- Workplace wellness has been shown to increase employee engagement and productivity by reducing stress and improving the overall health of employees.
- Here’s a closer look at how workplace wellness programs will evolve in 2020 as companies work to enhance the employee experience.
- Among them, we expect to see a more holistic and personalized approach to wellness, rather than a one-size-fits-all mindset.
Workplace wellness has been shown to improve employee engagement, increase productivity, reduce absenteeism, reduce stress, prevent burnout, and improve the overall health (mental and physical) of employees. As we close 2019, it’s time to look at some of the ways in which workplace wellness will evolve in 2020 as companies increasingly seek to enhance the employee experience.
1. The rise of holistic wellness
Companies are starting to realize that workplace wellness needs to go beyond physical and mental health. There are 7 dimensions of wellness: social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual, and physical, and organizations need to ensure that they are providing a robust wellness program that addresses all of these dimensions.
Suggested Reading: “How to Address the 7 Dimensions of Wellness in the Workplace”
As we begin a new decade, employee wellness programs and benefits will become much more holistic. Programs that help individuals manage and cope with stress and depression will become more commonplace, as will programs that help employees with financial wellness and reskilling efforts.
Providing holistic programs and benefits shows employees that a company cares not just about their work performance, but also about their overall life satisfaction. This holistic approach to wellness will mark the transition from a work satisfaction mindset to one of life satisfaction. As work and life become increasingly intertwined with one another, these types of programs will help companies attract and retain talent.
2. Personalized wellness experiences
Over the next decade, we will see workplace wellness become increasingly personalized. Rather than providing set wellness benefits and packages to all employees, organizations will give employees more control and power over their wellness offerings, allowing them to choose wellness programs that better match their needs.
Organizations need to understand that each worker is in a unique place in his or her life, which is why they need different resources and tools to support their lifestyles. This means that companies need to provide a wide variety of wellness program options (holistic wellness offerings) and empower employees to decide which program or programs best suit their current needs.
For example, an organization might allow workers to choose between different physical wellbeing programs; some employees might need help with meal planning and nutrition, while others might need help with becoming more active or quitting smoking. The same can be said about the other dimensions of wellness; some people might need help with their re-skilling efforts while others might need help with financial wellness to reduce stress.
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Suggested Reading: “Is It Possible to Achieve Financial Stability Through Workplace Wellness Programs?”
But tailored wellness experiences go beyond programs and benefit packages and into the physical workplace. By allowing individuals to personalize certain aspects of their work environment (light, temperature, noise) organizations can also provide a more tailored experience that contributes to individual wellness.
Which brings us to our next trend.
3. Wellness will get a tech makeover
In order to provide these tailored experiences in the physical workplace and through wellness programs, organizations will need to embrace emerging technologies. The Internet of Things can empower individuals to have more control over their work environment, while emerging platforms can make it easier for employees to pick a wellness program that best suits their needs.
Technologies like artificial intelligence and big data can also help organizations make more informed decisions about where they need to invest their wellness offerings. By leveraging data, companies can adjust their wellness programs, which will lead to more engagement in these activities, as they will be more personalized and tailored to what people want and require.
Fine tuning wellness programs through technology can also lead to corporate savings.
4. Mental health will continue to be the focus
Over the past couple of years, mental health has become a central topic around workplace wellness. This will not change in 2020, as there is still a lot that needs to be done to destigmatize mental health topics in the workplace.
Organizations will increasingly focus on addressing the mental health of employees by providing safe spaces for people to talk about their mental state, providing them with tools and resources to better cope with stress and mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, and allowing employees to take a mental health day off.
Another way to improve the mental health of employees is to provide a workplace environment that reconnects people with nature. This can be done by providing enough access to natural light, adding a water element to the workplace (a fountain or water noises through speaker phones or white noise systems), and incorporating nature elements into the workplace design (greenery, wood, textures).
Additional strategies to address mental health:
- Offer flexible working policies (flexible schedules and telecommuting options).
- Encourage people to be more physically active (offer bike storage and locker rooms to motivate people to use alternative transportation methods, encourage walking meetings, and motivate people to use the stairs).
- Provide employees with access to meditation platforms or alternatively offer yoga or meditation classes every week in your workplace.