Health & Wellness in the Workplace — Where Do We Start?

Where to Start with Workplace Wellness | via TAPED, the ECHOtape blogAs we begin to look to 2018, I have been thinking a lot about wellness and what it means for me as I age. Not that I’m old, per se, but this year, so many friends and loved ones started battling serious illnesses. Cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, the list goes on. While I try and figure out how I stay well and balanced, I think it’s also important to explore the role of the employer plays. How do small businesses, like ECHOtape, help their employees deal with all of this? Is it as simple as a company wellness programs, or do we need to dive deeper?  How do company wellness initiatives translate to remote employees across North America?

I’m sure I’m not the only small business professional mulling this over, so here are some great resources I found online.  I’m still not sure what the answer is for us, but I’d love to hear what you are doing, both personally and professionally.

Fast Company highlights 3 key trends shaping the future of corporate wellness programs:  Data Integration (think FitBit);  Financial Need; and Child and Elder Care Resources.  The concept of adding elder care to our child care programs was of special interest.

From company weight loss challenges to lower health insurance deductibles, FitBit is playing an active role in corporate wellness. In fact, when BP AMERICA issued The Million Step Challenge, nearly 2,000 employees (out of 23,000) surpassed 2 million steps within a year. Employees who reached step goals earned points toward eligibility for a lower-deductible health plan.  I’d be inclined to wear my FitBit more often at work if it translated into lower health insurance costs, or other bonuses. Would you?

Forbes reports that with wellness programs on the rise, creativity and innovation are flourishing. To keep employee wellness initiatives fresh and exciting, the new year calls for more flexibility, greater emphasis on total well-being, healthier work environments and improved technology for work site wellness.

Of course, no matter what program initiatives you choose,  taking them from concept to reality is another issue all together.  This post by Small Business Trends provides a helpful outline, however, this post by has several helpful small budget ideas that I think small businesses would appreciate.  Start small and optimize as you go!