In 2018 and beyond, wellness takes centre stage in the workplace
Amongst the buzz words and trend predictions surrounding workplace design in 2018, wellness appears to be clearly at the top of the list. Corporate wellness programs have evolved significantly since they were first introduced and the focus has shifted away from issues such as smoking and weight loss. Organisations that want to attract and retain the best talent and maximise engagement and productivity, are acknowledging the powerful impact wellness promotion can have on their bottom line.
As Activity Based Working becomes more widely implemented and inherently promotes a user-centric, mobile working environment, corporate wellness programs are helping to augment this holistic approach to health & wellbeing in the workplace. Today’s forward-thinking organisations are aware that wellness encompasses numerous factors and isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. With most employees now working longer hours and regularly experiencing burnout, stress and distraction, the solution needs to address the quality of the physical environment as well as the individuals themselves.
In the realm of workplace wellness, there are three key standouts which will continue to gain popularity, and include mental health, sleep and food.
Better Mental Health
With 84% of employees experiencing physical, psychological or behavioral symptoms of poor mental health, breaking the stigma of mental illness in the workplace has become essential. In the ABW workplace, it is imperative that employees are encouraged to balance interaction and solo time, with appropriate spaces and furniture to facilitate a range of activities and needs. Coupled with this are mental health programs that offer support for counseling, self-care and time away from work.
Quality and Quantity of Sleep
The importance of good quality sleep and its effect on employee performance has led to the integration of education programs, more flexible working hours and even sleep challenges. While on-site nap rooms and sleep pods are still important, they are now part of a more holistic approach to tackling sleep deprivation and fatigue.
Healthy Food Options
The traditional office pantry has come a long way from the pokey, dark room offering coffee, tea and greasy, sugary snacks. Employees are far more likely to reach for health-conscious snacks and drinks if readily available, promoting more stable energy levels and better weight management. While barista-grade coffee is becoming more commonplace, the food and beverage offerings extend to healthy vending machines, water, fresh fruit and vegetables. Simply providing ample fridge space encourages staff to bring in food from home rather than resorting to local, fast food options. Ultimately, the break-out room is no longer considered a perk, but the foundation to a healthy work day. A well-lit, well-ventilated and well-designed space allows staff to recharge, connect (or disconnect) and make better choices about hydration and nutrition.
The corporate wellness industry continues to grow and promises exciting developments in health & wellbeing for employees.
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