Five ways employers are improving wellness in the workplace

The work world is evolving at a new pace.

As more companies adopt remote or hybrid work schedules, a growing number of employers, if not a majority, are focusing on employee wellness.

For many, the weightiness of the pandemic changed the lens through which employers view work life. With increased awareness, sensitivity and empathy, companies are prioritizing employee wellness to keep their workforces happy and productive.

Today’s employee wellness programs are multidimensional, focusing not only on physical health but all other facets of well-being.

Here are some ways businesses are changing with these five employee wellness trends.

Flexible schedules

Almost overnight, employee schedules totally transformed in hours, logistics and location. The flexible working arrangements introduced during the pandemic are likely here for good as many employers and employees found this new rhythm of work to be a positive one. For many, productivity levels haven’t decreased, so there isn’t any justification to revert to pre-pandemic work norms.

As a result of flexible schedules, employees are finding they are better able to balance personal lives with work, reducing stress levels and increasing overall satisfaction. Because of this positive impact, many organizations will continue to offer flexible work schedules and many are even hiring for full-time remote positions with accommodating schedules that keep employees energized, engaged and happy.

Expanded health benefits

Now more than ever, employers strive to give all employees opportunities to succeed and stay healthy.

Gone are the days of employees facing barriers to comprehensive medical support that they need. One example of this is employers enhancing medical coverage to include new benefits such as telemedicine.

Visiting a doctor can be time-consuming and stressful and benefits like access to telemedicine can take away that stress by letting employees visit with a health care professional quickly and conveniently.

Mental health support

The pandemic’s impacts will be far reaching and one of the lasting impacts will be how it altered the way people think about their health, including mental health.

When the world abruptly changed more than two years ago, a new focus was put on overall health. Given all the stress, uncertainty and anxiety people faced during this time, employers became more cognizant that mental health is a critical component of overall wellness.

Realizing that some employees may need additional support, many companies are investing more in resources that address mental health. One way this is being done is through employee assistance programs that include greater access to counseling and other resources to navigate through challenging times.

Financial planning resources

The pandemic has also left a lasting impact on how people think about and manage their financial matters.

Many people lost their jobs or saw their business close during the past couple of years. As a result, many workers are hypersensitive to the possibility of job and income loss. High gas prices, inflation and other economic stressors have put some workers further on edge.

To address this, some companies have started hosting in person or virtual financial planning sessions, designed to help employees manage their finances. Additionally, some organizations are beginning to offer training and resources to tackle student loans or tuition assistance for employee advancement.

Stress management

Perhaps most importantly, many companies are tackling stress management more proactively.

While stress within the workplace isn’t new, many employees are still adjusting to the new norms of working from home alongside all of the other changes taking place in the world.

To support them, companies are stepping up with comprehensive benefit packages that include things like caregiver programs and more paid time off to alleviate stress.