The COVID-19 pandemic has taught valuable lessons to many, and employers have realized the importance of employee health and wellness. More importantly, the viral outbreak has brought to light many loopholes that existed in the workplace culture and working policies.
With 2021 soon approaching, here is a quick glimpse of the various lessons learned and the important employee health and wellness initiatives, including physical wellbeing, mental health, and financial wellness programs, that also impact workplace culture.
Impact Of Chronic Health Diseases On Other Health Risks
It was evident that chronic health conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes can affect the overall quality of life and increase healthcare costs. However, the onset of the pandemic showed that people with chronic health diseases are at a higher risk of acquiring COVID-19 and other health complications.
A workplace can have employees with one or more chronic health conditions. Studies show that almost half of the adults with underlying chronic health disorders are at a higher risk of acquiring COVID-19. And so, it becomes important to reduce the risk and associated complications. Employers must design their employee wellness programs to address chronic disease risks and motivate employees to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
The Fall Of In-Person Care and Rise Of Telehealth Solutions
Owing to the social distancing norms, at the peak of the pandemic, many people could not get their regular medical care or meet their physicians. Studies show deferred care could cost 5.3% higher healthcare costs in 2021. Also, putting off timely care could increase health risks. On the other hand, growth in wellness technology has increased virtual care and digital health solutions, through which people can receive immediate medical solutions. Through their employee wellness programs, employers can offer telemedicine services and digital health solutions to let employees receive on-time medical care, without having to go outside and put themselves at risk of acquiring COVID-19.
Importance Of Social Wellness And Communications
The pandemic has stressed and affected the mental health of many people across the globe. Experts have quoted that the pandemic has caused a mental health epidemic. Studies have shown that the pandemic has put people at a 54% higher risk of acquiring depression. The lockdowns reduced social interactions, and people started craving social interactions and communication.
Employers can include behavioral and mental health programs in their corporate wellness initiatives to help employees reduce stress. They can offer digital wellbeing resources, like online wellness solutions and wellness challenges that can address mental wellness issues and boost social engagement, within the working teams and in personal lives.
Significance Of Financial Wellness and Planning
The coronavirus pandemic has inevitably affected the global economy and the individual financial health of many employees. While many lost their jobs, the others had to face a pay-cut or loss of income. Despite businesses reopening with strategies to ensure employee health and safety, many are still concerned about their future financial health. Employees are now looking up to their employers for support to help them secure their financial future.
Employers can include financial wellness programs in their employee wellbeing solutions, through which employees can access educational financial resources, know their financial health, and seek advice from consultants to make better investments and savings. Employers can also contribute to the HSAs or other emergency funds, offer rewards and incentives, and other employee benefits to address their monetary crisis.
Emphasis On Employee Holistic Wellness
All the above pointers play a crucial role in employee wellness. A small flaw in any wellbeing dimensions, including physical, mental, social, and financial, can affect employee holistic wellness. The pandemic has proven that the different wellness aspects are intertwined and impact overall employee wellness. And so, employers must ensure their wellness dollars are spent to address employee holistic wellness with corporate wellbeing programs that provide wellness challenges and easy access to the needed wellbeing resources and tools.
The pandemic has amplified the significance of employee wellness and its impact on organizational productivity and workplace culture. Employers must leverage advancing wellness technology, and provide suitable employee wellbeing programs. These programs must combine robust digital health solutions, real-time analytics, and wellness modules that boost employee engagement and motivate the workforce to adopt healthier lifestyle habits, reflecting higher employee productivity, workplace wellness, and business growth.