has shown to have a huge impact on the health of a baby. According to studies, paid parental leave can reduce infant mortality by 10 percent and increase their chances of getting their proper vaccinations by as much as 25.3 percent. What's more, women who receive over 12 weeks of maternity leave are 18 percent less likely to suffer from depression.