Workplace wellness to evolve as companies realise true cost of stress

The nature of workplace wellness is set to evolve as companies and governments understand the impact of stress on productivity and the need for wellness to become integrated into company culture.

According to the Wellness at Work Research Report, previewed at the Global Wellness Summit 2015 in Mexico today (November 13), the cost of unwellness at work is $2.2trillion in the US alone.

The report identified that there are 3.2 billion workers in the world and 87% feel disengaged at work, with 38% saying they are under excessive pressure.

However, the researchers estimate that only 9% of workers have access to any type of workplace wellness provision.

Additionally, workplace wellness programmes focus more on wellness issues experienced outside of work, rather than admitting the effects that pressure in the workplace has on health, said the report’s researchers Ophelia Yeung (pictured) and Katherine Johnston.

They predict that in the future, wellness at work will evolve because governments will demand and oversee greater change, due to the cost implications of an ill workforce. Additionally, they predict that the workplace wellness programmes of today will disappear, replaced by a proper culture of wellness at work, that is integrated throughout the company, rather than driven by HR teams only.

“Companies will realise that doing right by their employees and the community is doing good business,” said Yeung, adding that consumers in the millennial demographic will refuse to work for or buy from companies that don’t place sufficient importance on the health of their workers. The full report will be released in January.

The preview formed part of the Global Wellness Summit, which began today in Mexico City and will run until Sunday, November 15.