What do we mean by “wellness at work”? For starters, it’s about far more than mere physical wellness. It concerns all of the components of employee wellness, including physical health, of course, but also mental, emotional, financial, and social well-being. Each of these different components of wellness affects all the others. For example, if an employee is having an emotional crisis, they’re probably feeling the mental and physical impacts of them too. The result? They underperform, despite their best efforts.
In Gallup’s recent State of the Global Workplace report, it was found that 85% of the world’s employees are either not engaged or are actively disengaged at work. The economic consequences of this have led to almost $7 trillion in lost productivity. 18% are “actively disengaged” in their work and workplace, while 67% are “not engaged.” The report states: “This latter group makes up the majority of the workforce – they are not your worst performers, but they are indifferent to your organization. They give you their time, but not their best effort nor their best ideas.”
These disengaged employees, and the lost productivity they cause, are why workplaces everywhere are prioritizing wellness initiatives today in order to better thrive.
- Holistic workplace wellness:In 2019, wellness programs which consider the whole person and include other important aspects of overall employee wellbeing such as stress reduction, emotional health, eating and sleeping habits, and even good posture are becoming important. There is also increasing awareness about mental health in the workplace. In 2019, more companies will be investing in mental health resources and education to ensure their teams are well supported.
- Emphasis on self-care:Apple listed self-care as the trend of the year in 2018, but it will continue to gain traction this year, as more companies realize that self-care is no longer an indulgence but essential for employee health. One aspect of self-care that has been on the rise in the workplace is mindfulness practices. It’s being offered at some of the world’s biggest companies to reduce workplace stress and boost productivity. Self-care can help prevent burnout from work, help manage stress, and boost feelings of self-worth and confidence.
- Taking burnoutseriously: Another Gallup survey said that 44% of employees reported feeling burned out at work “very often or always”. Employees who consistently experience high levels of burnout are twice as likely to feel that the amount of time their job takes makes it difficult to fulfill their family responsibilities. They’re even 23% more likely to visit the emergency room. Employee burnout impacts all industries, resulting in lost productivity, low engagement, increased errors and a higher rate of workplace accidents. Burnout can be addressed by encouraging employees to relax and recharge – and providing them with ample ways to do so, from allowing sufficient break periods to offering classes in yoga, meditation, or other relaxation techniques.
- Financialwellness resources: According to Corporate Insight’s 2018 Employee Financial Wellness Survey, more than 40% percent of respondents said they are very concerned about budgeting, health insurance, health care costs, emergency savings, and retirement planning. Around 38% said that concerns about credit and debt management preoccupy them. Employees with financial worries sleep poorly, and their fatigue and stress can lead to reduced efficiency and increased errors. Incorporating financial wellness into a workplace wellness program can help employees become better educated about their personal finances, and reduce much of the stress associated with finances. Employees who aren’t worried about personal finances will also be able to fully concentrate on their jobs.
- Wellness personalization:Wellness isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution, becauseinitiatives that are important to one employee might not be as important to another. To create a more personalized experience for employees, many companies are beginning to analyze and integrate employee data from multiple sources such as health assessments, biometrics, interests, platform usage, and more to create wellness profiles. Employees benefit from wellness programs uniquely tailored to their needs, while employers benefit from a healthier, more productive, and more engaged workforce – resulting in a better bottom line.