The 2021 Employee Wellness Trends You Need to Face New Challenges

November 4, 2020

The mental, physical, and emotional wellness of employees during a time when many are working from home and doing their best to social distance is so important right now. The pandemic can take its toll on wellness in a variety of ways. Fortunately, there are ways you can re-shape your employee wellness program for 2021 to adapt to your employees’ new needs. 

“Get active” meetings

The social element of your workplace has likely taken on a much different look this year. You may have employees in a social distance-friendly environment, employees working from home, or a mix of both. How do you encourage them to stay connected when they’re physically disconnected

One way to promote social and physical wellness is with “get active” meetings. In place of the office gym, an employee hosts a recurring meeting with colleagues to lead some sort of physical activity, such as walking, running, or virtual yoga. A 30-minute session each day or every other day is a worthwhile investment for your company when you consider the value physical wellness and social wellness have on your business. 

Activity-based HSA contributions

How about a cash incentive for physical activity? That’s easy to do when you tie a portion of your employees’ health savings account (HSA) contributions to physical activity. For example, we offer an integration with KrowdFit to allow our clients to contribute to their participants’ HSAs based on physical activity. For example, a client could offer HSA consumers $3 a day (which would be $1,068 per year) by giving $1 a day for each of these activities: 

  • 7 hours of sleep

  • 10,000 steps

  • 30 minutes of exercise

The above activities are then tracked on the fitness trackers of employees with an HSA who choose to participate. 

Integrate mental health offerings

In mid-July, more than half of all U.S. adults said their mental health had been negatively impacted due to the coronavirus. About one-third of those surveyed said they have had trouble eating and sleeping because of stress. Since you might now have your employee wellness program play a more central role in your company’s day-to-day cadence, you may decide to integrate your mental health offerings as part of your wellness initiatives to keep them top of mind. These offerings may include Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and counseling, including telebehavioral services.

Direct wellness dollars to an LSA

More and more employers were turning to lifestyle spending accounts (LSAs) prior to the pandemic to encourage healthy habits from their employees. And the pandemic has only made these accounts even more sought-after. LSAs let you set aside post-tax funds for your employees to spend on a variety of expenses, which you can determine. The eligible expenses may include exercise equipment (home gym), meditation, counseling services, and nutrition counseling. Funding an LSA for your employees will help you differentiate your business from the competition

Stay up to date on the latest trends in employee benefits by subscribing to our blog. You can also learn more about LSAs in this episode of Benefits Buzz. 

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