CoAdvantage – Creating a healthy workforce is more important than ever in today’s uncertain economic climate and in a world still facing flare-ups related to Covid-19, RSV, and other infectious illnesses. But what practical steps are organizations taking to support the health of their team members? Here are three current trends in workplace wellness.
1: Greater emphasis on mental health
To address growing burnout, stress, and disengagement, over 91% of companies are now investing in resources related to mental health. Employers must lead the way in making mental health a part of their employee benefits.
However, this means more than just offering access to mental health programs, which are useless if no one actually uses them. Thankfully, there are signs that seeking help for mental health issues is slowly being de-stigmatized, especially among younger generations. One survey found that 92% of college seniors believe employers should offer mental and emotional wellness programs. “Employees want to work in a place that cares about both their productivity and their emotional well-being,” Dr. Daniel Selling, CEO of Williamsburg Therapy Group, told Forbes. He says it benefits employers too. “A happier, less stressed, and less anxious workforce is a more productive workforce—employee retention and satisfaction increase dramatically.”
2: Developing practical ways to support work-life balance
Though employers were basically forced into adopting work-from-home (WFH) employment models by Covid-19, many of those new flexible working arrangements have stuck: 74% of U.S. companies use or are planning to use a hybrid work model, and 83% of employees say they prefer hybrid work models. Today, it’s less the pandemic driving this adoption than the recognition it can help to address burnout and other problems related to work-life imbalance.
This doesn’t mean eliminating in-office time but instead making more intelligent use of it. “We need to use in-office days for collaboration, culture, and new employee integration while allowing more autonomy in where, when, and how people accomplish their work,” says Scott Behson, management professor and author of The Whole-Person Workplace: Building Better Workplaces through Work-Life, Wellness, and Employee Support. “It will take lots of wise planning and continuing adaptability, but it can lead to the best of both workplace approaches.”
3: Rapid adoption of employee wellness programs and benefit offerings
This is a trend that started right after the pandemic but shows no sign of slowing down. For example, between 2020 and 2021, the percentage of employers offering access to teletherapy programs jumped by 26 points, mindfulness programs by 29 points, and resiliency programs by 36 points. Altogether, the global wellness market is growing fast and likely to hit $7 trillion by 2025.
One word of warning: studies have found mixed results from workplace wellness programs. It’s important to carefully evaluate any benefit offering or use a service like a Professional Employer Organization to offer access to credible high quality, high-performing benefit packages.
CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with HR administration, benefits, payroll, and compliance. To learn more about our ability to create a strategic HR function in your business that drives business growth potential, contact us today.