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What is the definition of a great place to work? Tony Schwartz says it begins with a work environment that enables and encourages all employees to regularly refuel and renew themselves, both on and off the job – that is what makes them capable of bringing the best of themselves to work.


Tony Schwartz is the CEO and founder of The Energy Project and bestselling author of The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working. A frequent keynote speaker, Tony has also trained and coached CEOs and senior leaders at organizations including Apple, Google, the LAPD, and the Cleveland Clinic. Here are more of Tony’s thoughts…


Energy is our most precious resource. In physics, it’s defined starkly as “the capacity to do work.” Higher demand in the absence of sufficient rest and renewal means less energy. Less energy means less capacity.


The simplest measure of a great place to work is how it makes employees feel to work there day in and day out. That requires meeting the four core needs of their employees: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.


Physical energy, the foundation of all other dimensions of energy, is comprised of sleep, fitness, nutrition, and intermittent daytime rest and renewal. Along this line, Tony advises companies to:


1. Create places for employees to rest and renew during the course of the working day and encourage them to take intermittent breaks. Ideally, bosses should permit afternoon naps, which fuel higher productivity in the hours that follow.


2. Offer a well-equipped fitness center that encourages employees to move physically and stay fit. There should be incentives for employees to use the facilities, including during the workday as a source of renewal.


3. Provide healthy, high quality food, at the lowest possible prices, including in vending machines.


Is there any question that if people feel healthier, happier, more focused and more purposeful at work, they will perform better?