Studies have shown that wellbeing in the workplace is vital to ensure staff engagement and productivity, whilst ensuring employee morale and maintaining their overall mental and physical wellbeing. A holistic approach to workplace wellbeing is necessary to minimise employee stress and eradicate burnout, which is particularly prevalent in high-pressure industries and workplace environments.
As we turn the page on yet another decade, it’s time to look to the future and how the concept of workplace wellness will evolve in the next 12 months, helping to set the scene for the ‘employee experience’ for the coming decade.
A more holistic approach to employee wellness
The modern-day business owner is increasingly acknowledging there are far more facets to employee wellbeing than meets the eye. It’s important to go much further than an employee’s physical and mental health. The concept of ‘holistic wellness’ sees not two but seven different dimensions that make up an individual’s wellbeing in the workplace.
In fact, the seven dimensions span: spiritual, social, environmental, occupational, emotional, physical and intellectual aspects; all of which should be catered for in a holistic staff wellness program. As the demands of work see many careers become intertwined with outside life, it’s more important than ever for employers to demonstrate that they care about their employees’ general life satisfaction, not only their job satisfaction.
Giving employees more say over their wellness benefits
As part of engaging employees and making them feel more in control of their destiny, workplace wellness programs will also put more power in the hands of individuals. Personalised wellness schemes will allow staff to decide for themselves which resources and tools best support their work-life balances and lifestyles.
Some employees might benefit most from support with their nutrition or physical exercise, while others might need encouragement and assistance with quitting smoking or even re-training to set themselves up for alternative career paths. These tailored workplace experiences are proven to be more effective in promoting an individual’s wellbeing.
The increasing value of the Internet of Things (IoT)
Technology will play an increasingly important part in helping employers to better understand their staff. The IoT, with its ever-growing ties with artificial intelligence (AI) and big data can help companies to make more informed decisions about where they should invest time and effort for their workplace wellness programs.
There are a host of emerging platforms that are making it possible for employers to leverage real-time data on their employees to personalise and adjust wellness programs so that they are geared to what individuals want and need. Thus, ensuring sufficient employee engagement in such activities to maximise corporate investment.
Reaffirmation that mental health is not taboo and should be front and centre
2020 will once again be a year for ensuring that mental health remains at the front and centre of workplace wellbeing for staff. Some sectors require more support with destigmatising mental health, helping to reinforce that mental health is not a taboo subject, regardless of age or gender.
Business will not only need to create safe, two-way channels for staff to discuss their mental state with HR departments and their superiors, they must also look to improve their workplace environments, helping individuals to reconnect with the outside world with improved natural light and greener workspaces.