Lavender oil, soothing music, a silky-smooth-leather-pillow for your face, cushions for tired limbs, and deep breathing, at work—chair massage Fridays. At Meritage Medical Network, we have chair massage the first Friday of every month. I had this available to me at another company, once, when I was doing a paid internship and I remember thinking, but it’s only fifteen minutes. What I didn’t realize then, that I realize now, is just how valuable those fifteen minutes can be, especially, when they happen the first Friday, of every month, for 12 months.
In fact, if I hadn’t experienced it, I probably wouldn’t get how fifteen minutes here, and fifteen minutes there, can make such a huge impact. Fifteen minutes of walking, twice a week, fifteen minutes of meditation, once a week, a fifteen minute surprise pop-up, which is exactly that—a surprise activity, every other Friday—cumulatively, makes a whole world of difference. Everybody kind of knows this, but it’s different when your company designs a wellness program, that if you take advantage of it, you automatically reap the benefits of. It starts to make you think about other things you could do for fifteen minutes a week to improve your life.
The Mayo Clinic, is obviously way ahead of me with their fifteen minute back exercises.
What about fifteen minute abs?
Fifteen minute stretch.
Fifteen minute huddle.
Fifteen minute cuddle. (Easy, not at work).
Fifteen minute brainstorming session.
Fifteen minute mileage and expense report.
You get my point. It’ so simple, but when you sit in a chair for eight hours a day, or more, working, you need creative ways of compelling yourself to interrupt those hours and you need those interruptions to happen on some sort of consistent basis for them to really pay off.
We have an incentive system on top of the built in intrinsic value of taking regular breaks at work. It’s kind of like going back to grade school when you were rewarded with gold stars, only we use stickers with the Meritage swirl, included on our logo, with rewards at the 12, 21 and 30 mark intervals of the quarter. Fun, fitness, related rewards that are actually exciting to receive, like a tubular buff with our logo that can be worn a hundred different ways, a massage roller that our physical therapists use in their practice, a stability disk to make those 8 hours sitting or standing better for you, and then of course there’s the $50 cash card, (because who doesn’t like cash?) and your name is entered into a drawing for four hours of paid time off, to further reward yourself with whatever rewards you.
We spend a lot of time building our companies, problem solving, analyzing best practices, developing strong processes, strengthening our weaknesses. It’s amazing to see that our company has created a consistent plan of attack on how to do the same kind of problem solving, analysis, development and strengthening for us—fifteen minutes a day, a week, a quarter, five days a week, roughly 52 weeks a year. It turns out fifteen minutes can really add up to a lot more.