10 trends that will impact worksite wellness in 2018

In this day and age, employers have recognized that the workplace has a key role to play in employee well-being and corporate wellness programs have been taking off in a big way over the last few years. 2018 sees some changes and adaptations to the world of worksite wellness and here we look at ten of the latest trends.

 

Wellness programs shift their focus

 

In the early days of corporate wellness programs, there was a strong focus on weight loss and quitting smoking, however today’s programs have taken a completely new direction, focusing on other elements that extend beyond physical health. Workplace wellness programs are now being used to improve employee engagement and to attract more talent to the company.

 

By combining wellness goals with career development, it is possible to create a work environment that is more positive and promotes employee success. A collective concept of well-being supports not only a healthier workforce but also improves the firm’s reputation for caring for employees. 2018 is likely to see initiatives that include development and learning classes, better workplace design and employee recognition schemes that keep existing employees satisfied while attracting new talent.

 

Personalization of experiences

Today’s employees demand more personalization in any corporate wellness program and companies are beginning to recognize that while some initiatives are relevant to some employees they may be pointless to another. Offering employees a more personalized wellness experience is set to be the way for 2018 and virtual platforms are likely to be brought into use to determine a specific wellness goal for every employee depending on their interests, preferences and current state of health. By collecting data from fitness trackers which are integrated into a wellness portal, employees can be easily connected with relevant wellness and health goals and be rewarded for their individual progress.

Better mental health

Today’s workplace is beginning to recognize that mental health problems are on the rise and over 80% of workers now experience psychological, behavioral or physical signs of being in poor mental health. 2018 is likely to see more employers putting mental health days in place as well as offering coverage or assistance for counselling or therapy and encouraging workers to take better care of themselves.

Keeping well-being simple

2018 is sure to see increasing corporate wellness programs moving towards a more simple approach to health and well-being. Employers are beginning to realize that employees are unwilling to participate in existing wellness programs due to their complexity, however 2018’s programs are likely to be simplified down to just 5 primary factors – communication, accessibility, screenings, health education and health assessments. This will increase participation rates and employee takeup of initiatives.

Sleep as a focus

Getting plenty of rest at night is essential for optimal performance, but it has been discovered that many people of working age are officially sleep deprived and the result is poor work quality and low productivity levels. 2018’s wellness initiatives are likely to include education about the dangers of poor quality sleep and adjustments being made to improve the quality of rest that employees get by adding sleep pods and nap rooms to workplace sites or by introducing flexible working hours.

Wellness and AI

AI looks set to find its way into today’s corporate wellness culture in 2018 and software will be made one of this year’s most prominent wellness features, identifying trends and making accurate future forecasts. AI technology can be harnessed to analyse data that will then be able to ensure greater personalization for each employee. We are also likely to see a virtual healthcare provider being introduced which will allow employees to talk with chatbots about disease management, healthy lifestyles and nutrition 24 hours a day through mobile devices.

Healthy choices in vending machines

The old-style vending machine with its sodas, candies and chips may have been left back in the last century, however 2018 looks like a promising year for today’s latest healthy vending machines which are stocked with veggies, healthy drinks. Dried fruit and nuts for healthier snacking in the workplace.

Wellness mergers

With ongoing growth in the wellness industry, it comes as no surprise that wellness mergers will be a big trend for 2018. As providers merge together to create more comprehensive provision, small vendors who offer niche solutions will be incorporated into larger companies so that clients can enjoy a greater array of solutions and choices along with more affordable pricing.

Stand-up workstations

With the average worker sitting for almost 6 hours per day, employers are starting to recognize the dangers of such a sedentary lifestyle. Studies have revealed that sitting for extended periods could be as dangerous to health as being a smoker, and so stand up desks are likely to be introduced into more workplaces.

DNA testing

With the widespread popularity of DNA testing across the population, it was only a matter of time until this trend found its way into workplace wellness initiatives. By offering kits at discounted prices to workers, companies will encourage employees to find out about any possible hereditary disease risks and take action before becoming unwell. This not only benefits the employee themselves who can treat conditions before they get out of hand, it also helps the employer since nipping diseases in the bud before they become serious cuts down on the amount of time taken out of work for treatment and recuperation.

2018 is another exciting year when it comes to corporate wellness programs, and with today’s companies moving their focus more towards collective well-being and proving a more personalized experience for employees as well as embracing the potential of software and AI, the future looks bright for workers.

Companies also look set to continue supporting aspects of holistic wellness, and by encouraging more workers to participate in a pared back and easy to understand set of health initiatives, it seems likely that employees will be enjoying a healthier year in 2018 than they have experienced for some time.

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