Health and wellness have become an increasingly important topic for many people, which has impacted plenty of aspects of life. One of the many areas that are affected by this is the workplace. In today's world, organizations are using wellness programs to enhance employee productivity and support and bring awareness to the necessity of having a healthy workforce. Employees are taking advantage of these programs to reduce work-related stress and strive for a better healthy work-life balance.
Wellness programs need to be strategically designed to an organization's mission, flexible, comprehensive, and scalable. By helping your employees better their health, the outcome leads to reduced healthcare costs. That eventually causes these programs to become even popular, especially among startups and small businesses. Plus, they help increase workforce satisfaction, which leads to less turn over rates.
However, with the current ongoing pandemic, many things are changing for businesses and employees alike, particularly when it comes to wellness trends. Free delicious and healthy food in the office cafeteria and on-site fitness classes may no longer be relevant benefits to offer your employees. With the number of employees reluctant to return to the office and remain remotely, you are going to need to adapt your wellness programs to suit their needs.
Furthermore, wellness programs are becoming an essential part of the workplace, especially when it comes to a remote workforce. As the need to ensure remote employees are becoming more health-conscious as they work from home, businesses must know about the latest wellness trends. So let’s go over the wellness trend every company needs to know for 2021.
Telehealth is the distribution of health care, health information, and health education services via remote technology. It includes remote patient-clinician contact, advice, care, monitoring, remote admission, and much more. According to Wellable’s 2021 Employee Wellness Industry Trends Report, 87% of employers plan to invest heavily into telehealth more during this year.
With COVID-19 still impacting many places around the world, telehealth is an excellent solution for patients and health care providers. Instead of needing to wear a mask, comply with social distancing rules, and travel limitations to deal with, people can instead contact their health care providers through a virtual appointment, thanks to telehealth.
There are several benefits that telehealth provides to your remote workforce. First off, if you offer telehealth services to your remote workforce, they will gain access to 24/7 access to everything they require to monitor their personal health. They also gain access to a form of communication that allows them to make virtual appointments with their doctor during a much more suitable time. Telehealth permits them to acquire the answers they need concerning their personal health out of hours when physical health centers are shut down. Furthermore, large organizations such as Bank of America and Citigroup are already using it to improve their employees' wellness.
Better Mental health
Mental health has grown to become one of the most significant issues that everyone has become concerned about this year. According to the previous report by Wellable, nine out of ten employers are planning to invest more in this particular area, so they are prepared to address this side of their employee's well-being. Since the start of the pandemic, around 91% of Gen Z and 85% of Millennial employees have argued that employers should set up a mental health work policy.
The growing concern for employees' mental health increased, even more, this year. COVID-19 has impacted everyone's lives, which has led to plenty of stress and anxiety issues ramping up amongst employees. For example, some workers have found themselves working full-time at home, which leads to them experiencing loneliness and isolation. That eventually led to them becoming depressed due to the lack of interaction they used to have with their colleagues.
Working from home also caused an imbalance between personal and professional lives, with most people working for longer hours, not shutting down, and causing themselves to burn out eventually. Stress levels have increased imminently over time for the vast majority of workers, which placed pressure on people’s mental health.
Another rising trend that we see among wellness is the increased interest in focusing on personalization, for example, fitness classes, health coaching, and self-care subscription services. Self-care was something that was already becoming a growing interest even before COVID-19 impacted everyone's lives. However, with the number of people that are working remotely, it has become essential to provide remote employees with these types of services.
These options allow employees to have an option to choose which of these initiatives suits their needs and interests, along with the flexibility to use the service when it works best for them. In today’s technological world, there are plenty of wellness apps available for almost everything. It will vary depending on the app or wellness platform that is covered by the organizations. The wellness apps and platforms available can be pretty much anything, from helping with sleep to tracking their daily exercises.
Focus on prevention
Prevention focus is another issue that has climbed to the top of every wellness trend. Instead of providing employees with a vast assortment of wellness benefits for when it becomes too late to assist with their issues, organizations need to start focusing on prevention. That means organizations need to address the issues of stress, aching backs, eye pain, and so forth before they can occur to their remote employees.
When an organization manages to set up a prevention strategy for its employees, the results can be quite impressive. The employees will be left healthy in terms of mental, physical, and financial. That leads to them being overall happy, which leads to them remaining productive and efficient. Therefore, your organization needs to focus on prevention as a starting point for the employee's overall wellbeing.
Organizations need to make an effort in developing a working environment so that employees don’t find themselves becoming overwhelmed by so much stress. Managers should learn how to identify the mental health challenges that appear on their employees. Support them to become more active by offering to pay for a gym membership or activity trackers to heighten awareness of physical activity. Furthermore, offer counseling and workshops about healthy eating, quitting smoking, and so forth.
As the leader of the team, managers tend to have a lot of weight behind their orders. They are the ones frequently checking in with their teams and asking them how they are doing. That places them in a position that allows them to spot when one of their team members isn't doing so well, enabling them to take immediate action.
Financial wellness is another trend that has been emerging amongst employers as of late. In this case, financial wellness is about a person’s overall financial health and the lack of presence from money-related issues. Recent surveys have shown that financial stress causes a 34% increase in tardiness and absenteeism amongst employees. Workers who are concerned about their finances also tend to miss out on work twice as many days per year compared to other employees who are less concerned about their financial wellness.
With the current pandemic impacting everyone's lives, their financial wellness may not be the best at the moment. There are several people out there who have lost their jobs, or the company they are currently working with is struggling to make ends meet and is unable to continue paying their workers. Companies are being impacted financially as well due to their workforce being placed under financial stress. According to a Human Resources Executive, US companies are losing out on $500 billion a year because of financial stress.
Offering financial wellness benefits can take several forms, whether they are standalone perks or full-on financial wellness programs. Workshops are an excellent way to assist your employees and are very low-cost. It allows your company to invite regular guest speakers to run a workshop topic about budget planning, reducing debt, or saving strategies. You could also provide financial wellness tools that offer on-demand financial advice or even training courses to improve financial knowledge.
Family wellness isn’t the highest trend amongst the rest of the ones we’ve mentioned here, but it slowly started to emerge as one. With the number of parents working from home, family wellness is becoming a growing issue. At the moment, several schools and daycares are still closed for a good number of countries.
Aside from the challenges presented by the pandemic, an employee's family will have a massive impact on their health and wellness. If the employee’s home life is doing well, their work-life will be positively affected. Additionally, extending wellness benefits to your employee's families allows your organization to show them that they care about the well-being of their employees beyond the reach of their work.
These wellness trends are the most crucial ones for 2021. Right now, the pandemic is still affecting the lives of many, and providing them with the assistance they need will take your organization far. Organizations with remote workers need to ensure that their employees are being taken care of. While remote work does provide some benefits that improve their lives, it also adds some other complications on top of it. These programs will help elevate some of the stress and ensure they can remain healthy and strive to work better.