Article: Rest, recharge, succeed: Umanath Nayak shares Wakefit.co's blueprint for employee wellness

Corporate Wellness Programs

Rest, recharge, succeed: Umanath Nayak shares Wakefit.co's blueprint for employee wellness

In conversation with Umanath Nayak of Wakefit.co, we explore how their initiatives impact employee morale, productivity, and culture, shaping a future where rest and rejuvenation are at the forefront of workplace success.
Rest, recharge, succeed: Umanath Nayak shares Wakefit.co's blueprint for employee wellness

Umanath Nayak is the Head of HR at Wakefit.co and has played a pivotal role in shaping the company's human resources strategy and contributing to its success since November 2019. With a total of 11 years of HR experience, including global exposure, he has gained expertise across talent acquisition, organisational development, and international HR management. 

In this exciting conversation with Umanath, we aim to delve deeper into the Wakefit.co’s innovative employee offerings such as the Wellness Leave Policy and the “Right to Nap” initiative, exploring their impact on employee morale, productivity, and the broader implications for organisational culture.

Here are some excerpts from the conversation.

Can you provide an overview of Wakefit.co's approach to employee well-being and the philosophy behind implementing unique policies like the Wellness Leave Policy and 'Right to Nap"? 

At Wakefit.co, we firmly believe in the importance of employee well-being, particularly the critical role that rest plays in achieving a balanced lifestyle. Our philosophy is centered around the concept that a well-rested team is both happier and more productive. In response to the fast-paced demands of modern work life, we've crafted our Wellness Leave Policy and the 'Right to Nap' initiative. The Wellness Leave Policy encourages employees to take a day off each month for personal care, promoting mental and physical health. Meanwhile, our 'Right to Nap' initiative introduces a dedicated nap time from 2:00 to 2:30 p.m., advocating the benefits of short rests. These policies are a testament to our dedication to creating a workplace culture that supports our employees' well-being, ensuring they can excel in all aspects of their lives. 

The Wellness Leave Policy is quite distinctive, offering a no-questions-asked leave once a month. How has this policy been received by the employees, and what impact have you observed on their physical, mental, and emotional well-being? 

At Wakefit.co, the introduction of our no-questions-asked Wellness Leave Policy has been positively embraced by our team, marking a significant stride towards holistic employee well-being. This policy allows our employees the flexibility to take a day off for self-care. The freedom to unwind without having to justify their need for a break has played a crucial role in stress reduction and promoting a supportive work environment. 

The positive impact of these initiatives is evident in the enhanced creativity, problem-solving abilities, and decision-making skills among our well-rested employees. By prioritising well-being and integrating rest into our work culture, we've not only seen improvements in productivity and job satisfaction but also reinforced our commitment to a healthy work-life balance. This approach underlines our belief in the importance of a happy, motivated workforce for achieving organisational success. 

'Right to Nap' is an interesting initiative that normalises afternoon naps at work. How did the idea for this policy come about, and what benefits have you witnessed in terms of productivity and overall employee satisfaction? 

Wakefit.co's 'Right to Nap' initiative was born out of our commitment towards being a people-centric employer and enhancing workplace well-being and productivity through the power of sleep. Recognising the transformative impact of rest on both personal and professional lives, we sought to challenge the conventional workday structure by introducing a policy that encourages afternoon naps. This decision was influenced by a growing body of research, including studies from reputable institutions like NASA and Harvard, which highlight the myriad benefits of napping, such as improved memory, focus, creativity, and overall productivity. The shift towards remote work further amplified the conversation around the value of incorporating short rests into the workday, prompting us to formally adopt this forward-thinking approach. 

The 'Right to Nap' policy has been received well by the workforce. This initiative has not only enhanced our team's performance but has also contributed to a more motivated and content workforce, reaffirming our belief in the critical role of well-being in achieving organisational success. 

In a fast-paced and competitive work environment, some might argue that policies like these could potentially affect productivity. How has Wakefit.co managed to strike a balance between employee well-being and organisational goals? 

At Wakefit.co, we understand the concerns surrounding innovative well-being policies in a competitive landscape. However, our experience has demonstrated that prioritising employee health and well-being directly contributes to our organisational goals. By implementing policies such as the Wellness Leave and 'Right to Nap', we've not only seen an uplift in employee morale and job satisfaction but also an enhancement in productivity. We believe that a well-rested and mentally rejuvenated workforce is more creative, efficient, and aligned with our company's objectives. This balanced approach ensures that while our employees feel valued and taken care of, our organisational productivity and performance continue to thrive. 

What role do you see these policies playing in attracting and retaining top talent in today's competitive job market, where work-life balance is a key consideration for many professionals? 

In today's job market, where the quest for a harmonious work-life balance is paramount, our forward-thinking policies at Wakefit.co stand out as a beacon for top talent. We have observed firsthand how initiatives like the 'Right to Nap' and our Wellness Leave Policy resonate deeply with professionals seeking more than just a paycheck. These policies are a testament to our commitment to nurturing an environment where well-being and professional growth go hand in hand. They not only attract individuals who value self-care and personal growth but also play a crucial role in retaining them by embedding a sense of belonging and appreciation. In essence, our approach to employee welfare is shaping a culture that celebrates rest, rejuvenation, and productivity, making Wakefit.co a coveted place to work for those who prioritise a balanced lifestyle. 

Looking ahead, do you envision more unconventional policies aimed at employee well-being, and how do you see the landscape of HR policies evolving in the future? 

As we look to the future, I am both excited and optimistic about the evolution of HR policies, particularly in the realm of employee well-being. At Wakefit.co, we have always been at the forefront of pioneering unconventional policies that prioritise the holistic wellness of our team. Drawing from the success and positive reception of our current initiatives, we are continually inspired to explore and implement innovative practices that support our employees' diverse needs. 

The landscape of HR policies is undoubtedly evolving, with a growing emphasis on flexibility, mental health, and work-life harmony. I anticipate this trend will not only continue but accelerate, leading to more creative and human-centric approaches in the workplace. We are committed to staying ahead of the curve, ensuring our policies reflect the changing dynamics of the workforce and the world at large. Our goal is to foster an environment where every team member feels valued, supported, and empowered to achieve their best, both personally and professionally.

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Topics: Corporate Wellness Programs, #Culture, #HRCommunity

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