Focus on wellness like it’s your job.
Healthy perks at companies are commonplace today, from discounts at gyms to team workouts to lounges stocked with nutritious snacks. And now, the idea is entering the co-working space.
At Primary, a new co-working office at 26 Broadway in the Financial District, members can take fitness classes at an in-house studio, choose from health-conscious snacks at its cafe and find water bottle-filling stations throughout the plant-filled space.
“We wanted to bring a lot of wellness amenities right in arm’s reach,” said Danny Orenstein, a former WeWork employee who founded the company with Lisa Skye Hain (another WeWork alum) and her husband, Brian Hain, a health and wellness expert. “People are realizing the shared office space isn’t one size fits all. We’re trying to provide something that feels really refined and fits in the wellness model.”
Members of Primary have access to more than 30 weekly fitness classes, from yoga to guided meditation to functional fitness, in the studio, which is stocked with medicine balls, yoga mats and blocks.
The company has a partnership with trendy meditation studio MNDFL, is in talks with spin studios and Equinox for additional classes and plans to organize off-site weekend runs and bike rides, too. To further promote exercise, there are private showers and, for those who commute on two wheels, bike storage will be available next month.
At the cafe, members can get discounts on healthy snacks, such as juices from Lulitonix and Pure Green, and bowls from seasonal, veggie-focused chain Dig Inn will be on the menu starting in mid-July.
As far as the actual office environment goes, there is a communal space and 66 offices which can accommodate 324 people total, as well as several conference rooms. Monthly rates range from $150 to $7,500 — anywhere for once a day in the communal space to an office of 10 — and include unlimited printing, conference room hours, WiFi, free drip coffee and the fitness classes.
Since opening in early May, Primary is 40% filled so far, and there are plans to open a second location, potentially in the Flatiron District, too.
Members so far include several practitioners, including a massage therapist, chiropractor, acupuncturist and health coach — who have hundreds of potential clients right in the office — as well as the shoe brand Jibs and the travel website Fathom.
Apploi, a hiring platform that connects hourly workers with employers, first heard about the space when Primary posted an ad for a barista on its site. It relocated its team of 10 from a midtown office to Primary in mid-May.
“It’s a place where it’s easy to work hard and get your job done, but also take care of yourself at the same time. ... There’s really no excuse not to work out if it’s right here in the office,” said Tomer Benami, vice president of finance at Apploi. “Team members being able to do a meditation session together is good for the team, too.”
In addition to boosting morale, wellness perks can also help in retention and productivity, noted Orenstein.
“The best businesses all have wellness practices built into their operation, and there’s a reason for that,” he said.