In 2015, fit bits, standing desks and office design were all the rage. And, indeed, their popularity continues but in a broader, more systemic way. Australian Employers and employees alike are changing the matrix of the average workday to make it more conducive to daily enjoyment, flexibility and wellbeing.
Below are three workplace health trends that are already taking off in 2016:
Choosing where and when we work.
Working from home is more common than ever, with 5.6 million Australians working from home at least some of their work week. Workplace flexibility is valued by Millennials more than almost any other career perk. It’s so important that employees of all ages are willing to either “switch employers or stay at their current employer based on their [telecommuting] flexibility programs,” according to Forbes.
But it’s not because we’re slackers. The average Australian works a full 38 hours per week. With such sustained commitment to our jobs, we want our work to be on our own terms. And we need it to be: nearly half of the Australian workers feel burned out.
With innovative remote working technology and co-working spaces, choosing where and when you work is a realistic goal and a reasonable demand. Forbes writer and workplace expert Dan Schawbel predicts that, “In the next few years, nearly every company will have a [work-from-home] policy.” Those that don’t already see lower employee retention rates.
Virtual Offices such as the ones provided by Clarence, offer business owners the flexibility to work from home while still maintaining a professional image with a CBD business address, facilities and resources for a fraction of the cost.
With 33 million devices such as fit bits and the Apple Watch, being sold globally last year, popularity for wearable technology is likely to continue to mount in 2016 with 71% of 16 – 24 year olds wanting wearable technology.
While the health and wellbeing benefits are clear its use in business is yet to take off but it is expected that 3rd party suppliers will enhance the use of these devices through apps and software enhancements.
Wearables can take advantage of our 24/7 business environment, helping us to be more efficient with our time from the increased information and measurement available at our disposable.
This is a space to watch … or wear.
Employer-sponsored health initiatives
At the heart of the Wearable Technology trend is the need for continued health and wellbeing control.
According to Payscale, more than two-thirds of employers said that health management programs are “somewhat” or “very” important to their company’s overall benefits mix. Respondents also reported that their health management programs were key to their general business strategy.
Not surprisingly, companies with the most effective health and productivity programs tend to have higher employee participation rates in wellness activities and health management programs, according to Towers Watson and The National Business Group on Health. With statistics confirming their utility, employer-sponsored health and lifestyle coaching and onsite fitness classes are at an all-time high. In fact, a 2012 Department of Labor Opinion Paper stated that 74% of employers who offer health benefits also have wellness programs. Other popular offerings include wellness resources, information and programs, onsite seasonal flu vaccines, healthy in-office food, stress management resources, a 24-hour nurse line and health screening programs.
More than half of Australia’s employers offer at least some of these wellness initiatives—and their popularity will only increase in 2016.
At Clarence, we play corporate Soccer once a week with staff and clients against other corporations.
We also introduced a complimentary Wellness Room in our Flagship Floor at 133 Castlereagh Street. Clients can enjoy a well-deserved massage as and when required without leaving the comforts of their office.
What health and wellness activities do you have at your office?
What would you like to see?