The notion of healthy living first started gaining traction in the workplace in the 1980s, but since that heyday of Jane Fonda workout tapes, the movement has shifted its emphasis from the physical to the holistic, and employers are positively responding.
According to Xpert HR’s “2020 Employee Wellness Survey,” over six in 10 organizations reported that they have formal or informal wellness programs in place. But, the majority of these companies—89 percent—are large or mid-size, compared to 46 percent of organizations with a staff of fewer than 250.
“There is a greater need for wellness initiatives today, especially in light of new challenges presented by the Coronavirus pandemic,” says Andrew Hellwege, Surveys Editor at XpertHR. “Stress levels are rising, and companies of all sizes need to address these issues or they risk a negative impact on employee wellbeing and lost productivity.”
Although 46 percent of businesses reported spending less than $200 per employee on an annual basis (only 17 percent noted more than $400 was devoted to each employee in the same period) cost likely remains one barrier to smaller companies launching wellness offerings for their staff.
Time and organization are others. When asked why wellness programs had yet to be rolled out, 39 percent of these businesses said it was due to a lack of resources and 38 percent simply admitted that the company just hadn’t gotten around to it.
Smaller organizations, however, are realizing workplace health is a priority for post-pandemic life. “In a time of crisis, implementing wellbeing and mental health strategies is one of the most important investments a company can make,” says Hellwege. “They should consider putting wellness policies and practices in place to address employee needs just as they would a business continuity operation plan.”
A version of this article was originally published by MyTech Decisions.