As Gartner highlighted in a recent report, the current economic crisis has pushed the bounds of how employers view the employee experience and increased the trend of employers playing an expanded role in their employees’ financial, physical, and mental well-being.
In an interview with Neha Motwani, Co-Founder and CEO, Fitternity, we discuss the increased focus on wellness and its impact on jobs and talent strategies.
Wellness was already becoming a key focus area for organizations and individuals, and the pandemic has brought more attention to it. How do you see the overall wellness landscape shaping up?
In the recent months, the focus on health and wellness has diversified beyond curative healthcare. People have understood the value of preventative healthcare and wellness and are exploring various ways and methods that help them in building immunity. Fitness being the most essential and sought after method in achieving the same.
The pandemic has brought more attention to the need to stay healthy and have a refreshed mind, hence we are witnessing a higher demand of consumers towards fitness and wellness services and the effort to inculcate the same in their daily routine. The lockdown period enabled the virtual way to access fitness to come to the fore and surged a positive consumer interest.
Additionally, there is also a growing recognition of wellness services among corporates, who are acknowledging the need to create engagement among employees that helps them in maintaining a healthy well-being from their homes.
How will the increased focus on wellness change the way employers design jobs?
As per industry trends, for a population to have a healthy and improved wellbeing, it requires the engagement of employers, who play an essential role in promoting health in the workplace and in their communities. Wellness programs are becoming a popular employer strategy that enables employees and their subordinates to adopt healthy behaviors that can mitigate the risk of chronic diseases, hence potentially reducing the medical care spending and increasing productivity.
However, employers are also designing jobs in a way that helps employees get accustomed to the work-from-home culture and enables remote working to be less stressful and more fruitful.
Harboring a compassionate work environment: Given the unprecedented times that we are dealing with, employers are engaging with their employees in an empathetic way, hence reminding them that even as things become dynamic with every passing day, their commitment towards ensuring a healthy physical and mental wellbeing will remain constant.
Encouraging collaboration and empowering leaders: Companies are encouraging the strength of their employees and are supporting them to upskill their services through various online classes/workshops. They are also leveraging the collective power of a team by encouraging collaboration and free flow of thoughts, hence, empowering its leaders to make balanced decisions and keep the organization dynamic and agile in the face of a global pandemic.
With the wellness space growing further, what kind of roles you think could be in demand? What would the impact be on overall employment?
With wellness becoming a necessity in recent times, the demand for a variety of job roles in this sector is expected to rise. Corporate wellness segment is also opening up doors to various roles for people to pursue, such as:
- Public Health Educator
- Corporate Wellness Coordinator
- Community Health Worker
- Health Services Manager
- Health Coach
The impact of corporate wellness programs/initiatives can be observed on the overall employment market. While organizations focus towards having frequent corporate wellness programs, it leads a way towards better employee retention and recruitment. Although employees seek a job opportunity that suits their monetary needs, they also look at other factors such as organizational support and value creation/engagement activities. A healthy workforce with a happy work culture, poses as a good word of mouth for the company, hence becoming a desired place of work.
Beyond wellness programs, how can business leaders ensure that they create a culture of wellness in the workplace, which is now more hybrid than physical?
As the lockdown phase further eases out, some companies are resuming their operations at limited workforce capacity, while some are still making their complete workforce function from home.
Companies are also adopting hybrid wellness programs to ensure that their employees have a healthy mind and body. Earlier, organizations provided gym passes/on-site workout classes and viewed these amenities as a way to strengthen the company culture or enhance engagement and create a sense of community and belonging among the employees. However, the corporate sentiment towards creating a work culture that enhances employee wellness even as they work remotely has enabled them to devise measures such as:
- Virtual access to guided fitness sessions and meditation classes
- Personal 1-1 training for pursuing fitness activities (virtual, physical or hybrid)
- Creating a virtual fitness challenge with leaderboard tracking employees to create healthy competition
- Company sponsored access to video-on-demand content linked to fitness, nutrition & wellness
Lastly, how do you take care of your own wellness?
Earlier, my workout schedule involved working out 4-5 days a week, doing a combination of yoga, functional training & running, across multiple gyms & studios through our subscription offering - OnePass. Fitness has always been an integral part of my life and has been the driving force behind starting Fitternity.
Since gyms and centers were shut due to precautionary measures against the COVID-19, I have included a combination of home workouts in my daily routine by using our virtual Livestream classes. It provided access to workouts with top fitness trainers in India, all virtually from the comfort of my home.I also ensure I do Surya Namaskars on the days when I don't end up working out. It has been my backup workout routine for a while now. Just 20 Surya Namaskars a day helps in building a good amount of flexibility and ensures a calm mind which is much needed especially during the current times.