The need for improving work-life balance is staring us in the face; it’s front and center. Proof? According to a recent Gallup poll, 70 percent of employees have checked out at work or are actively disengaged – costing U.S. companies over $300 billion annually. Disengagement is a clear sign that something is out of balance!
Are you on the hunt for a new job? When evaluating employers, wellness benefits should play a key role in your decision-making process. Take stock of potential employers’ wellness offerings – most notably, programs that focus on supporting you across all aspects of your life, both at work and at home.
Great companies want their employees to be healthy and engaged both inside and outside the work environment. These companies care about their employees’ well-being and show it with robust workplace wellness programs and perks like healthy options in the cafeteria, free group exercise classes in the corporate gym, even paid time off to volunteer within the community, and – maybe the best of all – cold, hard cash to get and stay healthy.
David Coppin, President, Client Services and Member Engagement, VirginPulse.com, part of Sir Richard Branson’s famed Virgin Group, says that, “By honing in on all aspects of life, including your mental, physical, social and financial health, both at work and home, you’ll improve your total quality of life and maximize your potential in your job. Smart companies know this, and smart job seekers do, too.
According to our own research, 87 percent of employees believe robust workplace wellness programs are paramount when choosing a place to work.”
In recent years, with the explosion of “always on” technology, apps and devices that help us get our jobs done regardless of our location, there’s a narrowing divide between work and home life. David advises that, “Leading employers should help employees improve their total quality of life by not only offering stellar benefits and workplace wellness programs, but by extending those benefits to their family and friends. Incorporate the people who matter most in their life so your employees have an influential support system beyond their peers at work.”
Let’s take fitness as an example of a great wellness benefit. According to the Framingham Heart Study, you have a 57 percent greater chance of losing weight when exercising and dieting with a friend or family member than when you go it alone. With innovative wellness programs that include your family and friends, you can challenge each other to healthy competitions, like who takes the most stairs or who eats the most fruits and vegetables each week.
Branson’s subsidiary, Virgin Pulse, strongly believes the link between companies that provide robust workplace wellness programs and sustained employee engagement is strong. “Eighty percent of employees at companies with robust health and wellness programs feel their employer cares about their well-being, according to our own research,“ confirms Coppin.
So what can companies expect in the long run? The benefit of fewer sick days, fewer safety incidents, and something even more important: positive feedback from employees who feel their contributions at work have a greater overall impact.
And back to you, job-seekers or career-changers. Factor wellness benefits into your job search today and you’ll find greater wellness tomorrow.