Even before the pandemic hit, 90% of employees in the United States said their work impacted their mental health, according to the Mental Health America survey conducted in 2018/19. More than half believed their employer did not do enough to help them manage their stress levels. 95% believed that their workplace did not provide a safe space for people with mental health issues. That survey alone paints a scary picture.
There are also potential triggers for anxiety and depression people had to deal with over the past two years. In 2020, becoming infected with COVID-19 meant severe disease, including hospitalization for many.
People working in industries depending on customer contact, such as hospitality, feared or lost their jobs.
As we moved from one coronavirus wave and variant to another, uncertainty grew over how to deal with the pandemic day-to-day. Should you wear a mask or not? Was the vaccination safe and effective? While it is too early to quantify the impact, experts agree that the pandemic has harmed the population’s overall health.
As more Americans return to their offices, employers and HR professionals across all industries must realize just how vital their role is. Creating a safe, post-Covid workplace not only means adhering to mask mandates and other regulations. It means prioritizing workplace wellness.
According to pharmaceutical company Pfizer, “wellness is the act of practicing healthy habits daily to attain better physical and mental health outcomes so that instead of just surviving, you’re thriving.”
In practice, that means supporting employees’ physical and mental health.
Most people find it harder to lead a healthy lifestyle if they have stress about their health, family, or finances.
Offering high-quality in-house meal options is one way of supporting your employees. Encouraging active breaks is another option.
Dealing with stress and other mental health issues will likely be at the forefront of workplace health and wellness. Not all jobs are stressful, but employees coping with stress in their private lives probably bring some of their problems to work.
A stressed-out, unhealthy workforce affects your bottom line.
That’s is why more and more businesses consider the connection between health and productivity.
Granted, investing in employee health and wellness requires a financial commitment. But the choice could be far worse.
As employees felt burnt out and suffered too much pressure at work, they started to quit earlier in 2021. The Great Resignation became a kind of movement. As a business owner, you cannot afford to lose key team members to stress and burn-out – especially as these are preventable problems.
As we are heading into 2022, workplace health is about preventing problems, encouraging resilience, and creating a healthier company culture. The cost of making this is much lower than replacing staff, and the returns are more significant.
Changing your company culture is most effective if most of your employees are on board with your plans. To generate such buy-in, you need to communicate openly and regularly at all levels of your business. Support from executive leadership will lend your goals greater credibility.
Consider asking your employees what they consider their most significant issues in terms of workplace wellness. While you may not address each problem, tailoring health and wellness programs to your team’s requirements will increase their chance of success.
Solutions like the health & wellness platform powered by TrueCare™ offer businesses a wide range of services to secure employees’ wellbeing.
Employers do not have to create programs from scratch. As an employer or HR professional, you can access all the relevant data via one convenient dashboard.
Some of the services featured by the platform include screening employees for the risk of diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as one in three Americans are currently prediabetic and at risk of developing chronic type 2 diabetes. Alarmingly, more than 80% of those at risk are unaware.
TrueCare™’s platform also offers various services related to managing COVID-19. Depending on the plan your company chooses, you benefit from at-home or on-site COVID-19 testing. Employees benefit from access to a straightforward screening tool for coronavirus symptoms, letting them know when it would be better to stay at home. Employers can also opt in to offer coronavirus vaccinations and flu shots.
The pandemic has already changed our workplaces. Now is the time to take the opportunity and change our workplace culture to encourage healthier, happier lifestyles. Healthy employees are more resilient and more productive. As an employer, you will see the benefits in your bottom line.
TrueCare™ 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.