Imagine a place at work where you can retreat, close your eyes, and put up your feet without being disturbed during a break. With the support of our CIUSSS, that vision has turned into reality.
The CIUSSS West-Central Montreal is installing a series of self-enclosed relaxation booths at sites across the network where staff can cocoon in a reclining armchair, with options such as music, meditation and light therapy.
The booths are part of a pilot project by our CIUSSS’s Human Resources Directorate that recognize the hard work and dedication of staff, especially during the past two years of the pandemic.
“This is about helping maintain balance and well-being,” says Beverly Kravitz, Director of Human Resources, Communications and Legal Affairs and Global Security. “You can take a moment to recharge your battery and disconnect from your job, and from the world.”
Three booths, manufactured by the Montreal company Recharjme, have been installed at the Jewish General Hospital with four to follow at other sites in our CIUSSS.
The feeling inside the unit, which is about the size of a photo booth, is calm and soothing; the chair can be activated to provide heat and a vibrating massage. At the inauguration of the booth near Carrefour Lea Polansky in April, the first users said the experience left them relaxed and refreshed.
“You forget where you are and you can disconnect,” Lucie Tremblay, Director of Nursing, said after trying out the booth for a few minutes. “When you’re a care provider, you give all day. This lets you take the time to refocus and recharge.”
“You can take a moment to recharge your battery and disconnect from your job, and from the world.”Beverly Kravitz, Director of Human Resources
Andrew Da Silva, a member of Housekeeping staff, said the unit offers privacy if he wants to nap on his break. “When I go in there, I’m guaranteed that I won’t be disturbed. It’s convenient to have a place to recharge, I’m definitely going to use it,” he said.
The co-founders of Recharjme, Éric Normandeau and Timothée Régnier, say they wanted a way to “democratize” relaxation on the job and offer an “immersive experience” to let employees get a break from the stress of their workday. Sessions can be up to 25 minutes and are booked through the Recharjme app. The units are equipped with an air purifier and air-renewing ventilators; users are also reminded to use the sanitary wipes provided inside the unit before and after each session.
The booths at the JGH were installed thanks to a JGH Foundation donor who asked to remain anonymous. They are located on the mezzanine by the escalators just below Carrefour Lea Polansky; outside the Intensive Care Unit; and in the staff lounge of the Emergency Department. The booths are accessible to all staff.
Four more units will be installed in June. They will be located at the Donald Berman Maimonides Geriatric Centre; the Catherine Booth Hospital; the Lethbridge-Layton-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre; and the Richardson Hospital, to serve both the Richardson and the adjacent Henri Bradet Residential Centre.