Google opens onsite wellness centre in Ireland

Google has opened an onsite wellness centre for employees at its Irish office.


The wellness centre supports the technology firm’s Optimise Your Life strategy, which is aimed at creating the happiest, healthiest employees, explained Oli Husemeyer, international benefits project manager at Google, during a session entitled The impact of stress on business: why senior management need to take stress seriously at Employee Benefits Connect on 27 February.

The centre, based in Dublin, includes services such as onsite GPs, dentists, employee counselling and a light therapy room.

Husemeyer explained that the facility is also aimed at boosting staff retention and length of service in this location.

Some 85% of Google’s Dublin-based staff are non-Irish nationals, many of whom come from countries with very good state healthcare systems, so the organisation wanted to provide facilities that they could use rather than returning home for treatment.

The light therapy room, which is open between 7.30am and 1pm daily, was introduced in response to employees not leaving Google’s Irish offices due to the weather.

Emotional wellbeing

Employees’ emotional wellbeing is a key focus at Google.

After identifying that the traditional employee assistance programme (EAP) model was not right for the organisation, it introduced a range of initiatives, including two onsite counselling rooms, up to 12 sessions of psychological support for each employee. Funding for longer-term counselling, where needed is also available.

Providing emotional wellbeing support is an integral part of Google’s employee health strategy, said Husemeyer.

“Building resilience helps employees to be able to cope with stress,” she explained.

“Resilience is key to being able to bounce back. It is much better to deal with stress proactively before it has a negative effect.”