19 workplace wellness trends you should support at your company
From managing stress better to providing the right resources, here are 19 answers to the question, “What are the most helpful workplace wellness trends that all companies should support?”
- Stress Management
- Pet-friendly Offices
- Healthy Eating Habits
- Simple Subscriptions
- Mindfulness Practices
- Paid Parental Leave
- Sleep Wellness
- No-meeting Wednesday
- Access to Telehealth
- 4-Day Workweek
- Paid Mental Health Days
- Standing Desks
- Walking Meetings
- Financial Wellness
- Staying Hydrated
- Laughter Yoga
- Truly Flexible Working Arrangements
- Mental Health Resources and Support
Stress management should be a key component of all workplace wellness programs. After dealing with the consequences of stress-related illnesses because of my work environment, I am a strong advocate for having resources in the workplace that are specifically geared toward managing day-to-day stress levels.
This could include anything like flexible work hours, group meditation sessions, mental health services, and employee assistance programs. Stress is an omnipresent issue in today’s world, and companies have a responsibility to support their employees’ physical and mental well-being. Stress management is an important component that no workplace wellness program should be without.
Having a pet-friendly office is one workplace wellness trend that all companies should support because it can have a positive impact on employee well-being and satisfaction. Allowing pets in the workplace can provide employees with a sense of comfort and relaxation, and can also help to reduce stress and increase social interaction among coworkers.
In addition, a pet-friendly office can also help to attract and retain top talent, as many employees value the flexibility and benefits of being able to bring their pets to work. By embracing this trend, companies can show that they are invested in the well-being and happiness of their employees, and can show a commitment to creating a supportive and inclusive workplace.
Healthy Eating Habits
Providing healthy food options in the office, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and encouraging employees to make nutritious food choices, can have a tremendous impact on their overall well-being. Healthy eating can lead to increased energy levels, better focus, and improved mood. So, let’s prioritize healthy and delicious food in the workplace and make sure we’re fueling our bodies with the right nutrients to thrive.
Something we offer to our team members is a subscription service to Headspace, a mindfulness, meditation, and self-care app that can help individuals in several ways, such as issues with anxiety, basic self-care, and sleeping.
Is this something that can fix every issue that somebody might face? No, but it offers the opportunity of preventative care when people are struggling in certain areas, helping them look after themselves before issues get more serious or professional help is perhaps required.
The truth is, we won’t always know what our team is going through; it might be a private matter that they don’t wish to share, but this gives them free, easy access to a simple tool that might help, and something they can engage with anonymously.
Of course, we always want our team to be open with us if the problem is bigger, but to help make sure the entire team has support that they can engage with in their own way, this is a significant starting point.
I am a firm believer that incorporating mindfulness practices into the workplace is a trend that all businesses should embrace. Mindfulness has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and improve focus and overall well-being. Companies can create a more harmonious work environment and boost productivity by encouraging employees to take breaks throughout the day for meditation, deep breathing, and other mindfulness exercises. Adopting mindfulness benefits not only the individual but also the organization as a whole. So, let us raise awareness of mindfulness and incorporate it into our daily work culture.
Paid Parental Leave
It’s 2023. If there’s a company out there that doesn’t provide paid parental leave to their employees (both maternal and paternal), should they really be in business?
A major part of taking care of employees is affording the opportunity to remain at home with their newly-born (or adopted) child for an extended period of time. Week after week, employees give their time, energy, and effort to their employer. Adding to a family is most definitely a reason to give back to the workforce.
Sleep is an essential component of workplace wellness. With the trend of longer work-from-home remote hours, it can be difficult for employees to get enough sleep. Therefore, it is important for companies to support their employees’ sleep hygiene and wellness, by encouraging them to get at least eight hours of sleep each night.
By providing the right environment and resources, companies can help their employees stay healthy and productive—which will ultimately benefit the company as well.
Okay, it doesn’t have to be Wednesday. But I love having a day where there are no regularly scheduled meetings. Most weeks, it gives me a glorious day when I can sit down and just get work done, with no interruptions.
However, it really increases my well-being because I know I can schedule doctor’s appointments on Wednesdays. And dentist appointments. And haircuts. There are a lot of things that really need to get done during working hours, and having a “no meeting” day means I can schedule those kinds of appointments without worrying that a big meeting will pop up on that day.
Access to Telehealth
Access to telehealth technologies and services is one wellness trend all companies should support. The convenience and necessity for those who cannot drop everything to go to a doctor makes telehealth invaluable to those with busy schedules. It provides the same level of care and service to ensure employees stay healthy and well, a win-win for everyone.
The 4-day workweek is a trend that is now catching on in Europe, and in my opinion, should be adopted in North America. In December 2022, 4-Day Week Global released the results of their study that assessed the impact of a 4-day workweek on several metrics, such as employee satisfaction, performance, absenteeism, and even company revenue.
Thirty-three companies took part with 900+ participants, and the results showed that the 4-day work week was a major success, improving all the above metrics.
This goes to show that as humans, we’re not meant to be workhorses—we need a fair balance between work and personal life. Furthermore, this pilot study showed that a healthy work-life balance doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive with company growth.
I encourage companies across the U.S. and Canada to seriously consider this. With the recent social media spotlight on work-life balance in recent years, I think this many will.
Paid Mental Health Days
The research is very clear that presenteeism is far worse for employees and employers than for absenteeism. When employees struggle with their mental health and well-being, their productivity plummets, and office morale drops. But more importantly, the employee suffers, increasing their risk of burnout and other adverse stress-related illnesses.
It is in everyone’s best interest for them to take time to recover and recuperate, which makes paid mental health days essential. Often, simply offering paid mental health days suffices to boost well-being, as employees will feel more supported and less restricted. By showing a formal commitment to mental health, you send a powerful message to those struggling, to the collective benefit of everyone.
As a working professional, I can tell you that there is one workplace wellness trend that all companies should support: standing desks. Not only are they stylish and modern, but they also offer many health benefits for employees.
For starters, standing desks help to reduce the risk of developing chronic back pain because of prolonged sitting. Instead of having your staff members hunched over their computers all day long, having them stand encourages better posture and overall improved physical well-being.
Plus, it helps keep energy levels up throughout the workday! Not only is this type of furniture great for ergonomics and physical health in the office, but research has also shown that employees who use standing desks are more productive than those who don’t!
With such an easy way to improve efficiency in the workplace—not to mention morale—why wouldn’t every company invest in these nifty little additions?
Companies should incorporate more “walking meetings” into their in-office culture. Outside of the obvious benefits of staying productive while getting your steps in, I’ve found that team members are more focused.
There’s a psychological change that happens when we leave our normal spaces to physically go somewhere else for a specific purpose. There’s also an element of subconscious symbolism as well—two people making an effort “walking” and moving in the same direction while discussing business alignment, etc.
There are several ways that companies are promoting financial wellness in the workplace in 2023. More employers are providing financial education and awareness programs to employees on topics such as budgeting, saving, debt reduction, taxes, and retirement planning. Some are also offering access to financial advisors who can help their employees manage their money more effectively.
Adequate hydration can improve concentration, energy levels, and productivity. Encouraging employees to stay hydrated is a key component of workplace wellness initiatives.
Make sure that the office has plenty of accessible drinking water available throughout the day. Provide reusable water bottles for employees to fill up at their convenience and remind them periodically about the importance of hydration in fun and creative ways.
Laughter Yoga is a highly recommended workplace wellness trend that all companies should support. It has been shown to effectively reduce stress, boost immunity, and improve overall well-being.
Incorporating Laughter Yoga into the workplace can also enhance team building and foster creativity, leading to a positive work culture. With its cost-effectiveness and scientifically proven benefits, Laughter Yoga is an easy and accessible way for employees to improve their mental health and overall well-being.
Truly Flexible Working Arrangements
To maximize the benefits of flexible working, companies must truly embrace it and grant meaningful freedom to employees. For example, they should choose their working hours, deciding when to start and finish. They should feel welcome to take breaks anytime they need to. They should choose their working environment, coming in whenever they please or remaining remote if they prefer.
As long as they complete their work on time and meet their targets, the technicalities simply don’t matter. This freedom always translates into improved mental health, greater well-being, and a deep appreciation for the organization that simply cannot be replicated with rigid working practices.
Mentorship is an often-overlooked solution to workplace wellness. It not only provides employees with a supportive and experienced guide to help navigate the often turbulent waters of their careers, but it also helps to build a strong and engaged workforce.
By participating in mentorship programs, employees can learn new skills, receive feedback and guidance, and benefit from the wealth of experience of their mentors. This leads to a more confident and productive workforce, reducing stress and burnout.
Studies have shown that mentorship has a significant positive impact on employee satisfaction, job satisfaction, and career development. Furthermore, companies that invest in mentorship programs see improved retention rates, increased employee engagement, and higher levels of employee satisfaction. This is because mentorship provides employees with a sense of purpose and fulfillment, helping them to feel valued and appreciated.
Mental Health Resources and Support
One emerging and highly relevant trend in workplace wellness that all companies should champion is the fostering of positive mental health and well-being among their employees. This encompasses an array of initiatives, ranging from providing access to professional counseling services, to creating a nurturing and supportive corporate culture, to actively combating the still-persistent stigma surrounding mental health issues in the workplace.
Because our mental state has a profound impact on our overall well-being, it is imperative for companies to prioritize and vigorously support their employees’ psychological and emotional health.
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