Please meet Pleaz, a fast-growing wellbeing company on a mission to make people healthier and happier.
Pleaz is working towards improving work culture and employee wellbeing by helping businesses implement daily routines of short physical activities that employees perform during the workday – together. This not only improves physical, mental, and social wellbeing of employees but also helps businesses to reduce employee turnover and sick leave, while fostering a healthier and more productive work environment to support the long-term success of the company.
Looking back at the times of the covid pandemic, we witnessed two phenomena impacting work culture in companies; the so-called “quiet quitting” culture spread the internet and remote working became the new norm. These events made businesses see that to attract and retain talent, they need to pay significantly more attention to employees’ physical, mental, and social wellbeing at work.
To address quiet quitting, companies have been urged to create work environments where employees feel valued and engaged. At the same time, as we move towards a hybrid work model, it also became critical to find new ways to foster social connections to ensure that everyone feels included and part of the team, regardless of whether they work remotely or in the office.
Pleaz’s co-founder and CEO, Micki Kold Nagel, argues:
“When companies make an effort to ensure that their employees stay healthy, develop a feeling of belonging to their team, and have an overall coherence between each other, it often results in more satisfied employees that are more productive and stay with companies longer.”
This is not just a theory but a well-researched insight. The founders of Pleaz have a background in sport science and their approach to everything they do is science-based. Their ongoing partnership with Copenhagen University has already yielded four research studies on employee wellbeing, and more are in the pipeline. The groundbreaking first study, conducted in 2020, explored the impact of incorporating brief, engaging social breaks for employees to interact with colleagues throughout the workday on their overall wellbeing and job satisfaction. After just four months, the study participants reported the following remarkable results:
“Just 5 minutes a day goes a long way! Taking part in a daily short physical activity together with colleagues can help improve employees’ work day by decreasing stress and ensure they become happier through creating stronger bonds with each other.” – comments on the research Pernille, Pleaz’s Co-founder.
Pleaz began its journey in 2019 as a natural progression of a company called Let Leg (in English: Easy Play) that was founded in 2018 by Micki Kold Nagel, Matias Welsien and Pernille Feld Snitkjær when the three came together to help teachers bring movement and more playful learning into the classrooms of elementary schools. This trio, later joined by Anders Bang-Larsen, made the founding team of Pleaz to take their idea of using movement and fun into a company setting and, in this way, help office workers reduce sedentary work and increase energy and productivity.
Their solution today can best be described as a “Netflix for healthy breaks” and is a digital library of 200+ pleazers – short-video guided exercises designed for employees to activate in an easy and fun way their body and mind and create a common space to connect with each other during the workday – whether its in the office or remote.
“We help companies to implement pleazers which allow employees to get that a 2-5 minute respite during a busy workday. Doing a pleazer together takes your mind off work and often results in some good laughs with your colleagues while loosening up sore or stiff office muscles. It helps employees relieve some of the mental, physical, and social pressure in a high-paced everyday life.” – explains Pernille, who is also the Chief Content Officer at Pleaz. With her background in Human Psychology, she ensures that all exercises are rooted in science and with the aim to enhance cognitive functions, decrease muscular tensions and improve wellbeing.
Engaging in pleazers impacts individuals’ mental and physical health and wellbeing and, most importantly, supports the social glue in organizations. “We know how impactful physical activities are in creating social bonds.” – says Pernille.
“Social relationships are the best protectors against stress and sick leaves and the number one reason for staying at a job for a longer period of time.” adds Micki, who is also the company’s CEO.
Until today, Pleaz has partnered up with 67 Danish and international companies with employees in more than 75 countries, from small companies to global enterprises.
Nestlé is one of them. The company has not only been using Pleaz’s platform since its beginning but has also contributed to its current modules and functionality. Today, Nestle’s employees meet hybrid with their colleagues working across different offices and countries to regularly engage in doing pleazers together. Apart from a regular routine, they also incorporated healthy activities into their company and team meetings.
Julia, Nordic Ncouragers Lead @ Nestlé
Another company that has benefited from implementing pleazers into workday routines is Learningbank. Facing various hiring difficulties, like other companies in the technology space, Learningbank’s management team decided to build a corporate culture based on health, wellbeing, and inclusiveness. Today, pleazers are a permanent fixture in the company – they do pleazers regularly to enhance team spirit, while their meetings start with mindfulness to ground the participants and free up creativity.
Laura, People & Operations Manager @Learningbank
Pleaz itself is also very much aware of its own team’s wellbeing. Since 2019, they have expanded from just four co-founders to 30 employees, with a culture of full flexibility to work remotely or from the office. To stay connected and motivated, they created a social wellbeing habit of meeting for a pleazer twice a day and implemented them in team and company meetings.
“We have been able to attract great talent due to our work culture and our company purpose of making work environments better and more fun for everyone.” – says Pernille.
Pleaz is currently a wellbeing partner to 67 companies and is aiming to expand further in Europe and the US market. In Q2, the company is launching a new native platform designed to make the best out of social routines through a smooth, fun experience.
When asked about their next steps, Pernille responds:
“Our mission is to show that putting people first is good for business. We want to continue working with forward-thinking companies that, like us, believe in the value of their employees’ wellbeing. A great work environment and good work culture is what will help companies attract and retain a high-quality workforce who will perform their best by being holistic and balanced beings.
This is the norm that we want to challenge globally. One workplace at a time.”
At Scale, we are proud to support the team on their journey, empowering a better future where work environments are healthier and businesses can thrive sustainably.
Pleaz is an employee wellbeing platform, which encourages forward-thinking companies to work with sustainable health. The platform is designed to implement active break in between office and everyday working hours, enabling all employees to do healthy breaks every day.
Scale Capital is an early-stage venture fund investing in digitization and disruptive technologies within B2B. It is primarily focusing on investing in companies in the Nordic region that has the potential and ambition to win in the US market.
Scale is headquartered in Copenhagen with a presence in the Nordic countries and Silicon Valley.