Fit Companies: Spotlight on HubSpot

Standing desks and running clubs help employees of this Cambridge company stay in shape.

In a fit city like Boston, it’s no surprise that businesses offer wellness programs that include far more than a discounted gym membership. In this series, we’ll profile Boston-area companies that go above and beyond to keep employees healthy.

HubSpot employees enjoy the relaxation room. Photo provided.

HubSpot employees enjoy the on-site relaxation room. All photos provided.

Name: HubSpot

Location: Cambridge, Mass.

Number of employees: 700

How HubSpot stays well: Incorporating the healthy habits of home life—sleep, exercise, and nutritious eating—into the workplace.

We all have those days at the office when even the most caffeinated of drinks fails to do its job. While napping at work is frowned upon for most of us, employees of HubSpot are actually encouraged to take a snooze on company time. In fact, they have an entire, tropical-themed room dedicated to doing just that.

“A lot of times you’re in deep on a project or you’ve spent hours with a team and you just need to be able to take a break and clear your mind,” says Chief Operating Officer JD Sherman. “I think as a human being, you feel better and more energized.”

There’s also a camp-themed “relaxation room” in addition to the nap room. The Cambridge-based internet marketing company clearly wants its employees to be well-rested. Sherman says that benefits like these are a part of HubSpot’s larger effort to promote a positive work-life balance among its employees, whom Sherman describes as “energetic and health-minded.”

“For the modern employee, work is kind of an extension of their life,” Sherman says. “You want people to be able to have healthy habits at work just like they do in their home life.”

Standing desks.

A HubSpot employee uses his standing desk.

Of course, eating right and getting plenty of exercise are key when it comes to staying healthy in any environment. HubSpot’s Cambridge office is stocked with nutritious snacks including fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, and granola bars which employees can help themselves to throughout the day. Each employee is also provided an adjustable standing desk to use as desired. Sherman says the standing desks have been a “big hit” and estimates that roughly half of all employees are on their feet at any given time.

“It really does help with my focus and awareness to stand for part of the day,” HubSpot writer Beth Dunn says. “Also, when you’re sitting in a room where 50 to 75 percent of the desks are at the elevated level, you kind of feel like a dope sitting down so there’s a little bit of positive peer pressure going on.”

Dunn says this so-called “positive peer pressure”  that she’s experienced at HubSpot has benefited her in others ways as well. In addition to the employee-formed pushup club which congregates most days around lunch, HubSpotters have also created a running group which regularly meets along the Charles River during work hours. Dunn, who has struggled with weight loss, says watching her co-workers head out for runs inspired her to work on her own fitness regimen. Enabled and motivated by HubSpot’s flexible work arrangements, Dunn started running and has since lost more than a hundred pounds. Sherman says that creating an environment that allows for experiences like this is part of what makes HubSpot an engaging place to work.

“It’s hard to measure, but there’s an intangible benefit of having employees maintain their healthy behavior and lifestyle at work,” Sherman says. “It makes it a much more conducive place to actually get some creative and useful work done.”

HubSpotters compete at the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge.

HubSpotters compete at the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge.