Financial wellness, health coaching to become major wellness initiatives in new year
The new year is often a time to refocus on health, wellness, and new goals for the year. It’s also when new company benefit programmes take effect, expanding employee access to health and wellness options. To help employees maximise their new benefits, StayWell, a provider of employer well-being solutions, has identified the five key wellness trends to watch in 2020.
As the employer wellness market continues to grow, valued at $90 billion according to Grand View Research, there are key elements that are helping to capture the attention of the market and gain traction among employers and participants. And with wearable devices to AI to athleisure wear, more individuals are taking an active role in their health and wellness, making the new year a prime opportunity to invest in new trends.
“Employers continue to see strong outcomes and positive return from investments into employee wellness programmes, with increases in productivity, stronger engagement, and a positive company culture,” said Mitch Collier, Senior Vice President, Product Management, StayWell. “More companies are taking a proactive approach to health and wellness benefits, adding new concepts and programmes that have received positive employee support in boosting workplace wellness.”
Five wellness trends to watch in 2020:
1. Financial Wellness: With 64 per cent of Americans experiencing stress about money1 , getting finances under control can help to improve employee health and productivity. Look for more employers to offer financial wellness programmes for employees, including those like the new online offerings from StayWell, to reduce employees’ anxiety related to a lack of financial knowledge.
2. Technology Integration: As wearables and online platforms allow users to sync data in real-time, expect more employers to move to a mobile platform as the hub of information for all health interactions. Allowing employees to connect with their health info via smartphones makes employer health programmes more accessible to remote workforces and those outside a traditional office setting, encouraging an even more accessible approach to employee health and wellness.
3. Wellness at Work: From company walking groups to onsite fitness facilities to treadmill desks, wellness is making its way into the office. More employers are seeing the benefits of even small investments in workplace health, through offerings like standing desks and healthier1 Stress in America™: Paying With Our Health survey released recently by the American Psychological Association. 02/2015. food options in break rooms. This trend will continue to trickle down to small-to-medium sized businesses throughout 2020 as prices become more accessible.
4. Flexible work/life balance: More employers are embracing flexible working hours and remote work in response to Gen Z and Millennials pushing for greater work/life balance. Advanced technology and an always-on culture mean that work isn’t restricted to an office or from 9-5. Expect more employers to offer flexible work options and generous leave policies for employees in 2020.
5. Health Coaching: As access to care providers is increasingly strained, more employers are utilising health coaches to bridge the gap between health and wellness. StayWell provides health coaching on behalf of employers to help employees set goals, identify obstacles and find solutions, creating buy-in and tailored experiences. More employers will be adding health coaches as an extension of their benefits in the new year, helping to create workplace cultures of healthier, more productive employees.
Collier says other employer benefit trends on the rise include stress management and meditation, wellness programmes to improve workplace safety, and greater parental leave policies for new parents. He adds, “More companies are starting to view wellness programmes as a business objective instead of an employee perk, understanding the correlation between improving employee health and company performance.”