By Janice Evenson, Team Manager – Client Programs, TELUS Health Care Centres
The Canadian work landscape has changed dramatically as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic — and corporate wellness programs must follow suit.
Here are 3 corporate wellness trends to consider in our post-pandemic world:
- Robust mental health offerings. The mental health index by Morneau Shepell measured the impact of COVID-19 in Canada and found that a startling 80% of Canadians reported the pandemic had a negative effect on their mental health. Leaders need to re-evaluate their employees’ needs and adopt comprehensive programs that encourage physical and mental health, while providing resources and treatment for a variety of mental health issues, ranging from financial stress to insomnia to anxiety and depression.
- Expanded technology-based fitness and wellness programming. A survey by Enterprise Technology Research predicted that the percentage of full-time remote workers will double in 2021. Creating a sense of community and a culture of wellness will continue to be an online effort for many corporations. Employers should seek apps, online team challenges and virtual sessions such as fitness classes that include a post-activity chat session to bolster employee communication.
- Top-down wellness initiatives. With the lines between work and home life blurred, wellness measures to minimize stress and promote health will be critical. Wellness initiatives are far more likely to succeed with management support and participation, so managers should take a hand-on role: think leading stretch breaks, taking part in internal fitness challenges, and sharing their own WFH coping strategies, to set a positive tone.
 Morneau Shepell. 2020. “81% of Canadians say coronavirus is negatively affecting their mental health”.
 Chavez-Dreyfus, Gertrude. 2020 “Permanently remote workers seen doubling in 2021 due to pandemic productivity – survey.” Reuters.
 Global Industry Analysts Inc. 2021. “Corporate Wellness – Global Market Trajectory & Analytics.”