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2U Uses Grokker to Help Employees Access Wellness Resources Anywhere, Anytime



Erin Newbill is the Senior Director of Compensation and Benefits at 2U, which works with colleges and universities to develop digital education programs. 2U was recently named one of 2017’s Top Workplaces by The Washington Post. In today's post, Erin explains how Grokker is helping 2U employees access wellness resources from the office, at home, and on the road.

Everyone at 2U is passionate about changing the online education landscape, so it’s no surprise they’re passionate about other things, like maintaining their health and well-being. Many of our millennial employees are starting their careers at 2U, and they’re not afraid to tell us that the work environment needs to be a healthy place. We listened to their ideas, and that’s why we chose Grokker.

To do right by our employees, we had to find a wellness program that was available to everyone, no matter where they worked. Most people work in our Lanham, Maryland home base, but we also have employees in several other U.S. offices as well as Hong Kong, along with some home-based workers. We’re at 1,300 employees, adding new people every week, and continuing to hire new employees, which played a role in our search for a wellness program — we wanted to scale it quickly. And we wanted to include employees with disabilities or mobility challenges: for example, ideas for exercises that people could do at their desks, or nutrition and mental-health advice that anyone can follow.

Many of the wellness programs we looked at were driven by benefits providers, which meant that employees who weren’t on our benefits plans (like part-timers or young workers still on their parents’ plans) couldn’t participate. We weighed ideas like bringing in speakers or creating webinars, but these weren’t ideal options for our busy HR team.

Grokker overcame all of these barriers. Classes and resources are available anytime online or through the Grokker app. Not only can everyone get access to wellness information, they can do so from anywhere — while commuting, traveling for business, or even from home. Many Grokker ideas for exercise, nutrition and well-being are designed around desk work, so they’re achievable for just about everyone.

For our employees, Grokker’s nutrition and recipe ideas are very popular — like this zucchini pasta recipe we saw getting passed around. People also like techniques for managing stress, such as meditation exercises. Some of our managers have added stretch breaks to meetings, using ideas from Grokker.

Employees tell us they love Grokker’s accessibility, and its usefulness as a source of new ideas about wellness. One employee said that when she couldn’t come to the office during a bad winter storm, she could find Grokker videos that helped her exercise at home. A working mom told me she loved being able to find workout routines that fit her busy schedule. Even simply watching videos about cooking and nutrition helped raise awareness about adopting healthier habits.

Our employees spend a lot of time at the office, and we want that time to be both productive and healthy. Grokker gives us a way to help employees focus on their well-being, even as they’re focused on 2U’s goal of reimagining education. Using Grokker is all part of our “No Back Row” corporate philosophy: that every person counts, each person is and feels included, and when we each lean in and do our part, we are better individually and collectively. It’s embodied by the eight values we list here:


Caring For Remote Employees

Many organizations continue to work in remote and hybrid models as the pandemic winds down, but many employees, when given the option to return to work, would actually prefer to continue working remotely. Our new guide, Taking Care of Remote Employees: The Key To Business Success Beyond the Pandemic, gives you actionable steps to ensure that your employees feel supported no matter where they are working. 

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