In our buzzing Yaletown head office in downtown Vancouver, it can be hard to pull our team away from some of the interesting projects we currently have on the go here at Vivreau. But twice a week, we pull out the yoga mats, fill up our water bottles at the office Wellness Station’s ViTap, and come together for a much needed yoga stretch and meditation. These sessions help to clear our minds and refocus our intentions, as well as sparking conversations as a team. Recharging sessions like this are an essential part of our corporate wellness program, which is designed to improve employee well-being.
We are not unique in our approach to corporate wellness – in fact a research report from the Society for Human Resource Management found in 2015 that 70% of US employers incorporate some form of wellness program in their employee benefits. Health and Wellness is booming industry, with the latest numbers from the Global Wellness Institute have it sitting pretty as a $3.7 trillion market1.
So why should employee health matter to employers?
The old-school way of thinking was that there was a strong separation between work and personal life, and that the two should not mix. Employees were expected to come to work to do their job, and deal with personal health or other issues in their own time.
The fact is though; people are people – not robots. We do not have an off switch when it comes to our basic human needs, which include interaction, self-care, regular movement and proper nutrition. To perform at our best, we must recognize and embrace these needs, rather than push them aside. The consequences are increased depression, sleep problems, low energy, and stiffness, all off which quickly lead to illnesses and chronic issues.
Studies have found that incorporating and supporting employees to participate in corporate wellness programs increases employee effectiveness, decreases sick days, and positively improves team dynamics2. For many companies in the US, wellness programs can reduce health insurance premiums up to 30% or 50% for smokers3.
Participating employees of corporate wellness programs have discovered their energy levels have improved throughout the day, and they experienced less irritability in the evenings. They also found overall that these employees had increased job satisfaction.
Life can often be stressful, and everybody seems to be looking for that perfect work-life balance that keeps them smiling at their job, and playing with the kids or socializing with friends on the weekend. Having a corporate environment that supports healthy initiative makes it a lot easier to make simple life changes towards these goals.
Does your company incorporate a wellness program? What are your thoughts on them, and what initiatives have stood out to you as being especially effective?
- Global Wellness Institute – Their Latest Numbers https://www.globalwellnessinstitute.org/press-room/statistics-and-facts/
- National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health – Workplace Wellness Programs Study – 2013 – “Evidence on Program Impact” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4945172/
- Kaiser Family Foundation – Private Insurance – Workplace Wellness Programs Characteristics and Requirements http://www.kff.org/private-insurance/issue-brief/workplace-wellness-programs-characteristics-and-requirements/