Virgin Pulse a Best Place to Work in Boston

img_gs174433043_06182015_174433043We’re excited to share that last week, we were recognized by the Boston Business Journal as one of the “Best Places to Work” in Massachusetts for the second year in a row. The honor highlights our achievements in creating a work environment that attracts and retains top talent.

“The whole team at Virgin Pulse is deeply committed to working with companies and helping them replenish their people with tools that help them build habits that matter,” said our CEO, Chris Boyce. “Our team’s honored to once again be recognized by Boston Business Journal as a ‘Best Place to Work’ and to be among a distinguished group of companies who believe in putting their people first. It’s what we do, it’s who we are, and we’re thrilled to once again be recognized for walking the talk.”

Our company uses business as a force for good, making a positive difference in the world by helping people get healthier, and our employees feel connected to this cause. It has a big impact on our culture, helping us create an enthusiastic, supportive environment where people are open to new, innovative ideas. Without fail, our new hires mention that helping solve the global challenge of keeping people healthy and engaged at work and in life played a big part in their decision to work at Virgin Pulse – and it’s also why our most tenured employees say they’ve stuck around for so long.

We know our employees have a lot on their plates, both when they’re in the office and when they’re home. To help our people manage all of stressors, at Virgin Pulse we offer robust health and well-being benefits. Our unique office space (including two on-site gyms, a locker room, free and company-subsidized healthy snacks and meals, walking desks, and free fitness classes) and our generous benefits package (including flexible work arrangements, medical, dental, and vision coverage, short- and long-term care and disability coverage, life insurance, an EAP program, generous PTO and holidays) make getting and staying healthy a whole lot easier than going it alone. Our employees also have access to the same well-being platform we offer our clients, letting them earn cash rewards and discounts for participating and hitting certain milestones.

Virgin Pulse was one of more than 400 companies to qualify for consideration based on a two-stage nomination process and the results of employee-satisfaction surveys taken throughout March and April 2015.

Want to know what’s behind creating a best place to work? Listen to this on-demand webinar to hear our secrets and top tips for driving an award-winning culture at your company.

Kaite Rosa is Senior Marketing Communications Manager at Virgin Pulse, where she leverages her personal passion for health and happiness to create compelling content about employee well-being and engagement. Outside of the office, Kaite spends her time mentoring a high school student, and recently trained for and completed her first half marathon. Follow her on Twitter: @kaiterosa.

4 Nutrition Myths Holding Back Employees

Have you heard about the diet where all you eat is pizza? You know, the one that gives you lower cholesterol and a superhuman immune system?


OK, so that one’s a myth – though not for a lack of wistful thinking on my part. What’s true, however, is that new nutritional trends seem to crop up every few months claiming to be the surefire nutrition path you need to follow to lose weight and be healthy.

Unfortunately, this constant influx of information gets jumbled, halfway understood, and taken to extremes along the way before ultimately being abandoned for the next big thing. This leads many employees who are trying to practice healthier eating habits to rely on nutrition myths they never intended on holding true to in the first place.

Don’t sweat it, because we’ve debunked four major myths so you can help your employees get back on track to reaching those goals they’ve set out for themselves.


The confusion behind this myth traces back to one fact: not all fats are created equal. The original myth claims that if you eat fats, you will be fat.

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To lose weight, we’ve all heard that you need to burn more calories than you take in. And since fats are high in calories, it’s true that left unchecked they can lead to weight gain. But it’s more the calorie totals and kinds of fats that are to blame.

Healthy fats – found in foods like walnuts and fish, and oils like olive oil and safflower oil – are essential to your employees’ health. They’ll help regulate insulin levels, decrease the risk of type II diabetes, and lower blood pressure. Saturated and trans fats, however, raise those unwanted cholesterol levels and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Let reluctant employees know that the right choice in fats can be a nutritious one.


What has 27 grams of carbs (between eight to 10 percent of your recommended daily value) must be a poor nutrition choice, right? In this case, the food I’m talking about happens to be a banana. Yes, the potassium-rich fruit that no one would warn you leads to weight gain unless eaten in great excess.

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We know carbs are fuel for the body’s fire, but what matters most is the kind of carbs we toss into those flames. Studies show that refined and highly processed carbs – like potato chips, white bread, and pasta – are the link to weight gain, not the carbs from healthy powerhouses like bananas.

Employees who understand this myth and work it into their nutritional goals, reaching for fruits and veggies over that savory slice of pizza, also benefit from a lowered risk of type II diabetes and coronary artery disease.

Relieve worried employees counting carbs by stocking the cafeteria with plenty of the healthy carb options.


The gluten-free craze is still in full swing, vilifying everything with grains in it. But going gluten-free alone doesn’t necessarily mean better health.


If you have celiac disease – a genetic autoimmune disease of the small intestine that affects roughly 1 in 130 people, a little over one percent of the US population – then you have little choice but to have it out for gluten. Some with gluten sensitivity should also limit their intake. These employees would benefit from grain noshing options like quinoa, buckwheat, or millet that are naturally gluten-free and nutritional.

However, for the rest of the population, the human body is equipped to process gluten just fine. In moderation, eating whole grains rich in gluten is recommended by the USDA. Whole grains provide your employees with dietary fiber, B vitamins and minerals.

Include all employees by offering gluten free options for the occasional celebratory treat like cupcakes or pastries for those who need it. Otherwise, tell everyone else they can dig in, guilt-free.


Here’s the myth: grazing on small meals throughout the day will keep your metabolism redlining, which in turn burns more calories and sheds a few pounds in the process.


However studies vehemently disagree with that myth. In fact, the old standby of 3 meals a day has the same effect as the trendier 5+ smaller meals throughout the day.

For employees regulating blood sugar, frequent small meals throughout the day can be essential. But for those trying to steady pangs of hunger springing up throughout their workday? Sure, more frequent small meals may ward off rumbling stomachs, but the opposite of those best intentions could happen. An uptick in meals throughout the day has been shown to pack on liver and abdominal fat in high calorie diets.

Remind employees to keep it simple: eat when you feel hungry and stop when you’re full.

Looking for more ways to eat healthy in the workplace? Check out our ebook to learn how.

M. R. Brown writes content for the marketing team at Virgin Pulse. He looks to dispense his know-how on well-being to help get employees and employers alike engaged in healthy workplaces. You can find him running trails on weekends, endlessly motivated by the thought of being chased by a wolf. Follow him on Twitter @writermrbrown.

Quick Hacks to Cure a Case of the Mondays

MONDAY ThinkstockPhotos-465840689As far as days of the week go, Monday mornings really get the short end of the stick. Being the furthest weekday from Friday, it’s got a bad rap associated with early mornings and extra large cups of coffee. Mondays are so disliked that there’s an endless number of anti-Monday memes out there, and Office Space even coined its well-known phrase describing the bad mood many employees experience on the first day of the workweek.

Turns out, there may be a legitimate reason why we’re all so against Mondays. Hint: it starts with how we’re spending Sunday.

It All Begins with Sunday
When it comes to Sunday, there seems to be two clear camps. There are those who continue their weekend in true Sunday Funday form, milking their days off for all they’re worth. And then there are those who spend their final weekend hours cramming in chores, running errands, prepping for the following morning by checking emails – feeling generally bummed out all the while.

Think your employees are in the latter of the two? You’re probably right. In fact, 76 percent of American employees are right there with you, claiming they get the “Sunday night blues” (depression because the weekend’s come to a close).

Banish the Blues
Help your employees reign in the anxiety at work to rescue them from the Sunday slump and make that Monday morning alarm a little less dreadful. Try these simple office hacks to help cut their stress and increase everyone’s happiness (and productivity!) on the job.

  1. Get Growing: This one’s quick and easy. Put potted plants in your workspace. It’ll not only improve air quality, but research shows that plants help employees feel happier, less stressed, and more productive. Working in an office with flowers and plants will also spike creativity, according to a study that found men had 15 percent more ideas and females came up with more creative, flexible solutions to problems when working alongside a little greenery.
  2.  Make Exercise Easy: Allow employees to take a daily exercise break and you’ll both reap major benefits – like less stressed, higher-performing people at the height of their mental and emotional peak. Just one vigorous workout is enough to reduce anxiety and depression for hours, and regular activity can have positive, long-term affects on the same feelings, as reported by Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
  3. Find an Office Bestie: Contrary to popular belief, a little workday socialization won’t kill employee productivity. With 66 percent of employees indicating their relationship with colleagues positively impacts their focus and productivity and 55 percent saying co-workers positively affect their stress levels at work, encouraging workplace friendships goes a long way. In fact, employees with best work friends are seven times more likely to be engaged and are thriving in their careers nearly 50 percent more than their less-socially connected counterparts, according to Gallup.
  4. Turn Up the Tunes: Against headphones in the office? You may want to reconsider your position. Listening to music while working boosts employee mood, creativity, and productivity – but it’s key that your people carefully craft a playlist that’ll leave them engaged in their work, rather than rocking out on the air guitar. Have employees listen to music for background noise and suggest they limit the lyrically heavy songs.

You may not be in control of how employees spend their Sundays, but you can help them boost their spirits come Monday morning. Design your company culture with well-being in mind and support people in doing what they need to relax, recharge, and keep focused while at work. Everyone will benefit – your business included.

Have tried and true office hacks that help you stay calm, cool, and collected no matter what the day is? Share them with us in the comments below or on Twitter using #EWM15.

Kaite Rosa is Senior Marketing Communications Manager at Virgin Pulse, where she leverages her personal passion for health and happiness to create compelling content about employee well-being and engagement. Outside of the office, Kaite spends her time mentoring a high school student, and recently trained for and completed her first half marathon. Follow her on Twitter: @kaiterosa.


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Virgin Pulse clients and members discuss how we change lives for good!

Virgin Pulse clients and members discuss how we change lives for good!