New Report Highlights Wellness in the Workplace

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently released its “2017 Employee Benefit Report.” The bottom line? On the workplace benefit battlefield, wellness is winning.

The study found that  organizations who added to their employee benefit offerings over the past 12 months were most likely to increase health and wellness benefits. Overall, about one-in-four organizations increased wellness benefits this year. 

Some of the most interesting findings on workplace wellness:

  • When looking at over 300 employee benefits offered in the workplace, the fastest growing perk over the past 5 years is standing desks. The ability to trade in long hours spent hunching over a computer in favor of an ergonomic alternative has grown more than threefold, from 13% in 2013 to 44% in 2017. When it comes to physical wellbeing and productivity, prioritizing posture is on the rise: cue the standing ovation.
  • There were some notable newcomers added to the mix. New wellness benefits reported this year include mindfulness and meditation programs, designated quiet rooms for meditation or prayer, and bike purchase/share subsidy offerings. Whistle while you work has become breathe-deeply-releasing-all-tension-on-the-exhale while you work.
  • Almost 60% of organizations offer a wellness program, and the investment is paying off: SHRM research found that 88% rate their wellness program as effective in improving employees’ health, and 77% indicate a subsequent decrease in healthcare costs. Counting steps, counting savings. 
  • Employers are also looking beyond cost-cutting with over half reporting that they want to create a company culture that promotes health and wellness. The most common wellness benefit is providing informative resources, and 62% of organizations provide wellness tips at least quarterly via newsletters, e-mails, etc. With greater knowledge about the value of wellness-focused activities, it’s no surprise that the CDC found that yoga practice among U.S. workers nearly doubled between 2002 and 2012. First up on today’s meeting agenda: sun salutations.

This report is yet another validation of a broader shift driving demand for workplace wellness. As the lines between work life and personal personal continue to integrate, people can no longer afford not to invest in their wellbeing at the office. With a better understanding of how nutrition, fitness, and mental health affect our productivity and performance on the job, employers and employees alike are committed to making wellness a top priority.