Employee wellness strategies have changed drastically over the years, and with the COVID-19 outbreak, health and wellness has become a priority like never before.
A recent UnitedHealthcare Wellness Checkup Survey 2020 revealed that a majority of Americans are adopting healthy habits to bring positive health and wellness changes to their lives, amid the COVID-19 fears.
With employees emphasizing on their wellbeing, it’s a great time for the employers to follow the trends. Updating their corporate wellness programs to meet employee wellbeing needs will not only help in reducing healthcare costs, but will also build a healthy workplace culture, boost employee engagement, reduce absenteeism rates, and enhance overall organizational productivity.
Here are the survey outcomes briefing the new employee health and wellness changes.
Wellness Checkup Survey 2020
With many gyms and public places closing down due to the COVID-19 outbreak, people have started changing their exercise routines to mainly walking and running for their daily dose of physical activity.
Physical Wellness Impact
Almost two-thirds of the respondents who worked out regularly said that walking was their preferred physical activity or exercise.
72% of the Generation X and 77% of baby boomers (people born in between 1946- 1964) also chose walking as their preferred exercising method.
While 21% respondents said their eating habits and food choices have improved since the COVID-19 scenario, 30% said their eating habits have gone down the lane now.
Health Screening and Workplace Habits
30% of the survey respondents said there are high chances of them taking the annual flu shot this fall.
While 34% of the employees said they would stop shaking hands at the workplace, 31% were not worried about any COVID-19 infection and said they would shake hands. 35% said they greet others with an elbow or fist bump, rather than shaking hands.
While 45% of the baby boomers were willing to give up on handshakes, 33% of the Generation X was also going to stop shaking hands.
Impact Of Corporate Wellness Programs On Employee Wellness
77% of the respondents who had access to corporate wellness programs at their workplace said it helped them improve their health and wellness. However, 71% of the respondents who did not have any employee wellness programs said they would be glad to participate if they were offered one.
Almost 48% said that these employee wellness programs motivated them to adopt healthier habits shifting their focus to living a life of holistic wellness. While 38% respondents reported the wellbeing programs helped reduce stress, 36% boosted their physical activity habits, and 33% said it improved their quality of sleep.
While 17% said it helped them identify an underlying medical issue, another 17% reported that they were able to manage chronic health conditions like diabetes in a much better way.
Amongst the respondents who agreed that the corporate wellness programs had a positive impact on their health and wellness, the outcomes were much better –
- 54% – Reduced stress
- 51% – Better productivity
- 31% – Less absenteeism
According to a National Business Group On Health study, many US employers are now investing in workplace wellness programs, and almost 67% of the companies are willing to expand their wellbeing programs in the upcoming years.
A JAMA Network study reported that employees who had access to workplace wellness programs showed 8% increased physical activity and 13% better weight management.
With so much evidence confirming the positive impact of corporate wellness programs on employee health and wellness, workplace culture, and organizational productivity, it is never too late for employers to invest in their employee wellness initiatives. Also, with the COVID-19 scenario changing the dynamics of health and wellness in more than one way, employers can play a crucial role in helping their workforce adopt healthier living habits for better workplace wellness, boosted employee engagement, and improved productivity.