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FITNESS, HEALTH, WELLNESS

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Latest news

Companies need to 'get serious about workplace wellness'

Too little attention has been paid to designing workspaces that are conducive to human wellbeing and productivity, according to the experts attending the seventh Global Wellness Institute (GWI) round table in Manhattan, US, last month.

Alfredo Carvajal of Delos said: “Even big companies still house their employees in what are essentially unhealthy spaces. We will see the design and building of workplaces change in the next decade, with a much-needed new focus on natural light, healthy air, worker privacy and comfort, and flexible office design. [These spaces will also incorporate] different types of biophilic design – which reimagines the relationship between nature, human biology and the built environment.”

The need to design healthy workspaces and put greater focus on environmental health is one of ten ways in which workplace wellness concepts must adapt to address the changing needs of an increasingly tech-savvy yet burnt out workforce – highlighted by the 25-plus experts that attended the round table event.

Leaders from renowned medical and policy organisations at the invite-only event included Dr Michael Roizen, head of preventative medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, and Emily Dery, leader of the Global Health Track at the Clinton Global Initiative, along with chief medical directors and executives from companies like Johnson & Johnson, Citi, Goldman Sachs, Weight Watchers, Pegasus Capital, Virgin Pulse and Staywell.

Another expected evolution in the approach to workplace wellness is that negative media coverage of unscientific ‘studies’ that conclude that “workplace wellness programmes don’t work” will be ignored by future companies – whose focus will shift from a narrow focus on ROI (return on investment) to a recognition of wider “return on value”. For example, healthcare costs will not be scrimped on and important gains in retention and productivity will be championed.

Companies will also need to redefine “productivity” and work on “shutting down the work-employee connection” after work hours – when staff remain glued to their smartphones, according to CEO of Staywell, Paul Terry. The erosion of the line between work and life is having a wide-ranging impact on employees’ physical and mental health across the globe.

However, the positive implications of technology also need to be lauded, said participants. For example, employee access to medical professionals allows staff to get care before they are ill. Online coaching, mobile apps and other forms of technology allow employers to support the hardest-to-reach staff – those working remotely or offshore.

The cookie-cutter approach to wellness, most often seen in the US, needs to be thrown out, according to attendees of the round table, because delivering wellness successfully varies by global region. Health challenges and wellness resources differ greatly across the world and so wellness programmes need to be adapted to meet those circumstances.

The different profiles of working populations are becoming more distinct, for example, millennials demand far more work flexibility and expect all kinds of health and wellness, while ageing employees require more at-home work. This means one-size-fits-all workplace wellness needs to be re-thought.

While most global workplace wellness have focused on physical health up to now, the round table invitees predict that more innovative mental health strategies will be employed at future workplaces to create a more holistic approach to preserving employee health.

Companies need to get serious about creating a healthy work culture, by making it ingrained in the company’s DNA. Susie Ellis, president and CEO of GWI has previously written about how workplace wellness is a trend that will explode soon. The future of workplace wellness is also the topic of the GWI’s 2015 research, which will be released at the Global Wellness Summit (GWS) this November in Mexico City.

Too little attention has been paid to designing workspaces that are conducive to human wellbeing and productivity, according to the experts attending the seventh Global Wellness Institute (GWI) round table in Manhattan, US, last month.
SAB,CPW,CAS,EVT,PHR,RES
394378_650544.jpg
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Latest news

Companies need to 'get serious about workplace wellness'

Too little attention has been paid to designing workspaces that are conducive to human wellbeing and productivity, according to the experts attending the seventh Global Wellness Institute (GWI) round table in Manhattan, US, last month.

Alfredo Carvajal of Delos said: “Even big companies still house their employees in what are essentially unhealthy spaces. We will see the design and building of workplaces change in the next decade, with a much-needed new focus on natural light, healthy air, worker privacy and comfort, and flexible office design. [These spaces will also incorporate] different types of biophilic design – which reimagines the relationship between nature, human biology and the built environment.”

The need to design healthy workspaces and put greater focus on environmental health is one of ten ways in which workplace wellness concepts must adapt to address the changing needs of an increasingly tech-savvy yet burnt out workforce – highlighted by the 25-plus experts that attended the round table event.

Leaders from renowned medical and policy organisations at the invite-only event included Dr Michael Roizen, head of preventative medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, and Emily Dery, leader of the Global Health Track at the Clinton Global Initiative, along with chief medical directors and executives from companies like Johnson & Johnson, Citi, Goldman Sachs, Weight Watchers, Pegasus Capital, Virgin Pulse and Staywell.

Another expected evolution in the approach to workplace wellness is that negative media coverage of unscientific ‘studies’ that conclude that “workplace wellness programmes don’t work” will be ignored by future companies – whose focus will shift from a narrow focus on ROI (return on investment) to a recognition of wider “return on value”. For example, healthcare costs will not be scrimped on and important gains in retention and productivity will be championed.

Companies will also need to redefine “productivity” and work on “shutting down the work-employee connection” after work hours – when staff remain glued to their smartphones, according to CEO of Staywell, Paul Terry. The erosion of the line between work and life is having a wide-ranging impact on employees’ physical and mental health across the globe.

However, the positive implications of technology also need to be lauded, said participants. For example, employee access to medical professionals allows staff to get care before they are ill. Online coaching, mobile apps and other forms of technology allow employers to support the hardest-to-reach staff – those working remotely or offshore.

The cookie-cutter approach to wellness, most often seen in the US, needs to be thrown out, according to attendees of the round table, because delivering wellness successfully varies by global region. Health challenges and wellness resources differ greatly across the world and so wellness programmes need to be adapted to meet those circumstances.

The different profiles of working populations are becoming more distinct, for example, millennials demand far more work flexibility and expect all kinds of health and wellness, while ageing employees require more at-home work. This means one-size-fits-all workplace wellness needs to be re-thought.

While most global workplace wellness have focused on physical health up to now, the round table invitees predict that more innovative mental health strategies will be employed at future workplaces to create a more holistic approach to preserving employee health.

Companies need to get serious about creating a healthy work culture, by making it ingrained in the company’s DNA. Susie Ellis, president and CEO of GWI has previously written about how workplace wellness is a trend that will explode soon. The future of workplace wellness is also the topic of the GWI’s 2015 research, which will be released at the Global Wellness Summit (GWS) this November in Mexico City.

Too little attention has been paid to designing workspaces that are conducive to human wellbeing and productivity, according to the experts attending the seventh Global Wellness Institute (GWI) round table in Manhattan, US, last month.
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