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Our Toronto team recently held a “March Wellness” event – a week full of workshops to help our Canada Crew prioritize their health and wellness both inside and outside the workplace.

Coates Canada General Manager, Ardi Vesalej, was originally inspired with the idea by a former colleague who had organized a meaningful, impactful and enjoyable wellness week for her team.

Given the Toronto Crew was formed just 14 months ago, much of their time together has been spent navigating the pandemic while acclimating to a new company culture, team and work environment. They are still working remotely and have been since only two months after the office opened in January of 2020, so it’s fair to say they’ve had a uniquely challenging journey thus far.

While we can’t control the pandemic, to a large degree, we can control how we help each other deal with challenges. I wanted the team to know that not only I, but the company as a whole, cares about them now and in the future,” said Ardi. March Wellness was a way for Ardi to remind the team of the importance of their well-being – mental, emotional, physical and financial – and the importance of supporting each other through the pandemic.

The March Wellness schedule was as follows:

Laura Dixon, Certified Personal Trainer, Yoga Instructor and Hydration Specialist

Laura facilitated a discussion about the Crew’s favorite forms of movement, and she gave advice on how to incorporate easy movements into the workday with simple desk exercises. She also emphasized the importance of staying hydrated and encouraged the team to participate in a weeklong Hydration and Activity Challenge, documenting their movement and water intake for a prize at the end of the week.

Mel Savage of “The Career Reset”

Mel discussed the importance of having trust in our work relationships, and how to earn and build that trust. She encouraged the staff to assess their trust in one another and explained how to rewire our perspective and the way we react to things.

Alex Eaton from Equitable Life

Alex explained the value of the company-provided medical benefits, and how to make the most of the resources available to them. This included mental health resources and solutions for stress.

Sheila Archer from Manulife

Sheila discussed financial wellness, ways to make the best of your money, and how to plan for the future. She shared tips to budget successfully, manage debt, and save mindfully for both short and long-term expenses, and how this type of planning can prevent everyday stress.

Coates Canada Senior Account Manager, Nadia Popatia and Account Manager, Sarah Fischer

Nadia and Sarah spoke about the importance of mindfulness and self-care at home. They addressed some common questions and concerns about meditation and acupressure, and shared easy ways to perform both at home to de-stress and tune into happiness.

March Wellness week rounded out with a final session from Laura Dixon where several Crew members expressed feeling more refreshed and energetic during the workday after incorporating some of the exercises and being more mindful of their water intake. While they enjoyed the “healthy competition” with their coworkers, some also found it challenging to set aside time for activity due to their workloads. Laura’s final words of advice were to time block their calendar in order to carve out a dedicated space for the activity.

Coates Junior Designer, Serlie Parnakoglu, won the Hydration & Activity Challenge and received one month of access to Laura’s Fitness and Yoga classes plus a personal consultation and hydration discussion.

Many of the Canada Crew plan to continue practicing what they learned in their daily lives and work routines.  These are all signs of the program making a difference in people’s lives at a very personal level. That makes me happy and gives a more profound meaning to what working at Coates is – an environment where one can impact each-other’s lives in a meaningful way,” Ardi said.


Author Coates

Founded in 1963, Coates applies technology and solutions to deliver relevant, personalized digital merchandising content for quick service restaurant brands (QSR) and the retail industry.

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