A version of this post was first published on The Warm Up.
Promoting wellness is starting to become a common practice in the workplace. One of the primary contributing factors is the increase in mental health issues in North America, with workplace stress being the main culprit. Stress can be detrimental to business, costing a company thousands of dollars in productivity loss, employee absenteeism, and health insurance claims. Employers are realizing how necessary it is to their bottom line to implement wellness programs that help keep their workforce healthy.
Why are so many employees stressed? There are numerous factors that can cause stress in the workplace, like a poor culture or management. But technology has a large influence on stress as well. It’s becoming harder than ever to disconnect because we’re literally carrying our work with us wherever we go. We can access our work emails and desktops from our personal devices. If we don’t stop to make time for our well-being then we can risk quickly burning out.
Employers focus on preventative care
Employers are now using wellness programs as a strategic way to prevent employees from getting sick. They’re offering employees resources and access to professional and on-demand services like stress management, mental health counseling, life coaching, diet and nutrition, financial wellness, and fitness and meditation, to name a few. These employee benefits encourage employees to take better long-term care of their well-being by educating them and helping them develop healthy habits.
Scientific developments on the benefits of fitness on our brains are also taking the forefront of many discussions around wellness. Fitness is not only good for your physical health – helping prevent obesity and diabetes, lowering cholesterol, strengthening muscles, and boosting endurance — but it’s also proven to protect your brain from mental conditions like depression, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and improve cognitive functioning.
A wellness program can not only prevent employees from getting physically and mentally ill, but improve their work performance as well. A study by Briston University in the UK, revealed that when people work out, they have 21% higher work concentration, are 22% more likely to get their work done on time, are 25% more capable of working without unscheduled breaks, and are 41% more motivated to work. So, letting your employees take a break to hit the gym or take a fitness class during the day can actually be good for business. They end up taking less sick days and develop more stamina to complete work.
Personalization is the key to a successful wellness program
Many companies are designing their workplaces to incorporate wellness, like offering in-office gyms, healthy snack bars, and meditation and nap rooms. While office wellness perks are great to have, they’re not the full solution. Remember, the purpose of wellness programs is to help employees develop healthier habits, and ideally their reach should extend beyond the workplace. By funding wellness spending accounts (think of these like an allowance for wellness-related expenses), companies are able to offer their employees flexibility as well as financial support for services and activities outside of the office.
There’s also no such thing as a one-size-fits-all wellness program. That’s because no two employees are the same in terms of health needs and personal interests. A successful wellness program is one that offers personalization.
Providing employees with flexible spending accounts with funds they can use towards a variety of wellness services is a great way to build personalization into your wellness program. It lets employees decide where they want to workout — for example, maybe they enjoy lifting weights at the gym or prefer to take a fitness class like yoga or boxing, or want to be able to switch it up every day.
Many companies provide even more flexibility by setting up these accounts so that they can be used for dietician and nutritionist services in addition to fitness classes, so employees can choose to invest in what’s best for their specific health needs.
Implementing a wellness program is so important to the health and well-being of your workforce and to the long-term success of your business. It can positively improve your company culture and the lives of your employees.
Learn more about ClassPass for corporate wellness here.
This post was created by Honeybee – Honeybee is Canada’s most flexible digital employee benefits platform that offers wellness spending accounts, health spending accounts and traditional health benefit plans. Honeybee’s mission is to help businesses create a unique company culture that stands out and keeps employees healthy and happy.