- Linda Salamin
The new now of workplace wellness programs
Holistic well-being and employee experience are "in" and wellness and work life balance are "out".
We know that we are now connected to everything including the workplace. Disconnecting is almost impossible and so is work life balance. Also, according to a Harvard study, the outcomes of wellness programs have been disappointing.
The evolving workplace will be:
multi-generational (5 generations)
flexible (with remote, part-time and freelance employees)
have a flatter organisation
This diverse workforce will bring employers back to the drawing board. If they want to keep high quality staff they will need to take care of them. How? By asking them about their physical, psychological, emotional and financial needs. Then, by engaging with employees to provide a happier, healthier environment.
The new buzzwords in workplace health are customization, consultation and artificial intelligence.
Here is a peek at some future changes in workplace health:
Mental health awareness : making mental health resources available to treat depression, burn out and other psychological issues. Resources could include an on-site psychologist.
Employee-centered office environment: revisiting the office experience through improving air quality, lighting, and ergonomic chairs and desks. Making standing desks available. Setting up a "refreshment center" where staff have access to good quality coffees, teas and other beverages (Leesman index 2017). Providing "breakout rooms" and other designated spaces for face-to-face meetings and private conversations.
While open space will continue to be the norm, gone, will be the days of grouping employees into a noisy, poorly lit area for 10 hours a day.
Customized virtual health: employees will have access to health platforms. Staff will consult these programs to get specific health information anytime, anywhere. This will also serve remote employees giving them more of a feeling of belonging to the organisation.
Financial health coaching: assisting employees in areas such as debt reduction and retirement planning.
Wellness programs will not disappear but there will be coaches to customize the offering to the specific needs of the employees.
Globally, there will be a shift in mindset. An emerging holistic view of workplace health. This will benefit both the employer and employee.
Stay healthy and stay informed with my health tips, articles and white papers that you can find here, on my website: www.wordsforhealth.net