Environmental Wellness at Qualtrics
All of August, Qualtrics is having conversations about wellness. Each week, we’re highlighting different aspects - mental/emotional, social, environmental, and job wellness. In our ongoing efforts to encourage open dialogue, learn from each other, and improve our experiences, our team members have offered their thoughts on what they do to create and maintain wellness in their life.
This week we’re focusing on the concept of “environmental wellness.” Your environmental wellness is what you surround yourself with, what surrounds you, and how you interact with both. According to the National Institutes of Health, “What surrounds you each day in your home, work, or neighborhood and the resources available to you can affect your health.” It’s a part of our well-being that is often overlooked or taken for granted, but nonetheless a primary part of our overall health and happiness.
As Qualtrics now moves into its hybrid working behavior, we see our team expanding the number of environments they're being exposed to. Our Workplace Experience team has been seeing to the Qualtrics environments, having started a multi-phase project to improve the functionality of our spaces. Their project plan was influenced, in part, by the feedback gathered by the Future Work Experience team over the last 2.5 years.
Environment = More than just “where”
What we spend our days interacting with has a powerful impact on our health and mood. That can range from anything in between objects, activities, places, and animals. Many of our Qualtricians find joy and contentment from the animals in their lives. For Alexandria, a Software Test Engineer, it’s a combo of what supports her well-being. “My crafts and my pets, mostly. They both bring me a sense of peace.” For Blaine, a Software Engineer, it’s all about animals and the outdoors. “My wife and I like to take our dogs hiking in the Utah mountains. Empty mountain trails are one of the few outdoor places we can let our dogs off their leashes, and it's an absolute joy to watch them run around and explore nature.”
For others, it’s also about your and others’ energy. Kirsty, a Campaign Manager, uses a mixture of outlets to recharge. "Nature, people, and books. I live in an area with a lot of greenery and nature which is beautiful to walk through. I also make sure the people I follow online or include in my life are positive and energy creators rather than drainers. But my favourite way to recharge my batteries is getting lost in a book on the couch with a cup of tea.”
Nature’s role in mental & physical health
Being in nature, whether that’s a local hiking spot, outdoor-oriented vacation, or your backyard, is a special part of our well-being. McKinlee, an Engineering Program Manager, says that, “It plays a big role in quieting any stress or anxiety I am feeling. I love getting out for a walk on the trail by my house, or getting out in the mountains to hike. It helps better my physical health, while also allowing me the space to clear my head and sort through any emotions I may be having.”
Don’t put pressure on yourself to completely immerse yourself in nature if that’s not an easily accessible option. Try just sitting outside wherever you are. Noel, a Partner Ecosystem Manager, says that, “While I don’t spend nearly as much time outside as I’d probably like to, my dog makes sure that I’m stepping outside to get some fresh air for at least a few minutes each day. During that time - it’s usually the chance to go for a walk, or sit in my backyard for a few minutes and just escape the screens for a little bit.”
Building our environments
Along with the benefits of nature, the things we put in our environment, and where we put ourselves to improve our mood, play big roles in our overall well-being. Richard, Manager - Infosec Engineering, has found what works best for him. “I need a means to completely detach myself from work. Expectations around remote work and flexible work environments have made detaching from work harder than ever, so I find that it’s best for me to go into the mountains to escape the reach of any cell tower. Since moving to Utah, I’ve gotten really into mountain biking. We have some of the best mountain biking trails anywhere in the world, meaning there are a lot of opportunities to escape into the wilderness.”
Finding ways to escape and completely immersing yourself in your surroundings are great ways to utilize your environment. But it’s not just about a physical location. For many, it’s about who/what we look at, listen to, and talk with. Sandrine, a Learning Experience Designer, adds that, “Depending on what I am feeling, I will go to music, to nature, to my husband or to friends and family. Sometimes those places I venture alone, and sometimes I need or want my loved ones to be with me.”
Detaching from everyday stresses and finding little ways to incorporate our surroundings are often things we do without thinking about. But if you find something lacking, try being intentional about where you are and how you’re interacting with it. Whichever method works best for you, whether alone or with others, can have a hugely positive effect on your well-being.
At Qualtrics we’re committed to supporting our team members’ well-being in all aspects of their day-to-day lives. This includes emphasizing a culture where we encourage setting boundaries, building a well-rounded life, and prioritizing yourself and your goals. To support environmental wellness, we offer wellness benefits, flexible work/life balance, and a newly introduced hybrid work model. We are all about Experience Management, and that will always include working to improve the everyday experiences of our Qualtrics family members.
July 20, 2022
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