A healthy workplace is a happy workplace, and a happy workplace is a far more productive one. A salary alone is no longer enough to retain your employees, nor is it enough to attract and recruit future talent. Corporate wellness has become a social responsibility that employees and future talent want, need and expect from you.
According to Gallup, nearly 6 in 10 millennials looking for work say that workplace wellbeing is “very important to them”. As an employer, and recruiter, you really should be doing all you can to ensure that the wellness of your employees, and your workplace, is of the highest standard.
Therefore we have put together three essential technology trends you need to know about, that companies from all around the world are adopting to promote a healthier, happier and more productive working environment for their employees.
1. Wearable technology
Wearable technology is definitely a thing, and one of the more prevalent uses of it is to help people monitor their daily fitness activities, such as how many steps they have taken and how many calories they have burned.
It’s a cost-effective solution, and thats why organizations from around the world have incorporated this technology into their corporate wellness programs.
The most popular wearable technology today is Fitbit, with customers such as BP, Adobe, GNC, Barclays and more all providing their staff with Fitbit’s wearable fitness trackers to help them monitor their wellbeing, and more importantly, promote a healthier workplace.
For example, Barclays subsidized Fitbit devices to 75,000 employees in the U.S and U.K as part of its Global Wellness Program in 2015, in order to offer a better balance between work and life for their busy employees.
Companies like Barclays understand the benefits of a healthy working environment, and continue to promote different corporate wellness initiatives to keep their employees happy, healthy and efficient.
2. Gamification programs
The term ‘gamification’ revolves around the premise of a reward system through some sort of game, and it has become prevalent in the world of employer branding due to the ways in which it motivates and engages employees in exciting ways that develop their skills, and ultimately help them achieve their goals.
Forbes report that organizations such as the Marriott and Deloitte use gamification programs to recruit, develop and motivate employees with specifically designed games that help them understand the role they are undertaking.
There also many health-focused gamification programs out there you can adopt such as Walkingspree, an award winning online corporate walking program that features virtual walks, challenges and competitions, or WeFitter, a mobile app that gives your employees points for any exercise they do in a manner that is designed to promote healthy competition between them.
What ever method you decide to undertake, gamification programs are a great way of challenging your employees in a healthy and engaging manner.
3. Mobile Apps
Nowadays there’s an app for everything, and that’s especially true to health and lifestyle-based apps. They are accessible at just the click of a button, and you should be ensuring that your employees understand what tools are out there.
Headspace, for instance, is a popular meditation program that promotes various mindfulness and mental health techniques, with giants such as Google and Linkedin known to be subsidizing subscriptions for all their employees.
Helping your employees keep a stable and positive state of mind is a no-brainer when it comes to their productivity.
Another important factor is sleep, and the effects of poor sleep are seriously damaging to the wellbeing of your workplace. A simple way to combat this is to promote sleep apps such as Clock and Sleep Genius, applications that are designed to help people monitor their sleeping patterns, as well as help them sleep with specially designed music.
Lucy Tallick, Head of Wellbeing at Reward Gateway, says:
Corporate wellness is a hot topic and one that so many of our clients are focusing on. But there is no doubt it’s not easy! It can’t be treated as a band aid or a tick box solution. Preventable wellness strategies are all about helping employees to improve their lifestyle, change habits and make healthier choices. Unfortunately, this cannot be achieved in a simple fitness app or one-size-fits-all wellness solution. There are lots of fantastic tech initiatives to choose from but these alone are not going to move the dial on corporate wellness.
The best tech initiatives that support a wellbeing strategy are those that the individual employee can tailor to their own needs, for example there are a number of mindfulness initiatives that the employee can personalise to their own needs, nutritional and exercise support and education that brings all levels of support into one place to cater for you whatever your choice. This way an employee can choose their own personal route to wellness.
Maren Hogan, CEO and Founder of Red Branch Media, says:
At Red Branch Media, we’re pretty small. That means our steps toward corporate wellness are pretty incremental. But we realize how important it is to have happy, healthy employees. So we have lots of opportunities for our employees to move around, the most consistent being our daily walks. It’s about 20-30 minutes where the employees gets outside and walk around the neighborhood. Part of this is because getting outside is amazing for creativity but another part is just the movement of it all.
We also have a bike desk that people take turns on. As we’ve experimented with it, we realize that repetitive tasks (editing, filling social queues, invoicing) are the best tasks for something like this. Additional, we have balance boards, stair steppers that go under the desk, a pool and ping-pong table and even a small trampoline, which is probably some sort of insurance risk. This all adds up to a company that believes in movement and wellness from the get-go. I hope we can keep it up as we grow.
Of course how much time and effort your employees put into maintaining their health and fitness is totally up to them. Although we highly reccomend that as an employer you embrace trends like the ones we have listed because it tells your employees that they can not only thrive professionally, but also physically and mentally while at work.