Author: freelance writer Lucy Wyndham
One of the biggest trends in the UK for businesses is the health and well-being of the employees. As employees choose to stay at work beyond the average retirement age, these programs are becoming more important than in the past. Companies must address an ageing work population while continuing to concentrate on other health issues. In response, many companies are offering health care options to help employees stay healthier longer.
Technology On the Table
Some companies are offering employees technology-assisted health monitoring, such as fitness trackers. These wearable devices offer feedback regarding sleep, exercise, food intake, and more. Employees monitor their own health, and some companies respond with contests built around the data collected by the device. Overall, the result is an engaged office and less illness-related absences. Other technology, such as updated, cushioned chairs or more comfortable wheelchair covers for those who require them are also making appearances. In addition to fitness trackers, businesses are implementing workout rooms, wellness clubs, and relaxation areas with technologically advanced equipment to improve overall employee health.
Mental Health Included
Companies are beginning to realise that improved mental health leads to improved employee production. As a result, many are offering extra breaks, longer vacations, relaxation areas, and other incentives to encourage employees to care for their mental health. The use of mental health services is encouraged by some companies, while others are working toward a better home/life balance. Some companies may start small with monthly accolades or meetings to recognize exemplary work, while others will be building on existing successful programs. The trend into the new year will be towards improved employee mental health facilities.
As mentioned above, incentives to keep employees healthy help, and are on track to be a new trend. Incentives, such as a free meal for checking blood pressure or an extra perk for joining a walking club, help encourage employees to participate. Additionally, more bosses are participating in health programs, which helps employees step up. The trend will be toward office challenges, such as charity walks or recreational sport team creations. Businesses will also begin offering incentives for employees who make regular doctor’s visits, as The Telegraph reports that statistically, many Brits do not get their vitals checked regularly.
Businesses are learning that healthy employees lead to a healthy company. The work environment is improved, days off are lessened, and production is improved. Further, the workforce is ageing, increasing the demand for health care. The trend toward better health care overall will be in overdrive in 2018.