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  • Claire Hannum

10 Best Workplace Wellness Programs of 2021

Workplace wellness programs are practically non-negotiable these days, if you hope to keep your employees happy and healthy. These programs are a great way to keep morale high, keep your employees focused, and potentially even save money on healthcare bills. Even in an era in which many companies are working remotely, so many workplace wellness programs and offerings can be provided from a safe distance. Here are some of the most popular programs to consider.

The Best Workplace Wellness Programs, And Why They're Great

Yoga As many of us know, yoga has an incredible capability for stress relief and healing while moving your body. When a company offers workplace yoga, it also provides an opportunity for the team to bond together, and let go of some stress about group projects as a team with the help of calming yoga teachers. One thing’s for sure: after yoga, your team will definitely return to their desks feeling more inspired and focused. Mindfulness at work certainly has its perks!

Meditation Guided meditation led by a top notch meditation coach is an ideal way to help employees manage stress, avoid burnout, and find more joy in their work. Meditation is scientifically proven to help employees reduce anxiety, boost their self-esteem, concentrate better, and communicate more clearly - among many other benefits! For your company overall, meditation has been found to decrease absentee and burnout rates, increase efficiency, and boost creativity. Unplug has been featured as the best corporate meditation program in the country and offers mindfulness programs for work that are tailored specifically to employers. Unplug creates customized workplace wellness programs that cater to your team’s specific needs, and create a company meditation challenge for your team on the Unplug app. Unplug can also provide alternative modalities like breathwork and sound baths, which have been known to get teams buzzing. Unplug has provided meditation programs for over 150+ companies, including Disney, Google, NBCUniversal, and The Ritz-Carlton.

Healthy Food Healthy food workplace wellness programs can kick the “sad desk lunch” to the curb! In a workplace culture where so many employees rush through lunch and grab something unhealthy on the go, there are an array of options to create something more nourishing. Some programs provide healthy, energizing snacks for your team. Others make sure your employee cafeteria has the healthiest options available. Some programs offer extended lunch breaks that provide space for a workout or a healthy at-home lunch. This can improve health and focus, and as an added bonus, will facilitate greater team bonding. After all, everyone loves to connect over food!

On-Site Gyms and Fitness Centers On-site fitness centers are go-to workplace wellness programs for many employers, and that’s for good reason. Employees love it! It’s easier to squeeze a workout into your schedule when your gym is just steps away from your desk. Employees can pop out for a lunchtime exercise session or fit in their fitness just before or after work. Staff members might even work out together (post-pandemic, of course) to turn over complex workplace solutions while they’re exercising. Some employers might even choose to take things a step further, with climbing walls, swimming pools, and other top-of-the-line fitness offerings.

Mental Health and Support Mental health is just as important as physical health, and it’s important to empower your employees to live well-rounded emotional lives. Many employers have started teaming up with mental health programs to provide supportive workplace wellness programs for stress management, depression, addiction, and anxiety. These types of programs can offer confidential helplines, support groups, therapeutic programs, and financial help to get well. Some even offer structured wellness goal-setting experiences to keep team members focused on feeling better. In a world where mental health programs are increasingly difficult to navigate and select alone, having a simple number to call and a pre-structured program makes it much easier for employees to get help.

Offsite Adventures In Nature Plenty of prolific workers attribute their best ideas to time spent in nature. The outdoors is healing, invigorating, and inspiring - so why not make it part of your company’s workplace wellness programs? Many programs create optional outdoor retreats and adventures that can take employees out of the city and into wildlife. The key is to choose a program that provides a wide range of accessibility options, so that there is an outdoor adventure available to everyone on the team of every ability. Time spent outdoors as a team facilitates bonding and all kinds of creative ideas that can be implemented back at the office.

Running Clubs Running clubs foster teamwork, friendship, healthy competition, and of course, regular exercise. In many ways, they're ideal workplace wellness programs. They provide an excellent path for your team to de-stress and find an oasis on stressful days. If your running club is working toward a walk-a-thon or race, you’ve got a fantastic team building opportunity on your hands. You can even fundraise for a cause with the race, which unites the team for a greater good. When you’re running, your place in the office hierarchy doesn’t quite matter so much - after all, everyone is sweating and working hard together. Suddenly, you’re all on the same level, together as a team. It’s a great opportunity for employees to spend time with co-workers who are outside of their department. A team that runs together builds deep trust, connection, and loyalty - and that will benefit you inside and outside of the office. It’s a great morale booster!

Massage Therapy Many top companies famous for their workplace wellness programs and employee perks swear on massage therapy. A relaxing massage break on a busy day can be great for your team’s mental health. It can also help them quiet their minds so they can approach complicated work problems in a new way. And let’s be real: a team meeting led by an employee who just came back from a massage would be an incredibly relaxing, accepting, and non-judgmental environment. Everyone wins!

Pet Therapy First, if you’re going to utilize pet therapy in your workplace, it’s paramount to make sure that nobody on your team has severe allergies or will suffer health issues in the presence of an animal. First things first! With that important detail aside, few things make people happier than workplace wellness programs that involve puppies. Employers and college campuses around the world have won the hearts of their staff and students by bringing in therapy dogs. These happy bundles of fluffy joy can swoop in during stressful seasons to bring whimsy and relief to your team. Dogs in the workplace can reduce stress and decrease the stress hormone cortisol. Pets also inspire positive interactions between coworkers that wouldn’t have otherwise happened, because everyone acts a little more welcoming and conversational when a cute dog is in the room.

Smoking Cessation Programs According to the American Lung Association, employers can save up to $6,000 per year for every team member who quits smoking. But quitting smoking is tough - really tough - even if someone really wants to. Quitting can be even harder if communal smoke breaks are part of your workplace culture. Providing supportive workplace wellness programs to employees who are trying to quit can offer a huge weight off their shoulders, especially if you can create a culture of positivity and teamwork around quitting. Through personalized online platforms, calls with counselors, and group support meetings, corporate smoking cessation programs can transform employees’ lives. And a healthier employee is a happier one! And thoughtful workplace wellness programs can help you get there.


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