The shift in workplace wellness can benefit your employees

Helping workers alleviate stress is now a key focus of employee wellness programs.

By Pierce Ivory

Employee wellness is essential for cultivating an excellent office environment. Businesses need their employees to perform to the best of their abilities, but this cannot happen if they do not feel secure in both body and mind.

Trends of the past

Wellness programs previously focused on encouraging physical health. Companies have looked to achieve this through providing benefits like gym memberships but demonstrate little concern whether or not they are used.

Without hands-on encouragement, employees felt ignored and believed they must work first and feel well second. This has caused issues in both physical and mental wellbeing for a generation of workers.

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Everybody’s needs are different and each employee has individual interests that need to be addressed. Businesses need to understand this to ensure that they can get the best from their employees, and ignoring it can lead to isolation and cause absenteeism and presenteeism.

Failing to adapt to the shifting culture of the modern workplace can lead to disaffection within the company. The always-on environment that technology has provided us can have a detrimental effect on productivity and interfere with employee autonomy. They feel under constant pressure to work, even if they are off the clock.

New trends

The adoption of new trends regarding workplace wellness looks to solve these issues. One trend involves focusing on individualized programs for each employee to meet their specific needs.

Offices contain people with varying levels of health and motivations. With such variety as working mothers, entry-level graduates and career workers, it is a challenge to find one policy to suit everybody. The solution to this is to cater to individual needs as opposed to viewing the workforce as a single common entity.

One of the largest topics in the workplace today is mental health. Statistics show that nearly 15% of people suffer from mental health issues. To tackle this, companies are encouraging their employees to discuss their mental wellbeing and eliminate the stigma associated with it.

To achieve this, many businesses are offering support through therapy and mental health days to aid workers in overcoming mental health issues such as stress and anxiety caused by this always-on culture.

This is further encouraged by placing emphasis on the importance of sleep. A well-rested worker is a more productive worker, so giving options to work from home, installing sleep pods and nap rooms gives employees the opportunity to catch up on rest and perform to their best abilities.

Those who work from home through cloud systems have the chance to alleviate the drain caused by commuting back and forth to the office each day and can spend more time with their families.

Finally, there is also a focus on diet and nutrition by introducing vending machines filled with fruit and protein snacks as opposed to crips, fizzy drinks and chocolate. Companies with canteens will also offer free (or at least cheaper) lunchto employees as an incentive to eat healthier.

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Companies endeavouring to make life better for their employees by altering their wellness programs are being commended for their efforts. This attitude demonstrates the idea that to achieve the best success in life – be it professional or personal – you need to feel fit in body and mind.


Pierce Ivory is the Marketing & Content Director at Advance Systems, a company that provides world-class enterprise workforce software. Involved in digital since 2010, Pierce completed a Master’s degree in digital marketing getting first class honors. He specializes in the field of people operations and HR management for B2B software companies. You can find Pierce on Twitter (@pkivory) and Linkedin.

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