Stressing and slaving away at your desk all day under fluorescent lights and to the hum of the office air conditioning isn’t exactly conducive to health and wellness. Thankfully, corporate wellness programmes are increasing in popularity and most excitingly, innovative schemes and incentives are replacing the likes of the token stock-standard subsidised gym memberships. The focus has shifted to initiatives that encourage an all-encompassing wellness culture, taking into consideration employees’ mind, body, and soul requirements. Universally, corporate wellness programs are known to create both lower health insurance premiums for the company and healthier, happier, and more productive employees. It’s a win-win situation for both employers and employees! Below are some trends helping shape health and wellness at the workplace:
Bring Your Dog to Work
This trend has mainly been adopted by smaller businesses, however, the likes of Google have adopted this policy so other large corporations will no doubt follow the lead! Dogs can help keep spirits up by bringing spontaneous joy to workers and helping employees meet people in the business that they potentially may not have otherwise. They also encourage staff to get outside and take a break which helps with stress management and increased creativity. Paws up for this initiative!
Employers have acknowledged that well-slept and rested employees are more productive and efficient with their time. As such, sleep rooms or ‘nap pods’ are increasingly being observed in the workplace. There’s nothing like a quick nap after your lunchtime green smoothie and sushi. Thanks, boss!
This is when employees are encouraged in team-bonding groups to venture off-site during the day for a quick adventure break. Perhaps a round of golf, a carefree bounce on some indoor tramps, or a stress-busting game of paintball.
Wellness Incorporated into Design
Sure, plenty of well-meaning businesses may have gym equipment set up in the uninspiring basement and perhaps a touch of the outdoors creeps into the office by way of the token plant in reception. However, the corporate wellness pioneers are kicking things up a notch in terms of incorporating wellness features into the overall design of office spaces. Think dedicated yoga rooms, living walls, sleep spaces, and games rooms. A quick yoga break instead of a coffee break…yes please!
The Inclusion of Mindfulness Programmes
Mental fitness is increasingly being recognised as an equally important workplace priority as physical fitness. Stress management programs recognise that dedicating a short time every day to mental fitness can leave employees feeling rejuvenated and more confident. Meditation is encouraged as a daily tool to help with stress management and forward-thinking companies are including meditation guidance and spaces as part of stress reduction initiatives.
Integrating Fitness Into the Workspace
Modern office designs are getting an overhaul with a focus on integrating physical fitness into daily work activities. There is a trend toward standing desks and flexible workspaces such as lounge rooms to help encourage movement and interaction. Office designs with a focus on activity include desks kitted out with exercise balls instead of chairs, treadmill workstations, and wobbleboard stations.
Discounts for Wellness Services and Brands
This is where employees are given access to out-of-office wellbeing services at discounted rates. This may be for healing modalities such as acupuncture, massage, or even services to help make life easier outside of the office such as house maintenance services.
Emotional, Spiritual and Social Focus
In the past, a great corporate wellness initiative may have included access to weight maintenance programs and other physical health initiatives. However, organisations are increasingly adding programmes that address emotional, spiritual, and social aspects of well-being, Mindfulness and meditation programs are trending with workplace wellness schemes.
More Tech in Wellness Programmes
Many corporate wellness programs already employ tech devices such as activity trackers but a more “multifaceted” approach is trending. Some examples include live fitness coaching delivered to employees via video conferencing. More tech advances in the wellness realm mean that employers are addressing wellness efforts with more tools and better data, which they can then use to design catered wellness plans.
Charity Fitness Challenges
Large businesses increasingly tie employee fitness challenges to charitable donations. For example, a business may create corporate teams for a month-long challenge and the winning team at the end of the challenge would get to collectively decide a charity that they would like to dedicate nominated company funds to.
Healthy Meeting and Conference Catering
For wellness-focused businesses, gone are the days of the endless cookie jar in the staff room, pastries at meetings, and lackluster conference food. Modern offices cater to dietary requirements and wellness trends by having fresh fruit baskets delivered daily, providing healthier options in vending machines, and outsourcing catering to companies who cater to those who wish to eat gluten-free, raw, vegetarian, or the like.
With fresh and inviting new approaches, workplace wellness is beginning to show results that everyone wants to achieve: happier, healthier, and more productive workers, less absenteeism, and lower healthcare costs! Work and wellness…the business pairing we can all raise a glass to! A kombucha glass, of course.