How employee wellbeing benefits your business (and 5 simple ways to improve it)

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Whether you’re simply trying to offer more to your staff and contribute to a healthier world, or you’re considering your bottom line, supporting employee wellbeing is a win across the board.

When your employees are healthy, happy, and thriving, so is your business. Healthy employees are more engaged and focused, and less absent — this boosts productivity and reduces hiccups in operation, contributing to better business. And, in turn, this leads to more teamwork, a proactive and committed workforce, and reduced turnover, all of which protect your bottom line and allow for smoother operations.

And when you build a reputation for your business of having an excellent work environment with high employee wellbeing, you continue to attract top talent, in addition to boosting your company reputation with your markets and customers.

Finally, healthier employees can lower healthcare costs and save businesses money. There’s a lot of ROI to be derived from workplace wellness programs. Healthcare is one of the most expensive benefits offered by employers, and there’s strong data to support that proactive wellness programs and offerings can offset (and lower) some of that cost through reducing insurance premiums.

How the right tools can help

We know there are marked benefits from these programs, but implementing them is another step altogether. As leaders in your business, you might be managing payroll, scouting new talent, heading campaigns, flying to conferences… So where does employee wellbeing fit in?

The right tools can make this vertical of your business seamless, straightforward, and virtually automated. Once you’ve completed set up, certain programs and offerings run themselves, which allows you to focus on other aspects of your operations.

Five tips to improve employee wellbeing

A blend of benefits and office culture can make for an exceptionally positive and healthy work environment — with a thriving workforce.

  1. Proactive, accessible primary care

With a combination of education, prevention, and management (which can come from a proactive approach to primary care), employees have the opportunity to mitigate pain and disease, sometimes before it even happens. Not only does this improve their quality of life, but it creates a healthier work environment for you, too.

One Medical makes scheduling preventative, proactive healthcare appointments seamless. 90% of the country’s health care expenditures come from chronic and mental health conditions, both of which can be managed — even prevented — with the right approach to healthcare and wellbeing.

When booking an appointment is as easy as opening an app and selecting the next available time, the barrier to entry is obliterated, allowing employees to take more agency over their healthcare. Whether it’s virtual or in person, appointments are streamlined, minimizing out of office time (and lowering the stress level for employees — you included!).

Once an employee’s account is set up, this type of benefit essentially manages itself; One Medical takes care of the rest. But communication is important, too! Be sure to remind your staff of the importance of regular check ups, the ease of making an appointment, and why they should prioritize their medical appointments.

2. Fitness stipend or subscription offering

Movement is medicine — and universally recommended for virtually every individual by every kind of health expert. The inverse is true as well; lack of physical activity directly contributes to disease and illness.

Again, this is a proactive measure you can take with your employees’ health, by giving them easy options for physical movement (and encouraging them to take advantage of it). A stipend for exercise classes, a negotiated discounted/corporate rate at a local gym or studio, or a subscription offering like ClassPass could all encourage employees to get moving.

It’s one thing to offer free or discounted workouts, and it’s another to ensure your employees feel comfortable using those benefits. Encourage employees to take a lunch break in which they can do a yoga class or gym workout — they can come back to the office feeling the endorphin rush after blowing off some steam and recalibrating their minds.

3. Mental health

Consider what you can do for your employees’ emotional and mental wellbeing. The aforementioned 90% statistic on healthcare expenditures includes mental health, which again, is an area in which we can collectively be more proactive. Depending on the size of your business and the nature of your work, you could try something like an on-site counselor, a mental health stipend, and/or subscriptions to meditation apps. Consider also that One Medical offers virtual therapy and coaching, as well as a Stress and Anxiety Series — and your employees can find even more resources (tailored to their needs) through a One Medical primary care provider.

4. Healthy meals and snacks

Providing options for nutrition in the workspace can significantly contribute to wellbeing through daily habits. When more healthful, wholesome food choices are readily available — in a cafeteria, shared kitchen, or pantry — another facet of proactive healthcare is automated. Nutrition plays a role in disease prevention, disease management, immunity, stress levels, and mental health… so by providing healthy food options, you could be improving each of these areas for your employees. Considering the significant portion of waking hours we spend in offices (and how many meals and snacks are consumed in those hours!), this can play an instrumental role in employee health.

5. Sleep support

With primary care, mental health, nutrition, and fitness covered, the last piece of the puzzle is a healthy sleep cycle for each of your employees.

As many as 70 million Americans struggle with a sleep disorder; the CDC says that a third of Americans don’t get enough sleep in general. Chronic sleep deprivation leads to chronic stress, which is the “National Mental Health Crisis” plaguing the US, according to the APA.

This can come from specific benefits — again, like stipends and discounts — for things like sleep hygiene resources, including good mattresses, sleep support and tracking apps, supportive pillows, sleep coaching, etc.

It also comes from a work culture that supports turning off once an employee leaves the office. You don’t want them losing sleep over work! Allowing your employees to truly decompress and get a restful night’s sleep is invaluable — infinitely more so than a stressed employee answering emails at 12am. Consider a communication curfew at a certain hour in the evening, encouraging employees to log off email, get off Slack, and truly unplug from the day’s work tasks. It’s ideal for upper management to lead by example in this area, too, so they can set a precedent for the office’s culture.

The recipe for success

Your employees have a lot going on — between their jobs, families, and personal lives, there’s a ton to keep track of. Don’t forget to communicate these resources frequently, so they’re always aware of the tools on hand to get — and stay — healthy and balanced.

Not only is this a savvy business investment, but from a humanitarian POV, you’re doing your part to make the world a healthier place. Happy, healthy employees, and a happy, healthy work environment are just a few benefits away.