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Interview: Goldman Sachs

A next generation wellness facility takes centre stage at the £1bn European headquarters of investment bank, Goldman Sachs, which has opened in London. The head of wellness EMEA speaks to Kath Hudson about the firm’s approach to employee wellbeing

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 11
A former analyst, Gera retrained as a medical doctor. She now leads the wellness team at Goldman Sachs
A former analyst, Gera retrained as a medical doctor. She now leads the wellness team at Goldman Sachs
people can leave their desks whenever they choose to have a workout. They won’t be judged for staying too long or going too often.

Goldman Sachs wants to be the best in class when it comes to corporate wellness and employee wellness is embedded into our culture,” explains Shefali Gera.

A former analyst, who took time out to train as a medical doctor and complete an MBA, Gera returned to the company in 2010 and now heads up the wellness team, working with vendor partners to deliver services and programming.

Based in London, this team steers the wellness strategy for offices across EMEA.

Each office has a wellness facility, but London’s luxurious facility is the newest and most extensive. It pays testament to Goldman Sachs’ philosophy of wanting to look after the wellbeing of its employees in mind, body and soul. The investment has not been disclosed, but Gera confirms her team has support to think creatively and identify new programmes and services to support the employees.

There’s a 20,000sq ft fitness centre, along with steamrooms, a spinning studio, treatment rooms for complementary therapies, a yoga and Pilates studio, and other facilities which support the work/life balance, including childcare facilities, a prayer rooms and lactation rooms.

“We know workplace wellbeing is important to our employees,” says Gera. “Seventy per cent are millennials and on a macro level, wellbeing is important to this demographic. We also have a strong feedback culture and do a number of surveys to understand what’s important to our people. Our research tells us that the range of facilities we offer brings value to their employment.”

The fitness centre
The wellness team worked closely with the internal corporate and real estate team and external architects, as well as Nuffield, which runs the facilities in terms of the design and décor. “The gym is a light, bright and airy space. A great deal of thought went into the colour palette, down to the colour of the lockers in the changing rooms,” says Gera.

The floor has been zoned into different workout areas: a functional area with a Queenax rig, cardio zone, running track, spinning studio, performance zone with bikes and rowers, an area for weights and lifting and space for stretching.

There’s also a studio for Pilates and yoga, and numerous classes which run throughout the day from 5.30am to 10pm. Gera says people can leave their desks whenever they choose to have a workout. They won’t be judged for staying too long or going too often. “The message from senior management is that all employees should do whatever it takes to look after their wellbeing,” she explains.

The emphasis has also been put on convenience, so everything is provided, including workout kit. Employees just need to keep their trainers in the office and if they decide to do a workout on a whim, they can use the gym kit provided, as well as towels, toiletries, hair dryers and straighteners.

The company has promoted the gym in-house with a web page, information and events. As a result, more than 50 per cent of employees at the London office are now registered members.

Futureproofing
Looking after the wellbeing of staff has gone one step further than simply providing space to workout. “The ethos is flexibility, as people’s needs will probably change over time, so we wanted to futureproof the design as much as possible,” says Gera.

This has led to some far reaching additions, including workplace wellness rooms on each floor of the 10-storey building, where people can go to meditate, take a rest, or prep for a meeting. There are also a couple of larger rooms that can be used by the workplace choir or for prayer. And there are all-gender toilets and shower rooms throughout the building.

Another innovation is the dedicated cycling centre, which offers 455 bike parking spaces, as well as showers and changing rooms. With direct access from the Cycling Super Highway, cycling to work is easy and popular.

A biometric entry system means cyclists can ride straight in, rather than having to stop and find a pass. In a move to further boost active commuting, there is no car parking available at all.

Family friendly
The children’s centre is the first of its kind in a corporate setting in London and the company has gathered employee feedback, so facilities are highly focused around children’s needs, with trikes, a play kitchen, napping rooms and a STEM activity room.

Consistent with Goldman Sachs’ family friendly policies, there’s provision for mums to express milk, with fridges on site. The company will even pay to have the milk couriered to babies when mums are travelling on business trips.

Twenty five per cent of Goldman Sachs staff are parents and all of them are entitled to 20 days backup childcare per year. This can either be used free on-site, or at home, if a school age child is poorly. Older children are also allowed to use the children’s centre during school holidays. The off-site entitlement can also be used for elderly parents who are sick.

Holistic approach
In keeping with the 360 degree approach to wellbeing, employees have access to a health centre which has GPs, a psychiatrist, psychologists, physiotherapists and a wellbeing nurse, as well as a team that provides personalised support and guidance for complex health conditions to employees and their families. There’s also a 24/7 employee assistance service which provides information on a number of lifestyle management issues, including advice on schools or obtaining a lawyer.

The company is also taking a robust approach to mental health, and is a founding member of the City Mental Health Alliance. Since the introduction of a mental health first aid programme last year, 70 staff members have been trained to recognise signs of mental health issues and been signposted to other support services.

“As an employer, Goldman Sachs is equipping people with the right resources and support so they can access the services they need,” says Gera. “Since its inception the company has taken a holistic approach to the mental and physical health of its employees and this is reflected in our offices across the globe.”

The workplace that has it all

• Contemplation rooms for quiet time and reflection

• A group prayer and choir practice room

• Technogym-equippped gym

• Cycle centre with 455 secure bike spaces, showers and changing rooms

• Yoga and pilates studio

• Steamrooms

• Lactation suite for new mothers, with breast pumps and fridges

• 7,000sq ft nursery, play centre and napping room

• Resting rooms for workers

Goldman Sachs’ London office has a 20,000sq ft fitness centre, complete with a spinning studio, yoga and pilates studios and steamrooms
Goldman Sachs’ London office has a 20,000sq ft fitness centre, complete with a spinning studio, yoga and pilates studios and steamrooms
Goldman Sachs’ London office has a 20,000sq ft fitness centre, complete with a spinning studio, yoga and pilates studios and steamrooms
Goldman Sachs’ London office has a 20,000sq ft fitness centre, complete with a spinning studio, yoga and pilates studios and steamrooms
Employees are encouraged to use the gym and take classes whenever and as often as they like
Employees are encouraged to use the gym and take classes whenever and as often as they like
There’s no car parking at Goldman Sachs’ London offices, just 455 bike parking spaces
There’s no car parking at Goldman Sachs’ London offices, just 455 bike parking spaces
The children’s centre is the first of its kind in a corporate setting in London.
The children’s centre is the first of its kind in a corporate setting in London.
Treatment rooms are available for complementary therapies
Treatment rooms are available for complementary therapies
Fifty per cent of employees at the Goldman Sachs London office are registered members of the fitness centre
Fifty per cent of employees at the Goldman Sachs London office are registered members of the fitness centre
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/218984_179060.jpg
Shefali Gera, head of wellness EMEA at Goldman Sachs, tells us about the investment bank’s approach to employee wellbeing, and the state-of-the-art wellness facilities at its new London headquarters...
Goldman Sachs, Shefali Gera,workplace wellbeing, employee wellbeing, employee fitness, Goldman Sachs, Shefali Gera
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features

Interview: Goldman Sachs

A next generation wellness facility takes centre stage at the £1bn European headquarters of investment bank, Goldman Sachs, which has opened in London. The head of wellness EMEA speaks to Kath Hudson about the firm’s approach to employee wellbeing

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 11
A former analyst, Gera retrained as a medical doctor. She now leads the wellness team at Goldman Sachs
A former analyst, Gera retrained as a medical doctor. She now leads the wellness team at Goldman Sachs
people can leave their desks whenever they choose to have a workout. They won’t be judged for staying too long or going too often.

Goldman Sachs wants to be the best in class when it comes to corporate wellness and employee wellness is embedded into our culture,” explains Shefali Gera.

A former analyst, who took time out to train as a medical doctor and complete an MBA, Gera returned to the company in 2010 and now heads up the wellness team, working with vendor partners to deliver services and programming.

Based in London, this team steers the wellness strategy for offices across EMEA.

Each office has a wellness facility, but London’s luxurious facility is the newest and most extensive. It pays testament to Goldman Sachs’ philosophy of wanting to look after the wellbeing of its employees in mind, body and soul. The investment has not been disclosed, but Gera confirms her team has support to think creatively and identify new programmes and services to support the employees.

There’s a 20,000sq ft fitness centre, along with steamrooms, a spinning studio, treatment rooms for complementary therapies, a yoga and Pilates studio, and other facilities which support the work/life balance, including childcare facilities, a prayer rooms and lactation rooms.

“We know workplace wellbeing is important to our employees,” says Gera. “Seventy per cent are millennials and on a macro level, wellbeing is important to this demographic. We also have a strong feedback culture and do a number of surveys to understand what’s important to our people. Our research tells us that the range of facilities we offer brings value to their employment.”

The fitness centre
The wellness team worked closely with the internal corporate and real estate team and external architects, as well as Nuffield, which runs the facilities in terms of the design and décor. “The gym is a light, bright and airy space. A great deal of thought went into the colour palette, down to the colour of the lockers in the changing rooms,” says Gera.

The floor has been zoned into different workout areas: a functional area with a Queenax rig, cardio zone, running track, spinning studio, performance zone with bikes and rowers, an area for weights and lifting and space for stretching.

There’s also a studio for Pilates and yoga, and numerous classes which run throughout the day from 5.30am to 10pm. Gera says people can leave their desks whenever they choose to have a workout. They won’t be judged for staying too long or going too often. “The message from senior management is that all employees should do whatever it takes to look after their wellbeing,” she explains.

The emphasis has also been put on convenience, so everything is provided, including workout kit. Employees just need to keep their trainers in the office and if they decide to do a workout on a whim, they can use the gym kit provided, as well as towels, toiletries, hair dryers and straighteners.

The company has promoted the gym in-house with a web page, information and events. As a result, more than 50 per cent of employees at the London office are now registered members.

Futureproofing
Looking after the wellbeing of staff has gone one step further than simply providing space to workout. “The ethos is flexibility, as people’s needs will probably change over time, so we wanted to futureproof the design as much as possible,” says Gera.

This has led to some far reaching additions, including workplace wellness rooms on each floor of the 10-storey building, where people can go to meditate, take a rest, or prep for a meeting. There are also a couple of larger rooms that can be used by the workplace choir or for prayer. And there are all-gender toilets and shower rooms throughout the building.

Another innovation is the dedicated cycling centre, which offers 455 bike parking spaces, as well as showers and changing rooms. With direct access from the Cycling Super Highway, cycling to work is easy and popular.

A biometric entry system means cyclists can ride straight in, rather than having to stop and find a pass. In a move to further boost active commuting, there is no car parking available at all.

Family friendly
The children’s centre is the first of its kind in a corporate setting in London and the company has gathered employee feedback, so facilities are highly focused around children’s needs, with trikes, a play kitchen, napping rooms and a STEM activity room.

Consistent with Goldman Sachs’ family friendly policies, there’s provision for mums to express milk, with fridges on site. The company will even pay to have the milk couriered to babies when mums are travelling on business trips.

Twenty five per cent of Goldman Sachs staff are parents and all of them are entitled to 20 days backup childcare per year. This can either be used free on-site, or at home, if a school age child is poorly. Older children are also allowed to use the children’s centre during school holidays. The off-site entitlement can also be used for elderly parents who are sick.

Holistic approach
In keeping with the 360 degree approach to wellbeing, employees have access to a health centre which has GPs, a psychiatrist, psychologists, physiotherapists and a wellbeing nurse, as well as a team that provides personalised support and guidance for complex health conditions to employees and their families. There’s also a 24/7 employee assistance service which provides information on a number of lifestyle management issues, including advice on schools or obtaining a lawyer.

The company is also taking a robust approach to mental health, and is a founding member of the City Mental Health Alliance. Since the introduction of a mental health first aid programme last year, 70 staff members have been trained to recognise signs of mental health issues and been signposted to other support services.

“As an employer, Goldman Sachs is equipping people with the right resources and support so they can access the services they need,” says Gera. “Since its inception the company has taken a holistic approach to the mental and physical health of its employees and this is reflected in our offices across the globe.”

The workplace that has it all

• Contemplation rooms for quiet time and reflection

• A group prayer and choir practice room

• Technogym-equippped gym

• Cycle centre with 455 secure bike spaces, showers and changing rooms

• Yoga and pilates studio

• Steamrooms

• Lactation suite for new mothers, with breast pumps and fridges

• 7,000sq ft nursery, play centre and napping room

• Resting rooms for workers

Goldman Sachs’ London office has a 20,000sq ft fitness centre, complete with a spinning studio, yoga and pilates studios and steamrooms
Goldman Sachs’ London office has a 20,000sq ft fitness centre, complete with a spinning studio, yoga and pilates studios and steamrooms
Goldman Sachs’ London office has a 20,000sq ft fitness centre, complete with a spinning studio, yoga and pilates studios and steamrooms
Goldman Sachs’ London office has a 20,000sq ft fitness centre, complete with a spinning studio, yoga and pilates studios and steamrooms
Employees are encouraged to use the gym and take classes whenever and as often as they like
Employees are encouraged to use the gym and take classes whenever and as often as they like
There’s no car parking at Goldman Sachs’ London offices, just 455 bike parking spaces
There’s no car parking at Goldman Sachs’ London offices, just 455 bike parking spaces
The children’s centre is the first of its kind in a corporate setting in London.
The children’s centre is the first of its kind in a corporate setting in London.
Treatment rooms are available for complementary therapies
Treatment rooms are available for complementary therapies
Fifty per cent of employees at the Goldman Sachs London office are registered members of the fitness centre
Fifty per cent of employees at the Goldman Sachs London office are registered members of the fitness centre
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/imagesX/218984_179060.jpg
Shefali Gera, head of wellness EMEA at Goldman Sachs, tells us about the investment bank’s approach to employee wellbeing, and the state-of-the-art wellness facilities at its new London headquarters...
Goldman Sachs, Shefali Gera,workplace wellbeing, employee wellbeing, employee fitness, Goldman Sachs, Shefali Gera
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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