- According to data from Corporate Wellness Magazine, 31% of workers said that their mental health has declined over the last year.
- The workplace is more dispersed than ever before, and as a result, keeping track of employee wellness can be slightly more difficult.
- Gympass’ Global Chief of People Lívia Martini discusses the evolution of wellness amenities, what pre-pandemic norms should be left in the past, and how companies can think outside the box when designing their own programs.
Workplace wellness has grown to mean much more than a free lunch.
While happy hours, coupons to a local coffee shop, and rooftop pools most certainly are enticing amenities for workers hesitant about returning to the office, addressing the wellness of employees will be key in ushering a sustainable return.
No one is bound to complain about any of these amenities, but leaders have a responsibility to provide more than surface-level perks for the post-pandemic workplace.
Today’s workforce demands wellness, and without it, are willing to seek an employer that makes it a priority.
Employees have gained newfound insight into workplace preferences over the last few years, and it is up to employers to create a concrete wellness program that merges financial, mental, and physical wellness.
The Importance of Workplace Wellness
According to data from Corporate Wellness Magazine, 31% of workers said that their mental health has declined over the last year.
However, companies are still struggling to identify how to alleviate these challenges. What is certain is employees require more than just free perks.
This starts with rewiring how the workplace is viewed. It is no longer a stagnant, single-office location lined with desks, cubicles, and a watercooler.
The workplace is more dispersed than ever before, and as a result, keeping track of employee wellness can be slightly more difficult. Nonetheless, the modern workforce still requires care and consideration when examining which amenities to offer.
Gympass is one firm that is attempting to address the gaps in wellness initiatives by curating specific programs based on their clients’ unique needs.
Through its company memberships, businesses can provide their employees with access to various different fitness facilities and meditation apps, no matter where they are working from.
In discussion with Allwork.Space, Gympass’ Global Chief of People Lívia Martini discusses the evolution of wellness amenities, what pre-pandemic norms should be left in the past, and how companies can think outside the box when designing their own programs.
Quotes have been edited for length and clarity.
Allwork.Space: Have hybrid policies made achieving wellness goals at work more difficult? Why or why not?
Lívia Martini: Hybrid work policies are making it easier and more accessible for employees to achieve their wellness goals. Hybrid work opens up people’s lives, allowing them to pursue wellness routines that really work for them, where it’s best for them (physical location and in person or digital solution). This can look like being able to go for a run in the morning instead of having to commute, or being able to sign off early for a therapy appointment.
The real challenge is getting employers to be more supportive of people’s personal wellness needs. This happens through mechanisms like expanding wellness benefits to include virtual and in-person options, allowing employees to choose which days they’re in the office, and creating a culture within the company that encourages employees to pursue their wellbeing.
Allwork.Space: Has the pandemic changed how companies should approach workplace wellness? How so?
Lívia Martini: First, it’s important to address the fact that there is no one definition of “workplace” anymore…In truly hybrid situations, people are in different workplaces on different days of the week. Because of this, companies need multiple solutions – physical and digital – to provide for their employees’ wellbeing.
Because of [the pandemic], companies had to ensure the wellbeing of their employees was a priority. During the height of remote work, many companies implemented new offerings such as Zoom meditation sessions, lunch stipends, and four-day work weeks, all showing signs of care from the employers to the workers. The Great Resignation demonstrated the value of having more robust workplace benefits, not only helping to attract talented workers but also retain the ones already in-house.
Allwork.Space: Are there any pre-pandemic wellness norms that should be left in the past?
Lívia Martini: When the culture of the 9-5 office job prevailed, a lunch break workout (or even a lunch break in general) was frowned upon. Alternatively, companies might have had gyms onsite, often to keep workers around longer, or if there was a company membership or discount, it was exclusive to one brick-and-mortar gym.
These are all things of the past, now. Taking care of wellness used to be a “nice-to-have”: now, it’s mandatory. So, if there is anything we should leave behind, it’s not taking care of ourselves, or thinking that we have to sacrifice our wellbeing for our jobs or other stressors in our lives. But this can’t happen without companies being ready and able to employ a holistic approach to their employees’ wellbeing.
Allwork.Space: What are some ways that organizations can improve employee wellness benefits?
Lívia Martini: First and foremost, organizations must care enough about their employees to make these things a priority. Caring about employees and understanding their needs will lead employers to seek flexible wellness solutions that can fit the vast majority (if not all) of their team.
At Gympass, we believe that employee wellness is key to improving engagement, productivity, and overall enjoyment in the workforce. We want to bring the best offerings to our team and partners, which is why we work with some of the best wellness brands in the country, including SoulCycle, Barry’s, Lifesum, and Calm to name a few.
Additionally, the best way to improve the wellness benefits is to listen to what your employees are interested in and seeking. This will ensure that your employees feel heard about what can improve their wellbeing while also being strategic on what you’re adding to the company.
Allwork.Space: What is the most important wellness strategy for leaders to keep in mind in the future?
Lívia Martini: [Flexibility] is essential. It’s at the core of hybrid work, this freedom to live your life in harmony with your job, and a company’s wellness benefits strategy should synergize with that. If you’re offering wellness benefits, employees should be able to choose what works best for them, and they should have access to a wide variety of services.
HR leaders should know that wellness looks like a lot of different things: it’s fitness, nutrition, mental health, and whatever else an employee may need access to in order to enrich their wellbeing. People also have different needs when it comes to the timing of accessing their wellness benefits, and that’s where the flexibility component is so important.
Allwork.Space: How is Gympass helping employers with their wellness policies? Examples?
Lívia Martini: Gympass works with thousands of companies across the globe to improve their wellness programs and increase employee wellness overall. Some notable examples of the brands Gympass works with include Dignity Health, SoFi, Etsy, Kellogg’s, Aflac, and Footlocker.
Each company that adds Gympass’ services to their benefits program is given a specific plan tailored to the size of the organization. This plan ensures we can reach employees with great information and motivation that will help them take the leap into their own wellbeing journey. We keep close to our clients to ensure the program is reaching a high impact for the employees and therefore the company as a whole.