In our December Newsletter we discussed businesses New Year’s resolutions and mentioned employee wellness. Employing a workforce that is healthy and well-functioning has become increasingly important to maximize productivity and morale, according to recent research from IBISWorld.

IBISWorld projects the corporate wellness services industry to grow at an average annual rate of 3.3% to reach $7.6 billion in 2021. Common elements of these programs include:

  • Health Risks Assessments (17.7%)
  • Nutrition and Weight Management (17.4%)
  • Smoking Cessation (17.0%)
  • Fitness Services (15.9%)
  • Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services (11.5%)
  • Stress Management (11.4%)
  • Health Education Services (7.9%)
  • Other Services (1.2%)

While there have been differing opinions on the actual measured return on investment for corporate wellness programs, work-life balance is becoming a priority among the workforce. The IBM Smarter Workforce Institute and the Globoforce WorkHuman Research Institute conducted a survey on 23,000 employees in 45 countries and rated the data on an Employee Experience Index.

“Employees who felt they had enough time and flexibility to meet their personal responsibilities were 30 percent more likely to have a positive work experience.” Higher scores on the index, predicted higher retention rates, performance, and discretionary effort. And according to Senior Recognition Strategist at Globoforce Lynette Silva, has a direct tie to an organizational financial performance.

Leigh Stringer, workplace design specialist and author of The Healthy Workplace provides the following tips for companies to create a healthy workplace:

  1. Build flexibility into how, when, and where you work
  2. Nurture “biophilia” by placing small plants or water features in the office to help reduce stress
  3. Improve eating habits by reducing the number of unhealthy foods
  4. Make getting healthy a team sport
  5. Create healthy “nudges” to encourage employees to take the stairs or a walk at lunch
  6. Remove distracting behaviors
  7. Advise and encourage employees to stay home when sick
  8. Be conscious of lighting, which can effect sleep cycles
  9. Allow pets at work, which research indicates that can help improve morale and collaboration
  10. Lead by example by adopting healthy changes

At Access/Information, we have incorporated desks with the option to sit or stand, and other office furniture that works to support ergonomics. We also make it a point to celebrate the life events and accomplishments of our teammates. How are you supporting the wellness of your employees?