A Boston company where the ‘healthy living’ ideal is everywhere

Top Places to Work 2015

MeYou Health gets fresh, organic fruit delivered every Wednesday.
MeYou Health gets fresh, organic fruit delivered every Wednesday. –MeYou Health
MeYou Health gets fresh, organic fruit delivered every Wednesday. —MeYou Health

The entrance of MeYou Health looks more like an upscale gym than an office, with sleek wood paneling, dozens of potted plants, and a neat row of bike racks – each spot taken by a colorful, high performance-looking bicycle.

Step inside, and the gym-like atmosphere persists inside the company’s headquarters, located at 27-43 Wormwood Street in the Seaport District. The open floor plan, exposed brick walls, and floor-to-ceiling windows were designed to make employees feel “comfortable, like at home,’’ said Sean Landry, MeYou Health’s head of brand and marketing.

This is no accident. MeYou creates health and fitness apps designed to improve people’s overall wellness. While the company offers free apps, they also package them and sell the bundles to health insurers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, or partner with corporate employers.

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The company’s workplace wellness plans help employees lose weight and exercise more, make healthier eating choices, or even quit smoking, and they’re based on real clinical trials and scientific research. Since MeYou knows the only way to really sell a product is to believe in it yourself, its wellness campaign starts with its own employees.

[The companies featured in this story are among the winners of The Boston Globe’s 2015 Top Places to Work awards. You can see a full list of winners and read more coverage here.]

If you want to work at MeYou, Landry said, you’ve got to “walk the talk.’’ This means that not only are employees encouraged to participate in the programs MeYou sells, but also that workers should have an interest in health that permeates both work and home.

For example, employees get a pedometer on their first day of work, and are encouraged to take advantage of free access to a full gym beneath the office. In MeYou’s spacious communal kitchen, equipped with a gleaming stainless steel refrigerator and long “Hogwarts-style’’ family tables, Landry pointed to bowls heaped with fresh, organic fruit that’s delivered every Wednesday.

“We have no soda, only healthy snacks,’’ Landry added.

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The work environment isn’t the only way MeYou helps employees strive for emotional and physical wellbeing, however.

If workers show the slightest curiosity in pursuing a new health-related hobby, be it yoga, running, basketball, or biking, MeYou will fund that hobby and even incorporate it into the office. There’s a weekly yoga class, taught by one of the workers, and MeYou recently covered the registration fee for some employees to have an after work soccer club.

MeYou employees practice yoga in the office. —MeYou Health

“If you show some interest in being healthy outside of work, we support that,’’ Landry said. But there’s more to health than exercise, he added.

To this end, Landry said a big chunk of workplace wellness that many organizations ignore is balance. At MeYou, this gentler approach to health involves a lot of flexibility. For example, about 95 percent of employees work from home on Fridays, and MeYou has no problem working with employees to create adaptable schedules so parents can drop their kids off at school, or avoid a stressful morning commute.

“You want to come in at 10:30 to avoid traffic?’’ Landry asked. “No problem. That flexibility is reflected in our employees’ work. I think everyone is grateful we offer those things.’’

This rounded wellness approach also includes fun. Landry said the company has a happy hour every Thursday (“Beer:30’’), and plans group outings around – you guessed it – healthy activities, like a recent hike up Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire.

MeYou Health employees on a group hike in New Hampshire. —MeYou Health

For cynics, MeYou’s optimism surrounding wellness could seem forced, but walking through the offices and seeing the scheduled “walking’’ meetings, the plethora of standing desks, and multitude of sneakers, scooters, and bicycles felt anything but artificial.

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As Landry explained, when your whole business is based on the idea that employees “not caring about health’’ is simply untrue, the importance of wellness starts to pervade everything you do.

Standing in front of a moving digital screen that displayed users’ improvement using programs like “Walkadoo’’ – a pedometer-powered app, and “Hello 200,’’ – a mobile intervention that helps you cut 200 calories from your daily intake, Landry pointed to the never-ending “pings’’ of smiley faces as people “liked’’ fellow users’ progress.

“A lot of our employees participate in our own programs,’’ Landry said. “We only hire people who want to get into the industry because they want to help people take an interest in an activity, or their weight. If you have a healthy body and a healthy mind, it spills over into everything else.’’

You can see a full list of Top Places to Work winners and read more coverage here.

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