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Accounting firm's relocation produces healthy opportunities

Feb 8th 2011
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Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt LLP recently relocated its Santa Monica office to Los Angeles, and the firm used the move as an opportunity to increase its support of employee wellness and fitness.

The firm's wellness efforts are nothing new. For years Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt has been offering chair massages one afternoon a week, periodic dinners throughout the week, and lunch on weekends to help staff eat regularly, rather than skipping meals or eating junk food.

"We provide snacks year-round. We have moved away from the junk food and try to provide more healthy options including low-fat granola bars and pretzels, and we always have boxed cereal and oatmeal on hand", said Alison Adams, chief operating officer, Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt.

This new location, however, allows the firm to really step up its efforts. Don't worry, the massages have continued. The masseuse comes to the office one afternoon a week and employees can sign up for a 15-minute massage. In addition, the new office building came with perks that contribute to an improved quality of life in the office.

"The building we are in has a private cafeteria for the employees that work in the building. They have an executive chef and the focus is on healthy, fresh ingredients, and the prices are amazing", Adams said. The landlord company subsidizes the cost because it has several hundred of its own employees in the building.

Every day offers a special menu item that is unusual, delicious, and healthy. Also, the menu includes all the relevant dietary information. A recent special menu item was: Seared scallops with pumpkin cannelloni and a Coconut Curry Sauce with braised fennel and shallots, served with spaghetti squash (Calories 447, Fat 19 grams, Sodium 890 mg, Carbohydrates 42 grams)

While food is a great place to start when considering good health, fitness also is an important factor. The office is conveniently located within walking distance of several gyms, and the firm allows time for people to work out. It is not uncommon for someone to take a longer lunch or take off for a while later in the afternoon to workout and then return to work.

The training room in the new office is bright and airy, and will be used for more than just sharing information on clients, tax code, and audit standards. Once a week, a yoga instructor will teach a class. The instructor has been working with another company in the building, and comes highly recommended.

"Some of the partners will participate, and so will I", said Adams. "We are hoping that this will encourage others to join in. We made sure that the instructor will provide yoga mats for people that don't have their own. If it goes well, we may continue to have the classes even after busy season ends."

Sometimes a change creates an opportunity for even more change. Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt used the move to its new office as a great opportunity to expand its health and fitness offerings to employees. But you don't need to move your office to make a change. You just need to change your mindset and choose to be healthier.

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