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Following up on the introduction of several wellness activities for employees in 2017, National Leasing Group Inc. is rolling out a weekly workplace knitting group.

“It’s going to be after work, on Wednesday, for a couple of hours,” says Samantha Squire, public relations co-ordinator at National Leasing. “I know how to knit, so I’m going to lead it and show other people how . . ..” About 15 people at the company’s Winnipeg office have signed up to participate.

The equipment leasing company celebrated its 40th anniversary last year with a series of new wellness activities for employees, including a session with a nutritionist and a meditation class. “We want to continue those things for 2018, but we also want to show people that wellness is much more than those things as well. It’s about getting together, having fun and learning something new,” says Squire.

Read: Petting zoos touted as way to reduce workplace stress, boost staff morale

It’s a simple and cost-effective idea but one Squire believes will create a sense of camaraderie outside of the regular workday. She also wants to ensure the group has a teaching element so people with no previous experience will feel welcome to join. “They could register as a beginner or a volunteer or, if they know how to knit, they can just show up and join us and be part of it. So far, I have four volunteers, and the idea is that they will partner up with two beginners so they can have one on either side and teach them how to knit.”

The knitting group is just one in a series of activities that will take place throughout the workday in 2018. The company’s wellness advisory team is aiming to encourage more relaxing activities that colleagues can do together, such as a lunchtime walking group and a board game night. “Wellness can just be engaging with your peers and co-workers and coming out and trying and learning something new,” says Squire.

It’s also a simple way for colleagues who wouldn’t normally cross paths to get to know each other. “It’s the perfect opportunity for people to meet their co-workers from different departments,” she says. “And we’ve also hired a lot of new people lately, so it gives them an opportunity to make friends right away.”

Read: Allstate targets employee mindfulness, finances in January well-being programs

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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