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The future of employee wellness programs

Posted on Feb. 24, 2021 ( comments)

You can say goodbye to corporate health fairs and onsite wellness screenings. It’s time to welcome in the trends of standing desks and fitness membership stipends.

Employees across all industries have faced health challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The health crisis has highlighted how critical it is to invest in employee wellness in the workplace.

Health and wellness programs have always been beneficial for both employees and employers. Integrated programs have proven to increase productivity, improve workplace culture and reduce absences. Across the country, top organizations are modifying wellness initiatives to address the concerns of today and plan for the future.

Upgraded Corporate Wellness Initiatives for 2021 and Beyond

Embrace Remote Health

  • Provide access to exercise classes and cooking demos to be integrated into teambuilding activities.
  • Share online care resources with employees, including telehealth sessions with dietitians, mental health professionals or health coaches.
  • Create a forum on your organization’s intranet or social network where employees can discuss health and fitness goals.
  • Encourage virtual fitness challenges among remote team members, including some friendly competition between colleagues.
  • Foster community with walk-n-talk phone meetings or seminars that simulate in-person walking or running groups.

Focus on Mental Health 

  • Host webinars with local experts on health, financial distress and relationships.
  • Promote mindfulness with employee access to meditation and stress management apps and other tools.
  • Encourage employees to take regular breaks.
  • Train managers and leaders to recognize mental health warning signs so they can spot issues and respond appropriately.
  • Educate employees about local counseling resources.
  • Promote connection and empathy by highlighting employee stories, including what life during the pandemic has been like.

Prevent Chronic Health Conditions

  • Offer home office stipends that include virtual ergonomic and workplace safety assessments for remote employees.
  • Send wellness newsletters that feature health recipes and other nutrition and healthy eating information.
  • Emphasize the importance of a healthy immune system to prevent illness and disease.
  • Offer one-on-one health coaching for employees with chronic health concerns.
  • Encourage annual physicals and provide time off from work for employees to see medical providers.
  • Reward your team with a healthy lifestyle care package including face coverings, hand sanitizer and an online fitness membership.

Now is the Time to Experiment

Pandemic or not, organized wellness programs play an important role in improving your employees’ wellbeing and productivity. You may integrate some of these modified initiatives into your program and find that they continue to work even after everyone returns to the office. It’s likely that most organizations will eventually adapt to a hybrid approach to wellness programs in the future.

Convenient, Reliable Workforce Care

Healthy employees are the foundation of a healthy business. MultiCare Occupational Medicine provides all the services you need, from employment physicals and screenings to injury and return-to-work care.

About The Author

MultiCare Occupational Medicine
MultiCare Occupational Medicine provides comprehensive occupational medicine services for employers and employees, including employment physicals and screenings to injury and return to work care.  More stories by this author
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