Workplace wellness is a major topic in the news, with many companies implementing new wellness programs and technologies. But it’s not just about health and fitness. What are some of the emerging workplace wellness trends you should be aware of? Here’s what you need to know:
1. Bring-your-pet-to-work events
Bring-your-pet-to-work days are a great way to bring the team closer together, and even more so if it’s a dog friendly office. Studies show that having pets around can help relieve stress and increase happiness—so why not make it official?
2. Unlimited paid time off
A growing trend in worker wellness is to offer unlimited paid time off (PTO), which gives employees the freedom to use PTO as they see fit. The benefits of providing this benefit are numerous: it increases productivity by reducing stress, improves employee health and happiness, and opens up more opportunities for people who may not have had the means to take a vacation before.
To make sure your employees are taking advantage of their unlimited PTO policy and not abusing it, consider these guidelines when setting up your program:
- Provide some guidance on how much vacation time you expect an employee should take each year based on their role within the company;
- Set clear expectations about how much notice must be given before taking time off;
- Hold weekly meetings with each team member so they can discuss any challenges they’ve faced while on leave;
- Keep track of all absences using an online system that allows managers access without requiring them to login via VPN.
3. Employee garden
- Why employee gardens are good for companies:
- Employee gardens can be a great way to improve employee health and mitigate the effects of stress.
- Employees who have access to an employee garden report feeling happier, more engaged, and more productive.
- Your company will save money by reducing sick leave, time off for vacation, and missed work due to illness or injury.
4. Flexible scheduling
Flexible scheduling is a win-win for both employees and employers. By allowing your workers to choose when, where, and how they work, you’re giving them the autonomy that makes them most productive. And by allowing yourself to have more flexibility around when and where employees work, you help retain top talent and make sure more of your workforce is engaged in their jobs.
Workplace wellness isn’t just about providing perks like free gym memberships or coffee machines in the break room—it’s also about giving employees options so they can find what works best for their lifestyle. Letting workers pick their own hours lets them take care of personal matters on their own terms while still meeting deadlines and staying on track with projects. It gives them control over how they spend their time outside of work as well as inside it!
5. Don’t forget about eye care and vision needs
Vision problems are common, but they can be overlooked in the workplace. The human eye is an astonishing organ that performs a delicate balancing act between light and dark to see objects clearly. When your eyesight isn’t up to par, you may experience blurry or double vision and have trouble reading text or following instructions on computer screens.
Although most people notice their vision changing as they get older, it’s normal for adults’ eyesight to change throughout life—even if you don’t think it has changed much recently (or at all).
Offering free eye care programs in company insurance or other benefits plans can be a great addition. Many employers offer eye exams, glasses and contacts as part of their employee health plan—these services could help improve productivity by preventing eye strain-related headaches and illness caused by poor lighting conditions in the office space.
6. Sleeping pods
Sleeping pods are a great way to get more rest during the day and can also be used for overnight sleep. They’re like mini apartments, with a bed and storage space inside, which you can use to take a midday snooze or have as your home base for the night.
If you work in New York City (or any other city), there are plenty of hotels that offer sleeping pods—and even some non-hotel businesses that let you rent them out on an hourly basis.
7. Virtual therapy
Virtual therapy is a new approach to mental health care that uses technology to deliver therapy remotely. It’s similar to online therapy, but with a few key differences:
- Virtual therapists work with you through video and audio, rather than text.
- You can schedule your appointments at any time of day or night (or even during the weekend).
- The therapist may be located in another city or even country.
Virtual therapy offers many benefits—and it makes sense for employers to be aware of how it could improve employee wellness. But as with any new technology, there are also challenges; we’ll examine both here so you can make an informed decision about whether virtual therapy is right for your company.
8. Non-traditional workouts like pilates
Pilates is a form of exercise that focuses on flexibility and stability. The Pilates method was developed by Joseph Pilates, a German fitness expert who lived in New York City during the 1920s and 1930s. According to this website which is a group who taught pilates in South Brisbane, it’s now taught around the world and practiced by athletes such as Serena Williams and David Beckham.
While there are many forms of pilates, most involve working with an instructor to stretch muscles while engaging them through controlled movement. This can help improve your posture, endurance, balance and coordination—all helpful when sitting at a desk all day! And since it doesn’t require any equipment beyond a mat or towel (ideally), pilates is easy to do virtually anywhere you have space available: at home; in your office break room!
9. Meditation, mindfulness and yoga
The concept of meditation and mindfulness is becoming increasingly popular in the workplace. According to research done by the Mayo Clinic, meditation has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, enhance focus, boost energy levels and improve mood. The same study found that it can help prevent depression as well as improve sleep quality.
Meditation can be practiced in many ways including guided meditations which involve listening to a recording or having someone talk you through your practice. You could also try sitting quietly with your eyes closed for five minutes each day or even just taking time out of your day to breathe deeply or focus on what’s happening right now rather than worrying about what might happen later in the day (or week).
If it feels too much like hard work at first, try using apps like Headspace which offer guided meditations broken up into bite-sized chunks so they fit into busy lives more easily. You could even start by using these apps while commuting – they won’t make you late!
10. Telehealth access for employees
Telehealth is a way to provide health care remotely. It can be used for any type of health care, including physical, mental and behavioral health services. Telehealth is already being used by many employers in the U.S., with 7% of employers offering employees access to telehealth services in 2018 according to Randstad US’ 2019 Workplace Wellness Trends Report. The number of people seeing telehealth psychologists in Australia is on the rise as well.
To help employees stay healthy and happy at work, your company may want to consider providing them with access to telehealth services as part of their employee benefits package.
The workplace is changing, and so is the way we work. The days of long hours in the office are over, and companies are finding new ways to keep their employees healthy while they’re on the job. It’s no longer just about providing a gym or access to health care; it’s also about promoting wellness through activities like meditation, yoga and mindfulness training. And while some of these trends may seem frivolous at first glance—like sleeping pods or virtual therapy—they actually offer real benefits for your employees’ mental health and well-being at work.