Wellness in the Workplace: Is It Worth It?
Whether your team is working remotely or you’re back in the office together, your employees spend an average of 40 hours a week in your company (even if it’s just a virtual company)—and that means you have the power to impact their lives in a huge way. That’s one of the reasons the idea of “workplace wellness” has increased in popularity—employers are recognizing their ability to positively (or negatively, albeit unintentionally) impact their employees.
Sure, most companies still wear a “nose to the grindstone” culture like a badge of honor, but others are recognizing there’s a better way—that it’s possible to produce incredible work and develop a culture where employees thrive. In fact, that kind of healthy, employee-minded culture could be the key to a sustainable, profitable workforce.
The New Norm
“Work-life balance” isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a powerful movement in our culture. Most employees have always been concerned about missing time with their family or feeling pressured at work, but now those concerns have a name, and the cultural norms are shifting. Employees want flexibility, freedom, and balance, and they’re not afraid to ask for it.
Not only that, but more companies are realizing they have to compete with each other to attract and retain this increasingly selective workforce. Employees care about where they work, and if you want to stand apart from the crowd, proving that you care about the wellbeing of your people is a great way to do that.
Appreciate With Purpose
Our company, like many of our clients’ financial practices, is a busy place to work. And the busier you are, the more you as an employer should care about the health of your employees. After all, the more work there is to be done, the more you rely on your team to perform at their absolute best (something they can’t do when they’re physically or mentally unwell). Similarly, the more you rely on your employees, the more you should be willing to pour into them. And if you’re anything like most of the advisors we work with, your team feels like family—an appropriate term, given that most people spend more waking hours during the week with their work family than their actual family.
When you care about your employees and want what’s best for them, supporting a healthy work environment is one of the best ways to show it. In this first blog of our three-part Wellness in the Workplace series, we’re discussing some other important reasons you should care about workplace wellness.
Why Workplace Wellness Matters to Your Practice
- Improve Employee Health: Obviously, the overarching goal of workplace wellness is to improve the health of your team. So it makes sense that one of the most concrete benefits is that it improves basic health metrics. Wellness initiatives at work have been shown to reduce risks for preventable diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer—conditions that are especially prevalent for office workers who remain sedentary for eight-plus hours a day. This alone is a great reason to pay attention to your employees’ health.
- Reduce Burnout: Whether it’s from a hefty workload, stress, or sometimes just plain monotony, jobs can wear on your employees. Even the most dedicated, passionate individuals can experience burnout when there’s no break from routine or reprieve from stress. In fact, sometimes your most committed team members are the ones who need help the most. Think about it—you probably have someone on your team who (like you) won’t quit until the job is done, takes on extra responsibilities, and gives 100 percent day after day—and that can be exhausting (no matter how fulfilling the work)! Incorporating wellness initiatives into your workplace ensures your hardworking employees have a chance to evaluate and nurture their overall wellbeing. When your employees are more relaxed, healthy, and satisfied, they’re more engaged, productive, and likely to stick with you for the long haul.
- Reduce Presenteeism: You’ve probably heard of workplace wellness as a strategy to reduce absenteeism (which, in this context, refers to excess absence due to illness). But workplace wellness initiatives can also reduce presenteeism—a phenomenon where employees are physically present but feel disconnected or aren’t wholly engaged in their work. If an employee is depressed, anxious, or feeling unwell—yet still coming to work—it’s likely they’re not enjoying their work or giving it their best effort.
- Build a Strong Culture: Now more than ever, our workforce is looking not just for any place to work—but a fun, fulfilling place to work. If your business offers wellness perks and demonstrates that it truly cares about the wellbeing of its employees, you look more attractive to those superstar employees you’re after. Not only that, but wellness initiatives build camaraderie and strength among your current team members, which ultimately creates a culture that other people will want to be a part of.
- Reduce Costs: Improving the overall health of your workforce could also decrease your corporate insurance costs (and expenses from absences). We’ve listed this one last because, while it’s a nice perk for you as the business owner, it’s a tertiary benefit you get from genuinely caring about your employees. If your goal of a workplace wellness program is simply to save a buck, your employees will be able to tell, and it won’t be nearly as effective and beneficial as it could be.
All in all, if you want to stand apart from the competition, create a workplace your employees love, and improve your productivity, workplace wellness is a good place to start. But that doesn’t mean you can just implement a yearly fitness challenge and call it good—there are a few other things you should know to get the most from your wellness initiatives. We’ll talk about how to create a foundation for a healthy workplace in part two of this series, Wellness in the Workplace: Laying the Groundwork.