Corporate wellness programs are being fueled by a deeper interest in health and well-being and are a necessary benefit for organizations looking to reduce the escalating cost of healthcare. As we head in to 2018, these are the worksite wellness trends you can expect to see in the year ahead.
Personalization: Employees enjoy wellness programs that are personalized and zero in on their specific needs and interests. Employers will tap into this desire by using more digital platforms, apps and wearable devices for use in the office, working remotely or after-hours. By collecting well-being data on technology platforms, employers can recommend content or specific programs and fine-tune offerings based on employee interest.
Stress: The World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed stress the health epidemic of the 21st century. One recent study found that work-related stress cost US businesses $30 billion a year in lost workdays. Stress leads to absences and loss of productivity so it is vital for employers to incorporate mental and emotional well-being initiatives into their programs in order to improve overall health.
Sleep: Sleep deprivation is another drain on today’s workforce. A RAND study estimates that sleep deprivation costs US employers roughly $411 billion annually. Research is showing the harmful effects of sleep deprivation on cognitive function and overall productivity. Forward-thinking employers are starting to introduce sleep awareness and education programs. Some employers will begin to offer incentive programs that track an employee’s sleep and provide points towards rewards for achieving sleep goals. Other employers are creating nap rooms and sleep pods as a way to give employees a break and boost productivity.
Standing Desks: With long hours at the office, sitting at a desk and being sedentary all day may be just as harmful to employees’ health as smoking. Employers are looking to help employees get a little more movement in their day while working. Research from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has called the standing desk the fastest growing employee benefit in the US.
Vending Machines: Yes, vending machines are making a comeback . . . and not the ones filled with junk food. These latest machines are being filled with healthy snack options and placed at employer sites to encourage healthy snacking. Some machines are even being filled with vitamins and natural energy boosts.
Take these trends into consideration as you plan your 2018 wellness initiatives. Your employees will thank you, and your organization will benefit from improved employee health and productivity and lower healthcare costs.