The week in wellness: Streamlining financial wellness programs, bottom-line impact, and more

The week’s essential content and fresh industry pickings for well-being pros.

By Robby Brumberg      @robbybrumberg      
Wellness resources and links

Greetings to you, our friends, colleagues and fellow workplace wellness warriors. Here are our top links for the week ending October 16, 2020:

  1. Arizona State University wins workplace wellness grant. Researchers earned a one-year grant from The National Science Foundation to develop a “Future Workstation,” which will incorporate AI, design and sensor tech to “improve the overall functionality, impact, engagement and economic cost of workplace wellness.”
  2. How to streamline your financial well-being programs. The Wall Street Journal offers five ways to reduce employees’ No. 1 stressor.
  3. Not sure what to focus on or how to allocate your wellness budget? Try these 12 proven, effective initiatives.
  4. A silver lining for wellness programs’ bottom-line impact. A University of Illinois study found that wellness programs can boost employee engagement and productivity, especially when prioritizing emotional and financial well-being.
  5. Employee mental health should be near the top of your wellness strategy. Read this smart guidance on how to prioritize employees’ mental well-being amid tumultuous times.
  6. Workplace wellness can boost profits. A piece in The Philadelphia Inquirer shares how Deloitte is supporting worker well-being—and helping the firm thrive.
  7. Wondering what other wellness pros are doing—or paying for services? View this handy breakdown of pricing and industry averages from WellSteps.
  8. Employees are enduring tremendous financial stress and strain. As PwC writes in its recent financial wellness survey: “Not only is it [helping employees manage finances] the socially conscious response for employees reeling from the global pandemic, but it will likely benefit the organization with a more appreciative workforce with greater financial resiliency and engagement.” Home in on these five key takeaways from PwC’s employee financial wellness survey.
  9. Vetting wellness vendors can be exhausting. WellSteps lists its top wellness vendors of 2020.
  10. Finding those niche vendors can be tricky, too. SHRM offers a thorough compendium of wellness vendors, helpfully segmented by focus and specialty (such as ergonomics, financial services, health screenings, and weight loss programs).
  11. The future of work is hybrid. Data from Blind reveals that employees are apprehensive and anxious about going 100% remote. Giving workers the flexibility to WFH or go into the office will likely be the gold standard moving forward.  
  12. It’s crucial to support staffers of color—and promote diverse resources. Here are 10 Black “wellness warriors” to follow, and here’s a plethora of wellness resources to support Black staffers.
  13. Safe workplaces and mental support top wellness priorities. These two areas take priority due to the pandemic. AllWork offers a helpful checklist to ensure you’re prepared to welcome workers back to your space.
  14. Are workers being honest with their doctors? Probably not. Less than half of all respondents to Life Extension’s latest survey said they’re entirely honest with their doctor. Booze consumption, smoking and eating habits were the top sources of fibbing. 
  15. Study: Workplace stress impacts more women than men. Cigna’s 5th annual wellness study found that women are more stressed than men. “They do not feel supported enough by their employers, only half of whom offer any workplace wellness programs.”
  16. Anxiety and depression cases are soaring. According to The Conversation,“COVID-19 could lead to an epidemic of clinical depression.” Help your colleagues cope with these 24 science-backed ways to mitigate anxiety.
  17. What ‘level of well-being’ would your employees say they have? Gallup found that 81% of workers who report having a “high well-being” are less likely to seek out a new employer in the next year. Here’s how wellness initiatives can support overall employee experience, care and well-being.
  18. Even in the best of times, keeping remote workers motivated, inspired and eager to sustain healthy habits is no easy task. Uplifting workers in the grip of a pandemic makes maintaining progress all the more difficult.Snack Nation offers something for everyone here, with 121 wellness program ideas to spark your team’s creative energy.
  19. Staffers struggling with alcohol need help. There’s no shortage of apps to help those keen to quit smoking, but how about booze? Alcohol consumption, dependence and addiction are on the rise, and there’s a high chance some of your employees are struggling. Here are six apps that can help those eager to quit or limit drinking. (And here are apps specifically designed for those in recovery.)
  20. What’s next for workplace wellness? If you’re not mindful of—and actively investing in—workers’ mental, physical and financial well-being, good luck sustaining a healthy business in the days ahead.