The Trends You Need to Know for Work Health

By Haley Bass | 12/18/2017

It’s safe to safe that corporate wellness programs aren’t just a trend. They’ve become a nearly $8 billion industry in the U.S. and are expected to grow at a 7.8% rate through 2021. As these programs have become more common, more employers are adding wellness components to their workplace to help improve the health and well-being of their employees.

Recently, wellness programs have taken a more holistic approach, taking into consideration the full spectrum of health to include physical, mental, and emotional aspects. Evolving technology in the wellness space has also opened new opportunities for increased personalization and effectiveness.

Keep your wellness program in style with these current trends.

Focus on emotional and mental health.

As we increasingly understand the mind-body connection, or how emotional and psychological pains impact physical health and recovery, more wellness programs are starting to address emotional and mental health. Research from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that $135 billion is spent on mental health care every year, which is nearly as much as the total spent on heart disease and cancer treatment combined.

Poor mental health affects one in five American adults, and can lead to increased absenteeism, and decreased productivity and job satisfaction. It can also lead to the production of physical ailments, putting your employees at risk of even further complications. Providing resources for mental health can help improve worker productivity while reducing overall health care costs, both from directly treating mental health issues and indirectly improving physical health.

Wellness programs can address mental health by providing access to employee assistance programs (EAPs), fostering a less stressful work environment (let employees know it’s okay and even encouraged to take earned vacation time), and offering education classes on how to identify and treat mental illness.

Use data for increased insights.

Data is the powerhouse behind innovation these days. Integrating data with wellness programs has the potential to drive significant results within wellness programs. Tools like wearables and software platforms can help organizations make more effective and efficient choices about their wellness programs. These devices track employee behavior and can personalize programs to their needs. They can also build engagement through gamification, like giving points for different activities that employees can redeem for prizes.

Data will let employers and wellness providers know which program aspects employees are using, and which aspects are driving effective change. With this information, wellness programs will be more cost-effective, only offering what is needed and providing real value for employees.

Build a more flexible work environment.

Flexibility is the trending benefit in a lot of organizations. Younger employees are leaning more toward companies that offer flexible work schedules, unlimited paid time off (PTO), and teleworking. While your particular industry or business may not be able to implement all these flexible options, there may be one or two adjustments to make the work environment feel more open.

Unlimited PTO isn’t the only way to provide flexibility at work - there can also be more freedom in the physical space of an office or worksite. Employees shouldn’t feel trapped at their desks. Promoting walking meetings, or adding breakout areas and standing desks can increase productivity and improve collaboration. Allowing employees to work at home once or twice a week reduces absenteeism and increases job satisfaction.

Even little things like letting a worker change their shift to attend their child’s soccer game, or allowing an employee to start their workday earlier so they can attend to issues at home. Small adjustments might be the only flexibility your employees need, and it can lead to better productivity and a happier workforce.

 

Trends are always changing, and it can be challenging to keep up with the latest and greatest in work health. Having a partner to guide and facilitate the wellness program for your organization can help you stay in style. With an onsite medical center, you get a partner in improving the health and safety of your employees, while reducing your overall health care costs.

Download our white paper, “How Employers are Benefiting from Onsite Health Care Costs,” for more information on why your organization should consider an onsite.