5 Workplace Wellness Trends to Watch

Work life balance illustration

Health and wellness programs continue to be a significant way for employers to attract and retain employees as they help keep workers happy and healthy. Organizations that offer progressive programs and benefits have a competitive advantage in attracting, engaging, and retaining great talent.

Wellness benefits significantly increased in importance for businesses in 2019. As more companies adopt innovative programs around holistic wellness and flexible work arrangements, this will only continue. Here are five workplace wellness trends.

Holistic Wellness

A holistic approach to workplace wellness considers the numerous aspects of health, including physical, mental, emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual ones. This approach to life encourages people to consider all aspects of their lives—not just work—when evaluating their overall satisfaction with life. For example, a company might support holistic wellness by helping its employees connect in ways ranging from the layout of the office to social events. Consider your office space and how you can create a place that invites collaboration for meetings and breaks – if employees don’t have somewhere to eat lunch together, they are likely to eat offsite or at their desks, which won’t encourage socializing.

Companies should allow employees to work on tasks they have the most expertise and experience in. However, it is vital to introduce new challenges so that employees can grow and feel challenged. This can be done by giving them additional responsibilities for which they are not trained or by soliciting new ideas about how work could be done better. Everyone has specific skills that come naturally to them and working in an area where those skills are used results in happier employees. By getting to know each employee’s personality and working style, managers can better help them succeed at their job. Using a tool like the Enneagram test and DiSC Assessment will help you understand your employee’s strengths and weaknesses and how to work together well.

Mental health + Wellbeing

People want to bring their whole selves into the workplace, including mental health. As a result, leaders must be more empathetic and supportive of people experiencing mental health disparities. There are several ways in which a company can improve mental health and wellbeing at work. One way to relieve stress is by offering a lunchtime yoga or fitness class. Another way to help employees struggling with mental health conditions is with counseling services. Counseling services can provide employees with an avenue to seek support and help with their mental health struggles. For example, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act ensures that individuals with mental health conditions (including substance use disorders) receive coverage for their care, for example, insurance coverage for addiction treatment.

Employers can also offer employees a confidential Employee Assistance Program (EAP). EAPs are voluntary for the employee, and some workers may be reluctant to use this resource due to fear of stigma or shame. By providing direct access to mental health professionals via phone and in-person and emphasizing that your EAP can be accessed confidentially, your company can increase employee utilization of this valuable health benefit.

Digital Wellness

In today’s always-connected world, digital wellness is an increasingly important issue. Digital wellness refers to helping individuals achieve balance in their lives. Overuse of technology can cause stress, anxiety, isolation, and lack of sleep. Organizations can support employee wellness by establishing digital boundaries. Maintaining a solid work-life balance is essential for employee wellbeing, especially in the age of instant communication. Remind employees not to check work email when they’re not on the clock and encourage them not to contact one another on work matters after hours or set job-related phone notifications to silent or “do not disturb” during off hours.

Another way to help with digital wellness is to address and prevent eyestrain. Glare and blue light from screens are linked to poor sleep, especially for those who use their tablets or phones at night. F.lux is a free piece of software that companies can offer to their employees, which automatically adjusts the lighting of your computer screen throughout the day. For example, it makes the screen lighter and whiter during the day but warmer and softer at night to match indoor lighting. This app also reminds users to take breaks at preset intervals and helps prevent eye fatigue.

Financial Wellness

You can’t ignore finances if you want your employees to be happy and healthy. That’s why financial wellness programs are becoming more common in the workplace. This type of wellness program provides employees with resources for dealing with their money-related stress as well as helping them plan for their long-term financial future. To help employees deal with the financial pressures of everyday life, you can create an open forum where they can ask questions about financial management or create by organizing educational workshops on various topics related to money management.

Plenty of banking and investment apps can also assist your employees with their finances, and people tend to gravitate toward the ones that prioritize wellbeing. Apps like Mint or You Need A Budget (YNAB) make budgeting easy and straightforward, reducing the stress of working with finances. Financial self-care is so important since knowing the state of your finances directly contributes to the mental and physical well-being of your employees.

Generational Awareness

Workplaces must also be inclusive of different generations with different values and priorities to enhance employee wellness. A one-size-fits-all approach will not achieve workplace wellness; each generation has different values and preferences, but all should be respected. Today’s workforce comprises four generations: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z.

In general, Baby boomers are known to value health insurance and a retirement plan. Gen X grew up with financial stability, so this generation prioritizes salary and job security when considering a new position. At the same time, Millennials and Zoomers appreciate paid time off and control over when they work and where from. As workplaces start to see the demographics of generational members change among their ranks, it will be vital for them to consider each generation’s unique priorities to create an effective workplace wellness strategy.

In the last couple of years, we’ve been surprised by how much our lives have changed. However, we’re finding ways to thrive in this new normal while allowing space for the inevitable changes that will continue to come. As trends like holistic, mental health and wellbeing, digital, financial wellness, and generational awareness catch on in companies, it’s essential to take things one moment at a time and keep an eye on exciting new trends.

About EG Workforce Solutions

We’ve been in this business for decades and have developed a deep network of professional connections. Whether they’re companies looking for talent, job seekers looking for work, or an up-and-coming store in need of some temporary help, we know the right people to bridge the gap between the hiring and the hired.

But what’s more, we get to know people. From employers hiring to candidates looking, we take the time to listen and learn. We hear your likes, talents, and needs. We gain an understanding, and with it, we’re able to facilitate lasting relationships between businesses and people.

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