Having a clearly laid out workplace wellness program is one of the most effective ways of having an engaged and productive team in any organization. In addition, offering extended health benefits plans, your workplace wellness programs may include health awareness activities or organization-wide incentive plans to encourage healthy behaviors among employees.
The greatest obstacle to having a workforce completely engaged in workplace wellness programs include heavy workload, lack of employee positivity, privacy concerns, and lack of willingness to participate. But studies indicate that three out of five employees are leaning away for participating in a workplace wellness program due to not using digital technology to do so. This should not come as a surprise, considering the workforce is now made up of many tech enthusiastic Millennials.
Wearables devices such as the smartwatch or bands can help to monitor activity levels and heart rates, or to implement workout plans - so they can be a useful tool in encouraging workplace health. Merely having access to smartphone apps can also be helpful as well.
Nine Ways Technology Is Improving Workplace Health
Let’s take a look at nine ways technology is improving workplace health.
1. Increased Activity Level
16% of employees use wearables such as the Android Wears, Apple Watch, Fitbit, Jawbone, or Google Fit and more than half (51%) of those who use them said they are excited about using this technology.
2. Health Risk Assessment
Data collected from wearable devices can help an organization assess the health risks of employees or the necessity for a wellness program or fine-tune one already in place. Wearables such as Android Wear, Apple Watch, Fitbit, Google Fit, and others can provide employers with a vast amount of health & activity data and help evaluate the actual health risk - but only if employees consent to share this information.
3. Less Absenteeism
Using smartphone apps such as CircleCare or wearable devices such as the Apple Watch or Fitbit can help reduce employee sick leaves, as well as increase work-life balance. Monitoring and evaluating real-time data of employee’s physical activity, sleep patterns, and stress levels can help employers to spot health risks ahead of time, and potentially prevent long-term sick leaves.
4. Reduced Stress Levels
If going for a hike or a trek to reduce employee stress levels isn’t an option, wearables such as Fitbit, that monitor activity levels, and apps like CircleCare can also help decrease employee stress levels by striking a work-life balance by setting up a circle of family members that you can engage with any time and collaborate with colleagues on a separate circle, leading to a more engaged and healthy team.
5. Healthy Eating Habits
Tracking daily calorie consumption, dietary plans, and lifestyle choices using apps such as Up® on Jawbone for your whole team can create a more vigorous eating habits, encourage collaboration, and boost team spirit.
6. Mental Health
It’s not always about physical health - wellness means mental health as well. Playing chess for an hour a day, or eating foods that are good for the brain leads to increased cognitive abilities.
7. More Motivation
Using wellness apps, such as CircleCare, can increase employees’ willingness to lead an active and healthier lifestyle. By achieving daily steps goals with peer encouragement or friendly gamification, employees can see improvements to health and lower risks of chronic diseases.
8. Increased Health Awareness
Many wellness apps provide regular personalized health knowledge and healthy lifestyle hacks to support healthy living. Also, regular collaboration via the app facilitates health knowledge sharing among your employees.
9. Chronic Condition Management
Most health and wellness apps offer a log for vitals, where your employees can keep track of their blood pressure, blood glucose and daily calorie intakes which are very important for managing chronic conditions. Some apps even send alerts for taking medication on time.
When implemented correctly these technologies can help not only to establish healthy work cultures and improve employee health but also to implement strategies that reduce overall medical costs effectively improving productivity, which improves the bottom line.
About the author of this guest post
Shaon Shahnewaz is a digital marketing professional and content marketer who enjoys reading and spending time with his kid. Shaon is also a technology enthusiast who likes to learn and experience the latest and greatest innovations.
Shaon is currently working with CircleCare Inc., a corporate wellness solution provider that offers a platform and tools to motivate employees via positive reinforcements and rewards to establish and maintain healthy lifestyle choices.