7 Corporate Wellness Trends for 2021
The past year has certainly brought on new wellness challenges in the workplace and beyond, but 2021 brings exciting new trends for employers to consider. Improving your employee well-being program increases engagement, morale, productivity, and keeps your workforce healthy, in turn reducing the number of sick days. As we head into 2021, here’s what you can expect to see in corporate wellness:
Increased flexibility during the workday
Employees want their employers to trust their ability to manage responsibilities at work. Many employees are no longer confined to the four walls of the “office,” and with their new remote workspace, many want the freedom of flexibility during the workday. Being able to choose when work is getting done helps employees feel in control and more productive.
Activity during meetings
In a pre-Covid world, many employees were utilizing the office gym during the workday. In place of hitting the gym at lunch, we will start to see more recurring walking meetings or scheduled virtual fitness classes being added to the calendar. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes of exercise per day. Offering 30 minutes during the day for your employees to be physically active is a worthwhile investment for your company.
A broader approach of what health means
Last year brought on stressors and challenges that could not have been predicted. Stress from all areas of life, at work and at home, negatively impacts mental well-being. This year, we will see wellness activities centered around stress reduction and mental health, with initiatives such as virtual health coaching, mindfulness classes, yoga and individual therapy.
Speaking of taking a broader approach to defining health, financial wellness, an often neglected but important subject matter, is at the top of the list for desired wellness programming this year. For many people, their primary source of stress has always been money. The American Psychological Association recently reported that 70% of Americans list the economy and their work as the main sources of stress. Expect wellness programs to discuss more than just nutrition and exercise this year, with a welcomed addition of topics like budgeting and saving money.
Direct wellness dollars to an LSA
Even prior to the pandemic, many employers were turning to Lifestyle Spending Accounts (LSAs) to encourage employees to adopt healthy habits. LSAs allow you to set aside money for your employees’ wellness for expenses such as exercise equipment for their home gym, nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian, gym memberships and therapy. We will be seeing more of this in 2021.
Activity-based HSA contributions
More employees will be getting compensated for being physically active and other healthy habits this year. When employees take part in healthy behaviors each day such as sleeping eight or more hours, exercising for 30 minutes, or eating five fruits and vegetables, they may be rewarded for completing these activities with employer contributions to their HSAs.
Staying connected with co-workers
Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation, even at work. It is important for remote workers to stay connected to boost employee morale and productivity. This year, expect to see more coffee chats, lunch and learns, and happy hours with teammates, keeping the workplace connected and having fun!
No one could have predicted the impact the pandemic would have on the world. It has highlighted the importance of accessible financial, mental, emotional, and physical well-being programs. While it is a good idea to keep an eye on future trends, offering a wellness program with a solid foundation of traditional topics, such as nutrition and physical activity, is still a priority. If you’re looking for help with your organization’s wellness program, contact us. We can make sure your employee wellness initiatives make sense for your employees.