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World Health Day: Employee Wellness Programs

Paige McKirahan

Paige McKirahan

April 7, 2021

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When it comes to employee wellness, the activities we do to improve our team members’ general health at the (virtual) workplace are just as important as those done off the clock. While we spend more than 30% of our life at work (and spend another 30% sleeping), personal wellness should be a major focus of executives looking to increase productivity and advance company culture. According to the CDC, healthy and well-adjusted employees have a better quality of life; lower risk of disease, illness, and injury; and optimized work performance with a greater chance of making contributions to their communities. 

In honor of World Health Day on April 7, we wanted to take a look at all things employee wellness. But what do employee wellness programs do, and how can they benefit employers?

Let’s Take a Look at the Numbers

  • For every $1 spent on employee wellness, a company saves $7 on average in healthcare costs
  • 43% of companies invest in a wellness program to some degree to improve company culture
  • Wellness activities that are aimed at preventing disease risk can help reduce insurance costs by up to $136 per employee
  • 70% of employees enrolled in wellness programs have reported higher job satisfaction than those not enrolled in the companies’ program

Supporting the health of your team feels like a major win-win to us, so what should you include in your wellness program?

Provide Health In-Office Food and Beverage Offerings 

We know that food is the key to many employees’ hearts, but it could be the key to keeping them healthy, too. Trying to maintain a healthy diet during the workweek can be difficult, especially if your employees have busy days or work in a populated area with a nightmarish lunch rush. By providing healthy in-office snacks, having fresh water available, and offering daily lunches, you can help your team get the nutrition they need while also boosting morale. 

We all love some cookies or pizza for a holiday celebration, but these options aren’t always ideal. As this article from business.com says: “When you have a meeting, do not always opt for donuts. Try getting fruit…instead. If it is a lunch meeting, consider offering a soup and salad bar, or sandwiches that are a little healthier along with fruit and veggies.”

Food in the office can also improve employee satisfaction, contributing to overall wellness on account of reduced stress. 67% of employees who have access to free meals at work report being very satisfied with their job compared to 56% of people who report the same but don’t receive food.

And with many of us making our post-pandemic return to the office, offering meals during work hours can reduce the amount of traffic coming in and out of your workspace. Fewer germs coming in, fewer sick employees calling out!

Schedule Wellness Activities

The easiest way to ensure your employees have enough time for wellness activities? Schedule them yourself during work hours! Let’s face it: your team members are busy. And when their schedule isn’t full of work, family activities, and other extracurriculars, they typically want to use their downtime to relax. So by adding an activity to your workday, you can give them time to recenter and recharge, boosting their productivity for the remainder of their shift. 

Scheduling these activities also exposes your team to wellness practices they may not have engaged in before; in turn, this exposure can help your employees begin a wellness practice on their own if they find an activity they really like! Lastly, these activities create an opportunity for your employees to connect over their enjoyment (or lack thereof) with each experience. Either way, your team is in for a bonding experience.!

Our virtual experience platform offers a full suite of wellness activities perfect for helping your employees reach their health goals. Our program features offerings like guided meditations, yoga classes, Whether you’re focused on stress reduction, fitness, or just plain relaxation, we can create a program that is tailored to your needs. 

Allow for a Hybrid Work Schedule

In a post-pandemic world, many companies are leaning towards operating on a hybrid work schedule for good. And since more than 50% of employees are worried about their safety when returning to the office, offering a flexible work model may be a great way to protect your team’s health while boosting morale. With fewer employees coming in and out of the office per day, you can reduce the spread of germs by allowing for greater social distancing, extra time for cleaning,  and more space to mingle freely throughout the office.


A hybrid work schedule also improves employee wellness, which is desperately needed for the 66% of people who report having no work-life balance in their current schedule. Operating on a partially remote basis gives them the chance to take back some of their free time, work when they are the most productive, and take care of their families or personal matters without compromising their ability to do their job. And to take it one step further, they don’t have to endure a daily commute that averages at around 54 minutes per day; longer commute times can have a negative impact on employee productivity and health, so eliminating the need to do so at least a few days out of the week can have more of a positive impact than you think.

“How can I keep my employees healthy?”

If any of the above sounds like something your team would enjoy in their wellness program, let us know. We have many solutions available and are adding new vendors all the time!

This is just the tip of the iceberg in what we offer, and we are happy to help you create a one-of-a-kind experience that can benefit your team’s health. And since we facilitate the event from start to finish, you won’t have to lift a finger and will get to join in on the fun. Click here to learn more.

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“Cater2.me has been able to get our employees from all different departments together, to get away from our desks, recharge, and be able to return to our work, happy and full.”

—Ellen K., Employee Experience Specialist, Frame.io