The positive effect of further compliance to public safety measures continues to exceed expectations despite recent data suggestive of waning demand for COVID-19 vaccinations.
Still, the general trajectory appears promising as both hospitalizations and deaths are decreasing by statistically significant margins; however, researchers remain in the nascent stages of quantifying, predicting, and mitigating coronavirus infections as variants propagate.
In this environment of uncertainty, business leaders have a tangible, once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine how wellness policies at work can improve health overall.
Indeed, the challenge in forthcoming years will be determining which health and wellness policies yield the most beneficial outcomes from the C-suite down to essential workers.
Before the coronavirus pandemic struck, health and wellness in the workplace were already top of mind for many CEOs. As recently as 2017, an article published by ASAE identified a link between employee participation in wellness programs and the CEO’s own participation. In short, when business leaders themselves “practice what they preach,” there is anecdotal evidence that suggests employees’ buy-in is more frequent.
Moreover, additional data reveal the poor affect health can have on a company’s revenue and growth. The cost of healthcare can consume as much as 50 of a business’s annual profits; although, other statistics show that investing in health and wellness programs can significantly reduce this figure.
According to statistics compiled by WebFX, companies can save as much as $5.93 for every dollar spent on supporting health and wellness programs, yet those were the facts before the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the potential savings from company-sponsored healthcare initiatives aren’t as well documented in reputable research.
Will the potential savings increase with new health and wellness programs, or does the figure identified by WebFX represent the high-water mark? The answer depends on business leaders’ commitment to redefining wellness in the workplace post-COVID.
Truly, the coronavirus pandemic changed livelihoods for good, but the U.S. economy is returning to a sense of normalcy; however, CEOs don’t have the luxury of sentiment when the lives of their workers are in peril.
Moving forward, the challenge will be pinpointing gaps and opportunities to either reintroduce health and wellness at work or launch a pilot program for the first time.
Considering the broad scope of the issue, substantive changes in the workplace require that business leaders initially address gaps in their current programs – and position themselves to bolster their brands accordingly.
In a recent article on Medium, several CEOs mentioned that many companies in the U.S. never considered the social implications of their brand’s positioning. Increased public awareness of health and wellness presents a vital opportunity for CEOs to integrate (or reintegrate) fitness and lifestyle programs into their operations. Yet, today there is an added dimension: social responsibility.
Post-COVID, public health and safety measures dovetail nicely with the shift toward a socially responsible business environment where social distancing and face coverings remain in place.
Prior to the pandemic, cost savings were arguably the biggest motivation to launch wellness programs; at the time of this writing, CEOs are beginning to see the benefits to their brand in tandem with a more healthy, productive workforce.
The difficulty over the foreseeable future will be in presenting consumers with a more socially responsible brand – if the change is authentic and genuine from their perspective.
As the U.S. economy incrementally returns to full employment, business leaders must manage a new remote workforce, which cuts across the trend of workplace physical fitness activities and nap rooms. If workers are working from home – and their productivity actually increases – what’s the incentive to develop traditional wellness programs?
The answer is that the incentives are no longer strictly financial, lowering healthcare expenses at the corporate level. In a post-COVID economy, there seems to be an opening for more comprehensive online platforms that can accommodate both remote and in-office employees.
By accommodating a digital workforce with health and wellness technology, business leaders can implement programs in ways that weren’t likely to yield positive results before the pandemic.
Now, health and wellness programs can have an entirely new distribution model through the cloud, which ideally should improve the business through a healthier, more productive workforce.
Ultimately, the future of health and wellness programs will hinge on leveraging technology and pivoting brands toward social responsibility.
Post-COVID, business leaders have a unique opportunity to re-start health and wellness model to bolster a company’s brand through social responsibility.
Undoubtedly, the common goal is to educate people and focus attention on the importance of living healthy and enabling better outcomes through the powerful combination of health, wellness and technology.
TrueCare24 is a nationwide Health & Wellness platform for families and businesses providing end-to-end solutions for COVID-19 testing, screening, vaccination, home care, and corporate well-being services.
Contact us now for all your health and wellness solutions.