Connective Touch Therapeutic Massage was recently recognized by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce as a Silver Level Healthy Workplace. This designation was based on the results of a survey of member companies of all sizes from solopreneurs to large corporations. The purpose of the survey was to gauge what types of wellness programs and services member companies are currently offering their employees.
The idea of a workplace wellness program seemed odd for me at first because as the owner and sole practitioner at Connective Touch, I don’t have employees to offer the benefits of a wellness program. But as I looked at the main reasons companies implement these programs (improved morale, decreased sick leave, increased productivity) I realized that my personal health and wellness program is my company’s wellness program. While workplace wellness is important for businesses of all sizes, for solopreneurs it is essential. If I am out sick or injured, my business comes to a halt and productivity is reduced by 100%. Once I changed my mental approach to workplace wellness, I recognized that there are actually quite a few things that I do that make Connective Touch Therapeutic Massage a healthy workplace.
The Physical Location
When I was looking at office space for CTTM, the proximity to the W&OD trail and neighborhood pedestrian paths, along with access to nearby locker room/shower facilities were big factors in choosing my current location. I am able to ride my bike to the office a couple days a week, which not only promotes my physical health, but also allows me to leave my car at home and use my own form of alternative transportation. With the access to locker/shower facilities, I am able to be flexible with my schedule and incorporate wellness activities into my work day. Due to the nature of my business, I often see clients early in the morning and later in the afternoon/evening, leaving blocks of free time in the middle of the day where I can go for a run/ride, knowing that I can shower and change before getting back to work.
It doesn’t seem like much, but it really makes a difference knowing that I have a small kitchenette (basically a closet with a small refrigerator and microwave oven) for meal storage and prep. I am able to bring fresh and healthy meals and snacks from home, which not only saves me money, but reduces the likelihood of a high calorie/low quality fast food run at lunch time. In the office, I also have a water cooler and a coffee/tea station with a variety of low or no caffeine options as well as natural and low calorie sweeteners.
My clients can feel confident that when they step in to my office, they are stepping in to a healthy environment. I only use all natural massage lotions and oils without synthetic additives, fragrances or preservatives. I wash my linens in natural plant based detergents with no synthetic fragrances or dyes. The surfaces in the office are cleaned with plant based cleansers and products made with pure essential oils. The wonderful scents you enjoy in the office come from pure essential oils that are diffused using ionic mist which, along with live plants that are located throughout the space improve the air quality.
As a sole practitioner, I don’t have a big Human Resources department to put on annual health fairs or publish a monthly wellness newsletter. But my health insurance company AND my doctors office both have “health portals” which provide a wealth of preventative health information. I also have a wearable activity tracker that allows me to download my daily activity into an app which also tracks food and water intake. I can also link up with other users of the app all over the world and engage in virtual wellness challenges.
These are just a few examples of the components of Connective Touch Therapeutic Massage’s workplace wellness program. But it shows that even a small, self-employed business of one can have a meaningful and beneficial workplace wellness program without breaking the bank. Next year I’m going for GOLD!