Our employees’ ability to best serve each other, our customers and the communities in which we live and operate, begins with a healthy mind and body. As we learn more about the drivers of mental and physical wellbeing, we have increased our investment in programs and initiatives that support our employees’ physical, mental and emotional health. Our robust benefits help employees and their immediate family members take care of their everyday needs and unique obstacles they may face. The health and safety of our employees, customers, suppliers, partners and community neighbors continues to be a top priority.
As the lines between work and life have further blurred over the past few years, concerns for personal wellbeing have been brought into greater focus. We recognize that our employees face several hurdles to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing, and we want to connect them to helpful resources. While feedback through regular surveys indicates that our employees feel highly supported in sustaining their wellbeing, this work is a continued area of prioritization. Examples of our employee wellbeing programs are detailed in this section and highlights of our progress in 2021 include:
Today’s ever-changing societal and business environments have brought new dynamics and pressures that require resilience, courage, discernment, creativity, connection and flexibility. Our wellbeing strategy is aimed at supporting our people to grow these qualities and thrive. Our wellbeing programs are expanding as we support and strengthen our employees’ mental resilience, while creating a safe space for every person to discuss their wellbeing needs and access the resources they seek.
For example, we are creating communities where our employees can safely discuss and engage on mental health topics:
We continually look at ways to help our employees decompress. In 2021, we continued our 15-minute wellbeing breaks initiative, with programming four times a day, four days a week, covering topics such as mindfulness, movement, social connection and gratitude. Over the course of the year, 24 employee volunteers facilitated more than 700 wellbeing breaks for global colleagues, a 40% increase from 2020. Those who participated responded to feedback surveys conveying that these sessions are truly life-changing and foster a supportive community, prompting us to continue our efforts to increase engagement.
“During such a difficult time over the last 18+ months the opportunity to engage with others during the day while I continue to work from home has been very positive.”
Additionally, we hosted another global company “shutdown” to allow employees to unplug and enjoy time away from work. We also encouraged employees to take additional days that week as PTO or vacation to further maximize their downtime.
We continue to look at how we can embed wellbeing criteria directly into our business operations. For example, we launched six new “Finding a Better Way” initiatives to address worker burnout and mental health. Our “Better Way Day” advocates for a meeting-free Wednesday and we aim to cap meetings at either 25 or 50 minutes to allow short breaks in between meetings. In April 2021, we launched Movement Meetings to address video call fatigue. During movement meetings, employees are encouraged to turn off their cameras and move during the meeting instead of remaining stationary.
In August 2016, in the United States we launched Virgin Pulse, a leading digital wellbeing platform and program that encourages employees, through fun competitions and activities, to achieve their health and wellness goals. In 2021, we continued to invest in a Champions Program, where enthusiastic employees committed to physical activity and healthy living serve as Ambassadors, promoting the program with colleagues, motivating teammates, encouraging peers, and rallying around the common goal of a healthier workplace.
“For once I feel fully engaged in a vision of wellness that speaks to me. Virgin Pulse isn’t just about the right diet and exercise. It’s more of a whole health approach to life.”
– Virgin Pulse Champion, Christine Cadorette
We saw an eight percent increase in enrollment in 2021, which brings enrollment to almost 17% above the average. We are excited to see strong program engagement and have seen a direct correlation between platform engagement and lower medical costs and claims.
In 2021, we also launched the LeveledUp! Program within the Virgin Pulse platform, where highly engaged members received more opportunities for rewards and incentives. Each quarter, one of these regularly engaged employees received a choice of a Peloton bike, treadmill or rowing machine. As a result of the program, we saw more than 100 additional members’ engagement increase, with nearly 500 employees demonstrating consistently high-level engagement with healthy habits and wellness activities throughout the year.
In 2021, we continued to hold special events to engage and celebrate employees taking action on their health and wellness.
To celebrate the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, our EECNs, interASIANconnect and Equinix Women Leaders Network, along with Talent Acquisition Pathways and Global Wellbeing partnered to host a memorable event with speaker and filmmaker Yuriko Romer who created a film documenting the life and legacy of Keiko Fukuda, the Japanese American martial artist. Equinix employees were granted private access to watch a screening of the film and invited join a discussion where Yuriko Romer spoke to her experience of documenting and amplifying the stories of Asians and Pacific Islanders, women and athletes.
On World Sleep Day, we hosted three one-hour workshops on how to prevent and manage sleep disorders. Employees learned about important sleep facts, tips for healthy sleep, sleep resources available to Equinix employees (including direct access to a trained clinician for support and referrals to local experts), and how employees may take action to improve sleep habits for themselves and the people around them. The workshops were attended by over 500 participants from over 17 countries, a 40% increase from 2020. Additionally, 95% of participants reported being satisfied with the workshops and 82% were inspired to take action to improve their sleep habits. 66 employees from 11 countries took the Sleep Pledge, to prioritize getting a full night of healthy sleep each night by selecting one action they would take.
On Global Running Day, over 137 participants, and on World Bike Day, over 106 participants, came together to raise awareness for the joys of running and cycling. Our growing community of movement enthusiasts in the Equinix Strava Club totals over 1,100 members.
We hosted eight global sessions to discuss the meaning of Happiness in a Digital World, partnering with Happiness Practitioners from the UK, Singapore, the UAE, and Canada to explore what happiness is, how to prioritize it and find peace in our lives, how we amplify it at work, and how we can pay it forward and make meaningful connections in the world.
Equinix is committed to ensuring that we continue to offer progressive benefits that meet the changing needs of our employees in all countries where we operate.
Our “My Benefits” platform helps streamline the benefits experience and ensures that employees have full visibility into what is available to them. The program improves how employees access their benefits while also requiring less oversight and improved administration for Equinix. Since 2021, we have launched new Benefits content on “MyHR,” which allows us to further standardize information, content architecture, and frameworks to provide consistent HR materials and resources regionally. We have continued collaboration between our Wellbeing team and EECNs who provide vital local knowledge and insights into employee needs.
To enable our employees to be their best selves at work, we provide benefits to support a meaningful and fulfilling personal life, such as tuition reimbursement, perks and discounts, voluntary pet insurance, and support through life events. In 2021, we conducted a full review of our policies to have a deeper look at how they compare across our locations, with the goal of ongoing improvement to ensure we are meeting a set standard of offerings globally.
We recognize that having time to adjust and bond with the newest member of the family is an important and truly special time for parents. This is why Equinix provides the opportunity for our employees who become parents to spend this valuable time with their families.
Equinix has a paid time off policy for parental leave of eight weeks for U.S.-based employees. This policy provides time for all new parents to bond with their newborn, newly adopted child or new child through foster care placement.
We also continue to review the parental support that we provide to all employees. For example, in Hong Kong, we increased paternity leave from five to seven days and maternity leave from 10 weeks to 14 weeks. In Canada, we have introduced a Maternity/Parental Leave Top Up plan to supplement benefits received from the government employment insurance plans during this leave.
As part of our commitment to ensure consistency among our benefits offerings, we conducted a review of our PTO and vacation policies in each country. Our goal was to understand the differences between various types of paid time off, such as PTO, vacation, bank holidays and company shutdown days, and equalize these entitlements globally. While our findings showed that time off is largely equitable globally, we made some modifications to shift shutdowns so employees can get more rest when large portions of the company are offline.
Our global Employee Assistance Program (EAP) ensures all Equinix employees and their immediate families have access to resources including wellbeing support, legal support, financial resources and mental health counseling in times of need. In partnership with the EAP and our EECNs, we held several global events to raise awareness and understand local nuances, which resulted in a 20% increase in utilization by the end of 2021
In 2019 Equinix introduced healthcare in line with World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) guidelines in the United States. In 2021, Equinix decided to follow the WPATH guides in the United States in offering expanded benefit offerings such as behavioral health services, hormonal therapy and gender reassignment related surgeries to support employees through the transition process. In addition, Equinix continues to help employees, managers, and teams best understand how to support a colleague undergoing transition and serves our corporate DIB vision that allows every employee to feel they belong and they matter.
We comply with all local, state and country safety legislation and follow a Global Environment Health and Safety (EHS) Standard Policy that ensures that Equinix conducts all business activities in a responsible manner. This means being free from recognized hazards, respecting the environment, and protecting the health and safety of our employees, customers, suppliers, partners and community neighbors. It also means complying with all applicable environmental, health and safety laws and regulations of countries, states, provinces, and communities where we operate. 80% of our policies are globalized. We also regularly conduct standardized internal audits and engage 3rd parties to conduct audits.
Safety within our IBX data centers is a top priority, as most health and safety risks apply within those sites. In 2019, we transitioned EMEA to ISO 45001—the new international Occupational Health and Safety Management standard —and to date 77 centers in EMEA are managed under this standard. To achieve these standards, companies must demonstrate that they are managing and improving safety. We are working to further globalize our ISO certification in the coming years. Looking to go a step further in our safety measures, in 2021, we launched our Near Miss campaign in EMEA that creates awareness and visibility on near miss numbers to further inform our processes and potential improvements. After training through the campaign, we saw near miss reporting increase by 90 percent in EMEA.
We also committed to continuous improvement across all corporate health and safety operations. We continue to expand our EHS staffing across the globe, in all regions. Additionally, the Operations Knowledge Base (OKB) was launched in 2021 to better curate resources, including a site for EHS and all related policies. We offer hundreds of EHS training courses in multiple languages, with localized versions offered for many trainings.
Close to half of our employees are working onsite and have safely supported Equinix in-person throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, as our world progressed towards a new normal, we started to define what the future of work at Equinix, and the evolved behaviors would be for all employees who have been operating remotely. While we believe in the power of onsite employee connection, we also trust our employees work with their management to decide what work location best meets the needs of both the employee and requirements of the role.
Wherever they are working from, employees are encouraged to spend time collaborating with their colleagues. In 2021, we formed a dedicated Digital Workplace Experience team to help all employees feel connected and improve our ability to collaborate as virtual, in-person, and hybrid groups. To start, we worked to make hybrid meetings inclusive by focusing on equal opportunity of experience. We started updating our video conferencing room technologies to support a similar meeting experience for those attending in-person as well as those joining remotely. We are also improving how we collaborate better in an asynchronous manner, which will reduce meeting minutes and limit virtual meeting fatigue as a result. In addition to encouraging employees to effectively use various collaboration channels, we are tracking the success of moving to this better way of working by monitoring our collaboration channels’ metrics and meeting minutes.
As our offices reopen, we are updating office design and encouraging new attitudes to keep employees safe and comfortable. For example:
We are committed to continuously improving the in-office experience for our diverse employee base. We increased awareness of accessibility needs and accommodations in offices through global communication. Based on employee requests, we have updated our global design guidelines to include ‘quiet area’ signage. In 2021, we completed the renovation and revamp of our global headquarters, which embodies innovative, activity-based design principles, enabling collaboration and socialization while supporting privacy, diversity and wellbeing. In our spaces we not only want to enable, but also empower employees to “design their day” based on their unique day-to-day needs. Equinix’s move to a flexible, activity-based, free-address workplace model began in 2018, continued with the headquarters opening in 2021, and will continue to improve and advance across the corporate office portfolio in support of our employees and customers.
Our global programs strive to ensure our people have the resources and support they need to be safe at work and empower them to care for their social, emotional and physical well-being.