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Could mandatory wellness programs improve productivity?

The Hays Journal recently explored whether mandatory workplace participation in wellness programs could encourage greater productivity.

United Healthcare showed that 62% of employees using wellness programs saw an increase in productivity and 56% have fewer sick days.

Despite this, an NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research) study found that less than 39% of employees participated at all.

The article stated that those who participated were already in good physical and mental health. Companies have tried to create mandatory programs for their staff. For example, Swedish company Björn Borg introduced compulsory gym session every Friday.

Having more basic options available to employers did not invade their freedom of choice.

Regardless, many experts say that this method would ultimately do more harm than good and can alienate people.

Also, it is difficult to find an activity that works for everyone, so some companies attempt to find a balanced approach to mandatory participation. They offer a choice of exercise that employees can participate in, but also include a compulsory session focused on mental well-being and mindfulness.

“Whether they’re leaning towards new engagement strategies that focus on health, or pushing leaders to get involved in new schemes, many businesses are placing a greater emphasis on addressing wellness among staff,” the article said.

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