These days, employees don’t want to feel like they’re just a cog in a machine and it is becoming increasingly important for employees to find a workplace where their wellbeing is supported and cared for.
It’s little surprise that a healthy employee is generally a happy employee; happy employees tend to be more engaged, work harder and perform better which is good for business. In fact, an engaged workforce is the fundamental foundation for business growth, stability, strength and sustainability.
This concept has led to many employers going above and beyond to include wellness initiatives as part of a rewards and benefits package.
In our latest blog, we take a look at 21 of the best workplace wellness benefits which can help your employees to thrive in and out of the workplace.
With office workers spending up to three quarters of the day sitting down, being inactive is taking a significant toll on our health and wellbeing. A gym membership is the perfect way to encourage employees to get active; an active lifestyle can prevent a number of health conditions which could save employers a lot of sickness days each year.
Wellness classes, such as Yoga and Pilates, have been gaining prominence in offices throughout the UK for some time now. The demand is so high, some instructors only specialise in corporate classes.
Employers can benefit through their employees having increased energy and being less stressed. Yoga has also proven to improve posture, morale and focus.
In a recent survey, 52% of respondents experienced burnout in 2021. With employee burnout being a very real thing, ‘Recharge days’ are additional paid days of annual leave to enable the employee to re-energise and refocus their mind.
Here at Spencer Clarke Group, our internal employees can enjoy four paid Recharge days each year!
Massage therapy has been proven to relieve the physical discomfort of an overly tight muscle or poor posture. It has also been proven to reduce anxiety, stress and the feelings of depression.
While some companies subsidise a massage to be taken out of work, some companies opt to bring a masseuse in during work hours for a quick express massage!
For employees with an incurable or recurring illness, the financial challenge of managing it alongside your career can be extremely stressful. Illnesses can often be made worse with stress which can contribute to a vicious cycle.
By offering sick pay which goes beyond statutory sick pay, this can help to alleviate the challenges which an employee faces.
Option to work from home
During the pandemic, working from home was the ‘norm’ for many employees but as we navigate out of this era, some employees are not ready to let it go just yet. Some surveys have found that the ability to work from home is the number one perk of their job.
While some major employers have implemented fully remote or hybrid working patterns, some employers have gone one step further by paying for their employees' internet and phone bills and even their home office furniture!
Cycle to work scheme
Published in 2017, the government's Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy was an initiative to encourage employees to walk and cycle to work. Employees can access subsidised funding through their employer to purchase the necessary equipment to cycle to work.
Employees benefit through cheaper travel and better health while employers benefit through increased productivity.
Society as a whole also benefits from this scheme through lower congestion, better air quality, and a more vibrant and attractive community to live in.
According to a survey in 2021, the ability to work flexibly was the second most attractive perk to employees. Due to the busy and fast paced life which we live in, employees are searching for a better work-life balance.
Offering flexible work patterns can help to boost company loyalty, meaning staff turnover is reduced and recruitment is much easier.
Private health / dental insurance
While we are blessed to live in a country with free healthcare, it is becoming increasingly popular to go private. In 2021, Mintel's Private Healthcare report found that approximately 5.2 million have a private policy with 75% of those provided for by employers.
By providing private health or dental care, employees have a sense that they are cared for and appreciated.
Free fruit and healthy snacks
Encouraging healthy eating through the form of free fruit and healthy snacks is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to promote wellness in the workplace.
Providing an office water fountain or personalised water bottles for your team is important to promote hydration. If an employee is dehydrated, it can cause unclear thinking, mood changes and overheating which could affect productivity in the workplace.
Professional financial advice
According to a survey by Robert Half International, it’s estimated that 65% of employers offer some sort of financial wellness program. By making their teams financially resilient, employers can benefit through happier and more productive employees.
The survey also found that the majority of employees don’t take their employer up on the offer through the worry of their employer prying into their finances or not knowing the help was available.
Employers who choose to offer professional financial advice should make it clear that financial information is confidential and ensure that employees are aware of how to access the help.
Professional food/nutrition advice
A personally tailored nutrition plan can help employees to manage food allergies, sensitivities and weight gain. A better nutritional understanding of the foods which they are eating can help to reduce fatigue and malnutrition.
Company fun runs
Signing up your employees to half marathons, colour runs, Total Warrior or Tough Mudder is a great way to encourage your employees to get active.
By funding the entry fee, employers can benefit through enhanced team bonding of employees and employees enjoy the benefits of increased physical activity.
Paid maternity and paternity leave (beyond statutory)
According to the NHS website, if you are employed and pregnant, you are entitled to 52 weeks (1 year) of maternity leave. This is made up of 26 weeks of ordinary maternity leave and 26 weeks of additional maternity leave.
If you're a father-to-be or the partner of someone who is pregnant (including same-sex partners), you could have the right to paternity leave.
Parenthood is a big change and some parents feel that they need longer than the statutory leave allowance.
Employers offering paid leave beyond the statutory (on the provision that they do eventually return to work on a certain date) can benefit through retaining their top talent. Meanwhile, the employee can adjust to their new circumstances without stress and financial burden.
It has even been known for employers to give paid leave to the parents of a new puppy or kitten!
According to the Money Advice Service, the average cost of a full-time nursery place in the UK is £263 a week.
With fees sky high, some UK parents are left with no choice but to balance family life with their work obligations or put their career on hold until their children reach school age.
For some employers, providing an onsite crèche or nursery is a smart move to ease the financial stress to their employees; it also helps to increase staff retention and attract top talent.
For employees, knowing their child will be on site with them during the working day can also ease their return to work, particularly if they initially have reservations about placing their child into daycare.
Introduce standing desks
It’s little surprise that sitting for prolonged periods is bad for your health which has led to a rise in standing desks in offices throughout the UK.
Studies suggest that standing desks allow workers to boost work performance by promoting good posture and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle.
Walk and talk!
The pandemic has made many of us rethink where and how we do our work. Since the pandemic, there has been a rise in ‘walking meetings.’
Whether you’re physically with your colleague or on the phone, employees can benefit from being more active during meetings. Some studies have also found that walking meetings can increase creativity by 81-100%.
When it comes to employee health, prevention is better than cure. A study by the Daily Telegraph revealed that poor lifestyle choices cost British businesses £58bn a year in lost productivity.
With that in mind, some employers incentivise good lifestyle choices to boost productivity, tackle sickness absence and improve engagement.
Good lifestyle choices could include losing weight, walking for 30 minutes a day or quitting smoking.
Offer unlimited holidays
For many employees, an unlimited holiday allowance is the ultimate perk. The freedom and flexibility to take time off as they please can help with childcare provision and improve a work-life balance.
For adventurous employees who dream of travelling the world, unlimited holidays is a very attractive perk. Being able to travel the world safely in the knowledge that they can return to a good job when they return will help employees to feel financially secure; employees will also be grateful that they don't need to put their career on hold, or start again from scratch, to pursue their dreams.
Most employees will derive wellness from different sources so some savvy employers have allocated a monthly financial budget for each employee to spend on something which will improve their physical, mental or emotional wellbeing.
Here at Spencer Clarke Group, our internal employees are allocated a monthly £50 wellness benefit to go towards schemes such as a gym membership, private dental care, massages, physio or a spa day.
Who is Spencer Clarke Group?
Formed in 2017, we're a multi-sector recruitment agency, specialising in a range of key disciplines within both the public and private sectors, offering permanent, temporary, contract and fixed term opportunities.
We currently specialise in 8 sectors:
Accountancy & Finance
Construction, Trades & Labour
Education & SEND
Health & Social Care
Interim & Executive
Surveying, Technical & Engineering
If you’re struggling to fill a role, why don’t you give us a call on 01772 954200 to see how we can help?
One of our Recruitment Consultants will be happy to listen to the challenges which you are facing and advise on the best possible solution for you.