3. WELLNESS + WORKPLACE
Workplace Wellness Finally Starts to Mean Something
By Skyler Hubler & Cecelia Girr
From protected time off to finally acknowledging women’s health needs, employee wellness is getting a much-needed rethink. Employers have been casually tossing around the word “wellness” since the 1980s. But four decades later, we have little to show for it. Worldwide, 70% of knowledge workers have experienced burnout in the past year, and a recent global study found that 38% of workers hate their jobs so much that they wouldn’t wish it on their worst enemy. Clearly, all those “workplace wellness” initiatives haven’t been effective. But with the pandemic dramatically accelerating shifts in work models and the mental health crisis—and employees newly empowered—things are changing for the better.
In this trend, we explore how superficial wellness at work schemes are being replaced with more meaningful solutions. Better balance is being achieved through movements such as extended, company-wide vacations and the “right to disconnect” from emails after hours; employers making in-person time count with memorable offsites and gatherings at wellness resorts and social wellness clubs (meetings held in ice baths are officially a thing); and topics once stigmatized, like menopause and infertility, gaining the attention of the world’s biggest employers. Even psychedelics are entering the scene, with Enthea set to launch ketamine therapy as a workplace benefit across the US this year. The workplace wellness reform is well underway and it’s set to change everything, from how we connect with coworkers to what we look for in a job.
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