Wellness In The Workplace, Ideas, Statistics, Tips & Why It's Important In 2022

The imperative towards managing wellness in the workplace has been on the rise for quite some time now. Organizations across all verticals are taking a comprehensive approach to employee experience.  Here wellness in the workplace which revolves around optimizing mental health and employee wellbeing is becoming a top priority. The rise of remote work, lack of social connect, ambiguity and uncertainty due to the unleashing of the pandemic, changes in attitude towards health have all contributed to a more pronounced focus on wellness, on personal and professional fronts. For organizations, increased levels of anxiety, phases of burnout, and the impact on performance have prompted the need to make wellness in the workplace a priority. 

Table of contents

What is employee wellbeing?

Let’s start by understanding what exactly is employee wellbeing. Conventionally, monetary compensation was seen as the only parameter for employee happiness and satisfaction. However, recently, the notion of employee wellbeing has come to the forefront. Put simply, employee wellbeing or wellness in the workplace refers to a state of physical, psychological, and social wellbeing at one’s place of work. This all encompassing term is closely dependent on the job expectations, work environment, workplace culture, roles and responsibilities, stress levels, etc. which impact the health, happiness and wellness of all employees at work and beyond. It goes beyond an employee’s physical health and being free from such ailments to include a state of cognitive, behavioural and holistic growth. Employee wellbeing has a direct impact on an employee’s productivity and performance, ability to contribute to their full potential and capability to forge meaningful relationships and collaborations to create shared value. 

Top 15 Wellness in the workplace statistics

Promoting employee wellbeing requires strategic interventions at an organizational level. Therefore, we need to answer the questions, ‘why is wellness in the workplace important?’ While greater engagement, performance, productivity are the obvious answers, a look at the wellness in the workplace statistics can offer a clearer picture.

Top 15 Wellness in the workplace statistics

1. Talent attraction

About 87% of employees said they consider health and wellness offerings when choosing an employer

2. Employee expectation

More than 68% of employers prioritize well-being as a business objective

3. Job satisfaction

70% of employees enrolled in wellness programs have reported higher job satisfaction than those not enrolled in the companies’ program

4. Economic loss

Work-related stress alone can cost up to $300 billion a year from productivity losses

5. Reduced absenteeism

56% of employees had fewer sick days because of wellness programs

6. Leadership priority

68% of senior HR leaders rated employee well-being and mental health as a top priority in 2021

7. Monetary sense

Average return on investment of workplace wellness programs is 3.27

8. Workplace culture

77% of employees think that employee wellness programs positively impact the company culture

9. Reduced healthcare expenses

The implementation of efficient wellness programs helped reduce health expenses by 26%

10. Bottom line impact

63% of employers offering wellness programs reported increased financial sustainability and growth

11. Better health outcomes

56% of employees had fewer sick days because of wellness programs

12. Employer branding

Employees are more likely to recommend a company that supports well-being efforts as a good place to work

13. Reduced turnover

Less than 25% of people employed by companies with wellness programs intend to leave their jobs within the next 12 months

14. Greater revenue

Company health wellness programs result in an 11% rise in revenue generated per employee

15. Increased productivity

Companies with workplace wellness programs in place report a 66% productivity increase

These wellness in the workplace statistics clearly illustrate the imperative for organizations to invest in employee wellbeing initiatives. While strategic interventions have the potential to augment engagement, experience, productivity as well as the bottom line, overlooking wellness in the workplace can lead to acute turnover, reduced profits and negative employer branding. 

Top 20 wellness in the workplace ideas 

1. Set boundaries

Finally, organizations need to ensure that they set boundaries beyond work time and home time for their team members. It is important that work doesn’t creep in during off hours and employees don’t have to stretch their work day, except occasionally. The space and ability to disconnect to reconnect is imperative for physical, social and mental wellness in the workplace.  

2. Mental health support

Increasingly mental health and wellness are becoming reasons of concerns for most individuals and organizations. Mental health support must come in the form of in-house experts, regular sessions on stress and anxiety management, etc. 

3. Flexible work schedules

Empower employees to choose their work schedule, if the job role allows. Most roles and responsibilities today are time agnostic and giving flexibility to employees to choose when they want to work can augment wellness in the workplace. In case of work from home, this can help them to manage both their work and home well. 

4. Insurances and benefits

Offer health insurances and covers to provide financial assistance for employees during a medical emergency. Explore options of at home care medical compensation, in addition to the convention in-hospitalization care, along with other healthcare benefits.

5. Breaks and day-offs

It is important to give employees sufficient break time and days-off to rejuvenate. If a particular week has been hectic, an off in the next week can help in preventing burnout and add to employee wellbeing. 

6. Wellness expert partners

Onboard wellness partners which offer different forms of wellbeing and health support for your team members. This could range from consultation for physical ailments to therapy sessions and consultation for psychological wellness. 

7. Meditation and yoga sessions

Organize regular, maybe even daily, wellness sessions for a short duration like 15 minutes. Keep it as a permanent feature before starting the work day or after ending it. Encourage employees to practice guided meditation and yoga with experts, online or offline to help them unwind and get relieved from stress.

8. Resources and newsletters

Make it a regular practice to share resources in the form of toolkits, newsletters, emails or posts which illustrate different health and wellness practices. Make the information easy to consume and interesting and relevant to your team members. 

9. Attractive rewards and recognition

Rewards and recognition for a job well done can cater to the cognitive wellbeing of most employees. Having a robust rewards and recognition program will increase engagement, satisfaction and happiness leading to greater wellness in the workplace.

10. Standing desks

The nature of most modern jobs involves sitting in front of the laptop the whole day leading to serious problems for the back and neck. Introducing standing desks can help employees avoid slouching by maintaining a straight posture. This can add to their physical wellness in the workplace. 

11. Hybrid working

It would be a good idea to adopt hybrid working wherever possible. While brainstorming and collective work can be finished in person, individual tasks can be completed virtually. This flexibility will allow employees to invest time saved during commute in furthering their wellbeing. 

12. Healthy work environment

The environment has a direct impact on wellness in the workplace. Having plants and greenery leads to physical and mental wellbeing. In addition, having windows, adequate ventilation, etc. all contribute in different ways to wellness. In fact, even the way the rooms are designed with enough open space and comfortable seating, have an impact on wellbeing. 

13. Sports and wellness

Having indoor and outdoor sports and recreational activities can contribute to an increase in employee wellbeing. While they directly lead to better physical health, they also enable employees to let go of anxiety and stress. 

14. On-site vaccinations and check-ups

Vaccinations today form a very important part of ensuring wellness in the workplace. Catering to vaccinations, routine check-ups and tests for common conditions in the workplace can help ensure that basic healthcare is taken care of for all employees. Such an initiative will also encourage employees to take seriously an aberration in their reports. 

15. Health groups

Like any other employee resource group, organizations can also experiment with health groups. They can meet regularly to discuss healthy practices and even organize different events to promote health and wellness in the workplace.

16. Pet friendly workplaces

Depending on the nature of work, organizations can make the workplace pet-friendly. Having some furry friends around can instantly bring down stress and anxiety. While this might not have the potential to become a norm, having a few bring your pet to work day can definitely promote employee wellbeing and wellness in the workplace.

17. Group outings and team building

Social wellbeing for all employees is dependent on their relationships with team members. Having group outings and team building activities can be crucial here. Even in the case of remote work, virtual happy hours, sending food to the homes of all team members or having a comedy night together can create a sense of belongingness and augment social wellness in the workplace. 

18. Fitness challenges

Any form of a challenge is often well received across organizations. Having a step count challenge or a water drinking challenge or taking the stairs challenge can all inculcate healthy habits in employees and aid their wellbeing. A small reward in the end can make it more exciting and drive greater participation.

19. Employee volunteering

Giving back to society is often full of satisfaction and adds to one’s wellbeing. Choosing a common cause and collective volunteering to create an impact will create avenues for social and mental wellness in the workplace. 

20. Fitness memberships

Offering membership for different fitness platforms can encourage team members to take care of their health. Conventionally, in the form of gym memberships, organizations are now also exploring virtual memberships for platforms which offer activities like zumba, yoga, exercises, etc.

These 20 ideas to promote employee wellbeing and wellness in the workplace have been vastly accepted and have worked for most fast growing organizations. Let’s now quickly explore a few practices that organizations are adopting in the new normal with the rise of remote work and associated challenges to wellbeing. 

How to promote wellness in the workplace during Covid?

Most organizations are struggling with promoting wellness in the workplace during Covid. Fortunately, many forward looking organizations already have strategic interventions in place which are enabling them to promote wellness in the workplace. Here are the best practices that organizations can take inspiration from to build their employee wellbeing strategy for a remote workforce:

Keep communication channels open and encourage interaction

One of the major reasons for mental distress among employees is the lack of organizational communication and the ambiguity that comes along. Make sure you constantly communicate with your team and keep them updated about what is going on. Also, depending on your company culture, it might be a good idea to have conversations beyond work and encourage employees to share challenges with one another. 

Check mental health pulse

It is important to be proactive in gauging mental health and wellness in the workplace. You could either get a professional to help you out or you could explore some organizations specializing in the field of employee experience and seek their help. The idea is to understand the distress level of each employee and focus on a tailor made solution for each. Simply having a mindfulness session will not suffice the need of the hour.

Have an expert on standby

It would be a good idea to have a professional psychologist or therapist on call in case any of your employees need it to promote wellness in the workplace. Due to the taboo on mental health and wellbeing, some of your employees might not want to share their problems with one another, but might feel more comfortable sharing with an expert. Give them all the possible options. 

Focus on digital support

Finally, with a remote workforce, it is very important to focus on as much digital support as possible. Share de-stressing content in the form of videos. It might be a good idea to even collaborate with a few HR- tech partners that can offer you digital solutions for managing wellness in the workplace. 

Workplace wellness tips for successful execution

By now, there is a clear understanding on the what, why and how of wellness in the workplace. This section will focus on highlighting some workplace wellness tips to ensure the practices shared above are able to reap the intended results. Let’s quickly discuss a few tips to successfully design and execute workplace wellness programs. 

Understand employee pulse and expectations

Organizations need to start the process by gauging employee pulse with surveys. This can include conducting pulse surveys not only to capture how they feel about the initiatives taken by the organization, but to also understand their level of wellbeing. For instance, questions like, ‘How stressed you are at work’ or ‘How often do you have to work on day-offs or beyond work hours’. Conducting such surveys on a regular basis will give a clear and comprehensive picture of what the employee feels is hampering their wellness and how can the gap be bridged. 

Get leadership buy-in and support

For successful workplace wellness programs, it is essential to have the backing and support from the top leadership. Only when the initiatives come from the top and trickle down will they have maximum impact. Additionally, leadership support will ensure significant budgets and investments to create impact. Share studies and in-house results to illustrate the need for wellness initiatives. 

Design the program based on identified priorities

Based on what your employees feel is important for their wellbeing, identify practices from the above ideas and create a full execution plan. Instead of simply saying that we will invest in these 5 or 6 initiatives, create a roadmap for each with timelines, expected results and partners. Also, identify some wellness in the workplace champions to drive the efforts. Communicate the plan across the organization to let team members know about the efforts.

Measure and strategize again

Once you have initiatives underway and execution in full force, it would be a good idea to measure the outcomes and results. For each initiative in place, monitor how well it has been able to augment wellness in the workplace. Don’t forget to communicate these results across to create greater buy-in and satisfaction. It would also be ideal to rethink and replan the strategic interventions at regular intervals. 

Getting started with workplace wellness programs 

The best place to get started with workplace wellness programs would be to understand what employees feel and how well the managers are armed to address any challenges. Partnering with SuperBeings can help organizations achieve holistic wellness for their employees. Working with various fast-growing organizations, SuperBeings can help you gauge what your employees feel about wellness in the workplace, share industry standards to check where you stand as well as provide data-backed insights and action points to facilitate employee wellbeing at the managerial and organizational level. This will enable organizations to create a healthy work environment to nurture high performing employees, facilitate higher retention and gauge reasons for attrition and low productivity. 

Only when organizations proactively strategize and invest in employee wellbeing, can they expect to have a productive workforce in the new normal. In a nutshell, this is an opportune time for organizations to don a fresh lens and reinvent their employee wellbeing strategy to ensure social connect, communication and wellness in the workplace.

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