4 Pillars of Health: Food, Movement, Mind and Work

“In order to help others, we first have to help ourselves,” says Nicolas Philemotte, Global Health Services Operations Lead for Czechia and Slovakia, at the beginning of our interview. His job is to fulfill the company’s vision: to have healthiest employees by 2020.

Johnson & Johnson has identified 4 fundamental pillars – Healthy Food, Movement, Mind and Work. “One of the points, for example, is to provide fresh fruit at least three times a week for all employees as a free benefit. In cooperation with the Facility Manager as well as local management, I’m responsible for ensuring the criteria is implemented and meet the required daily standard,” as Nicolas explains the strategy implementation. Every year, Johnson & Johnson Management team sets the targets percentage by which each individual pillars will be met, up until 2020, when the perhaps exaggerated assumption is that all employees will be healthy.

 

Relaxing at Work is No Sin

In Johnson & Johnson, everyone can decide on their own how to take a break from work. If only because the Prague HQ houses more than half of the employees from abroad and each has its own customs and culture. One of the most sought-after benefits is without a doubt the fully-equipped gym. In addition to fitness and cardio machines, the gym also offers a small exercise hall where group lessons take place. Right next to the gym, there is a dressing room equipped with a space for bikes and a dryer for sweaty sports clothes.

For those who enjoy a less active form of rest, there is a relaxation room where one can lay back, close their eyes and take a break from all those e-mails and phone calls. There are also massage chairs and a nursing room next door. Mothers can use it to nurse their babies or change them. 

Nicolas is still encountering colleagues to whom he explains that it is perfectly alright to get away from work in the middle of the day and go running or just play a virtual reality game. “I often hear that people are up to their ears in work. These people don’t realize that if they focused their attention in another direction for a while, they would resupply their mental energy and be more productive.”

The Dot System

If there’s something truly elegant in Johnson & Johnson, then it is the food. You certainly know this feeling: you want to get something for lunch but don’t have any idea what’s best for your body, so you just reach for a salad in the end. In cooperation with the local cafeteria, Nicolas introduced color coded system for all food and beverages. If you’ll get anything with a green dot, it is the best and most nutritious choice you make you and your body. An orange dot means that the food is not entirely bad, but you shouldn’t eat it regularly. And finally, food marked with red dots should appear in your diet very seldom. All part of the 80/20 rule, based on eating healthy 80 percent of the time. The good news is that green dots represent more than half of the menu. 

Changing habit is not easy for us so as Nicolas explains but with small steps employees can reach a big difference in their personal health and well being.

A Healthy Lifestyle is Everybody’s Own Choice

“We cannot force someone to always choose the healthier option. The wish to change and feel better must come from within each of us. Even our employees were initially skeptical about the entire strategy. However, once they made even the slightest change and saw the first results, they began to enjoy it,” says Nicolas who motivates his colleagues on their way to a healthy lifestyle.

They also get help from the Healthy & Me app which offers them a “healthy tip” every day, articles on health to read and chance to sign up for webinars. The app also monitors your sleep, food, activities and counts your steps. These are continuously being converted to points which represent a financial value which the employee can then donate to a charity of their choice and given  by the company in their name. Therefore, you are doing something beneficial to yourself as well as the community which is all part of their credo.

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