The hidden perks of the workplace wellness program

Employees are the building blocks of organizations. And to keep these building blocks firm, businesses must ensure that their employees are healthy and happy. Sadly, with the increased work pressure, stress seems to be a common problem faced by employees in many organizations. Stress coupled with unhealthy eating habits, irregular sleep cycles, and long working hours can take a huge toll on the overall health of employees. “I don’t have the time to work out”, “I feel too tired today”, or “The gym is too far away from my residence” are some of the common excuses of employees to avoid workouts. Hence, businesses should consider having a workplace wellness program to ensure the physical as well as mental well-being of their employees. A fit employee is a happy employee, and a happy employee is a productive employee. Therefore, a wellness program involving convenient fitness breaks or meditation sessions proves beneficial not only to the employees but to the employers too.

Benefits of a workplace wellness program

The perks of having a workplace wellness program range from the increased productivity of employees to lowering healthcare costs for employers. Major companies such as Accenture have implemented an employee assistance program where they can ask a physician any health-related question 24*7. The company even offers special rates and discounts for gyms and fitness centers.

Google, too, offers an all-encompassing wellness program at their workplace. Some of the features include onsite healthcare services, fitness centers, classes, and community bikes. The campus also has cafes and kitchens stocked with nutritious, color-coded meals and snacks. The employees are also granted flexible work hours to help employees maintain a work-life balance. Here are a few ways in which a wellness program can benefit the employee and employers alike.

1. Improved productivity

A wellness program can help reduce stress in an employee’s life. This can increase the concentration and focus level during work hours. This, eventually, improves the productivity of the employees. A highly productive workforce can work wonders financially and reputationally for an organization. A wellness program can include rest breaks, exercise hours, or meditation sessions. These programs not only improve the physical health of the employees but also their mental health. Thus, they lead to the overall development of employees' health and well-being. Employees are more focused, creative, and have improved concentration levels if they are physically and mentally fit. A Leeds Metropolitan University study has shown that workers who visited the gym during work hours were more productive, efficiently managed their time, and felt more satisfied at work.

2. Lower healthcare costs

You may have probably heard the quote, “Exercise is the best medicine.” And it holds true. Inactivity can have serious consequences on the body, and exercising can help prevent the diseases that accompany lethargy. So, it becomes logical for individuals and employers alike to rather invest in a wellness program now than on insurance plans or hospital bills in the future. Almost every organization has a healthcare plan for their employees. The costs of these healthcare plans can increase with the ailments of the employees. If the employee has serious conditions, it can result in a higher insurance cost to the company. Thus, having a wellness course makes much more sense than an insurance policy.

3. Improved teamwork and social connections

While technology is playing a major role in fostering teamwork and social connections, wellness programs, too, can prove equally beneficial for the same. Wellness sessions double up as social gatherings. They can help employees to get to know each other during a jog or a workout session. A better understanding of the personal behavior of co-workers acquired during such sessions can help build a strong and long-term team relationship. It can overall improve communication and work environment with co-workers on different teams. The larger the social connection, the more unlikely it will be for the employee to skip a workout as there always be someone waiting for them at the office gym. Businesses can even organize activities such as yoga and meditation sessions to improve the social connections of their employees as they are in a cheerful and relaxed mood.

4. Personal fitness

Wellness programs can benefit the organization as a whole but also help in the growth of individual employees apart from their professional life. Employees can incorporate healthy habits into their daily lives and continue practicing it even after switching organizations. Being physically and mentally fit can benefit an individual not only in their professional career but also be of significant importance in his personal life as well. Regular workouts can make the individual feel happier, reduce the risk of life-threatening diseases, improve skin health, and also help improve brain health and memory.

While employees take every care to give their best to the organization, employers too should look out for the well-being of their employees. Major businesses have already incorporated a wellness program to promote health, happiness, and improve employees’ productivity. A wellness program bringing out the overall development of the individual mentally and physically can help a great deal in an employee’s professional as well as personal growth.

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