Health at the core of the company’s culture: EWII - #BeActive Workplace Award nominee from Denmark

09/12/2022 By Maria Malyshkina, ISCA

Although the 500 employees at EWII have very different working days, they all have at least one thing in common:  they receive accessible and equal opportunities to #BeActive at their workplace. And they seem to be happy with their company’s ambition to take responsibility for employee wellbeing: according to a survey, their job satisfaction is 76%. How did EWII manage to involve at least half of its employees in physical activities in 2021 and how does it keep ensuring that health is a part of EWII’s work culture? Find out in our article.

Photo: EWII LinkedIn

The #BeActive Awards is the European Commission’s recognition of outstanding work and commitment at local levels to promote sport and physical activity in Europe. The competition is an integral part of the annual European Week of Sport. One of the three categories is the #BeActive Workplace Award, which celebrates innovative ways to encourage employees to combat sedentary lifestyle and #BeActive at their workplace.

This year’s #BeActive Workplace Award nominee from Denmark EWII believes that “curiosity and community are equal values, because only together can we solve the great tasks ahead – and our community is both strong and healthy”. According to EWII, employees should have enough energy for both their work hours and life outside of the office. That’s why it offers plenty of opportunities for staff to be physically active at the workplace, where “health ambassadors” – volunteers among the staff who are passionate about health and a strong community vibe – play an integral role.

Motivated by these health ambassadors, the employees take part in a variety of activities: from football, biking and climbing to mindfulness, community or employee-focused events like Royal Run and DHL, obstacle course training, etc. One to three activities are arranged each month and they are usually devoted to an annual theme (“humour moves” in 2022).

Photo: EWII LinkedIn

The health ambassadors also arrange “healthy pop-ups” with exercises and healthy treats at the introduction of new employees as well as during a regular working day. They organise different activities for different target groups – but EWII also puts special emphasis on ensuring that the most important activities are available to everyone. There are lots of learning opportunities for the health ambassadors, too: they can take external courses and webinars.

To motivate the employees, EWII has come up with a “Health Cups” initiative, which rewards the most active employees. Employees are proud to be a part of this award and are happy to pose for pictures for the company’s social media channels:

In 2021, half of the employees at EWII (266) took part in one of the 18 after work activities. The health ambassadors could proudly hand out >50 Health Cups!

Besides the #BeActive interventions and the award system, the healthy work environment at EWII feeds on features such as the healthy food, drinks and fitness facilities made available before or after work. Later in 2022 EWII plans to launch a monthly lunchbreak activity, where employees can join a football or a floorball match!

What probably works so well for the employees is that they have a plenty of opportunities to be healthy during a normal workday in EWII: the possibility to take daily walks during the lunch break or taking a short mental break with a ping pong game together the colleagues cannot be overestimated. To make all this possible every year, EWII allocates a budget of DKK 250,000 (around 33,000 euro) to fund the activities, instructors, healthy food and drinks, materials, equipment, clothes and rewards.

Photo: EWII LinkedIn

The EWII’s holistic approach to a #BeActive workplace is an illustrative example of how a healthy attitude to the people’s well-being creates a competitive and sustainable workplace and demonstrates that, indeed, a company’s work culture can have a big impact on its employees’ health.

The winners of 2022 #BeActive Awards will be announced in late autumn. The award ceremony will take place in Brussels on 28 November.