Mind Work | 2019 January
Mind Work is a corporate wellness specialist that works towards improving employee engagement and overall wellbeing.
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2019 Corporate Wellness Trends

In 2019 we are hoping for employee wellbeing to continue to grow and for more employers to look after their employees by understanding that it’s the best way for them look after you… We’ve saying this for ages, it just makes sense and something you or your boss must get… If your employees are happy and healthy they’ll be more productive and more likely to stay with the company longer.

We’re now going to use this time to offer you/your employer an insight to what 2019 looks like in the way of corporate wellbeing. It we cover how best to use wellness programmes while ensuring working well with your employees to reach your targets. We shall. also be covering:

  • Wellness programmes strategy
  • What we mean by ‘Wellness’
  • Technology and personalisation
  • Investment


Corporate wellness

It’s not a new concept, and many execs may understand the concept of wellbeing and maybe even its importance, however, many are still caught up with the ingrained systematic models preventing the true benefits wellness programmes can have on companies. Having wellness within your company should be a priority, and thankfully, it is in many organisations and becoming ingrained within their cultures. It is these companies that are seeing  an increase in productivity, a decrease in absenteeism and assisting in strengthening the corporations within their respective markets. Mind Work are pleased to see the growth on investment in corporate wellness but would like to see the implementation more thought-out with clear goals in mind.


Employee demand

Ideas about wellbeing are changing in many areas of the world. People are less cynical and skeptical about how things such as mindfulness and meditation can impact general wellbeing, and there is a growing demand for health and wellness support from employers. This includes corporate fitness centres, nutrition programmes and coaching programmes. The mindset shift is proved when companies remove programmes and there’s an outcry from staff.


Change in corporate culture

There is increased diversification with different programmes being offered. We’re transitioning from talking about wellness in a traditional sense — eating right, exercising more and making sure you’re taking necessary medication — to looking at holistic health and the trend towards talking about wellbeing as wellness.

Mind Work’s programmes approach health from a mind, body and spirit perspective. Within this, it’s not just exercise, nutrition and medication — the physical side — but also behavioural health, social connectedness, sense of purpose, character strength, meditation and mindfulness. We’re using these components that comprise wellbeing to make sure that we offer solutions that will help individuals achieve a better state of wellbeing.

Employers are starting to embrace this as well — going beyond traditional corporate wellness programmes to address emotional health, from both work and personal perspectives, and the need for social connections.


How do you measure success?

Although we are heavily focused, and ambassadors of human interaction with our programmes, we have developed software that allows teams/employers to track mood alongside productivity in real-time. 

Up-front analysis of an individual’s needs is essential: defining personalised care at the right time. The second element is measuring whether they are achieving their health goals, being more productive at work and are less absent. Is the employer seeing lower turnover of employees, are they seeing better performance as a result?

This is the way the industry is moving as a whole: looking at individuals holistically and providing well-being solutions that meet them where they want it, when they want it.


Risk assessment

Corporations large and small should be looking at their demographic to understand where there are areas of risk. This needs to go beyond eating right and exercising, to include ‘do you have a part of your population that can’t pay their bills?’, ‘do you have a part of the population that’s unhappy at work or is really struggling in the workplace or at home?’. Work to understand their character — strains, strengths and traits. Are these people in the right jobs based on who they are? Is their personality a good fit for where they are? Are they struggling with their boss or co-workers?

Understanding a lot of these will involve a shift for many corporations and they will need support in this. They’ll also need help deciding what to do with this data, how to build the best health and well-being packages for each person.


Technology and personalisation

There is an increasing demand for personalisation in many industries and digital tools are helping to deliver it — and at scale.

Currently, corporate wellness can be personalised to the level of specific groups rather than individuals. Many people think personalisation means ‘individual’ — ‘me and my specific needs’. And while we use a lot of data and insights – your age, basic health details, even personality information about what makes you happy or sad — this is only used to define which wellness programme is best suited to you. This means individuals are enrolled in a wellness programme with like-minded others and those with similar well-being issues.  However, as we discover more with data and build out solutions we will have programmes that have more and more bespoke aspects — tailored to individuals.

There are so many new digital wellness and well-being tools on the market, but the key is that, for them to work, they need to be entertaining, interactive and engaging — and they need to mean something to the individual.

The other keystone to wellness tech is consolidation. There are so many apps and services and sites for every different need, person and condition — it’s overwhelming. How does a person know what’s good or bad, or what they need for their current state of health? Health care companies need to better help members navigate the options and help employers choose and implement the right tools for their members.

We work with our clients and their teams to ensure that the services we offer are for them and coincide with the main objectives.


Increasing investment

Investment in corporate wellness is shifting. More corporations are supporting wellness programmes, adding them as part of their benefits — including components of wellbeing and incentives programmes

For the corporations already offering wellbeing initiatives and programmes, it is unclear whether a significant amount is increasing their funding of these programmes. But they are definitely shifting their budgets into different areas of corporate wellness and expanding their offerings. This is often to offer a more diverse range of programmes — often based on learnings from previous programmes.  

How much should companies invest in wellness programmes? While firms can’t do enough to support employees to make sure they’re living as healthily as they possibly can, there is always going to be an employer benefits ceiling as far as budget allocation is concerned. And so, it’s important not to waste the budget. Companies should seek to learn and improve their programmes to support the best health outcomes for their employees that, in turn, boost productivity and profitability.



As mentioned previously in this post,  the adoption of corporate wellness is growing but there remain challenges.

One challenge is how we prove success. The outcomes from programmes and tools are long-term — life-long — so it’s very hard to measure whether one specific programme or group of programmes has been successful from a health and health care standpoint.

Companies want to know: ‘Is this mindfulness programme actually reducing my costs?’ In short YES. If you’re the type to understand that instant gratification isn’t the best approach for your long-term plans. 

Please contact us to arrange a chat with one of the team and discuss what Mind Work may be able to do for your company.





1 Artiga & Hinton, 2018
2 Shankya, H., & Christakis, N. A. (2017, February 1). Association of Facebook Use With Compromised Well-Being: A Longitudinal Study. Retrieved from American Journal of Epidemiology: https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/185/3/203/2915143
3 Killingsworth, M., & Gilbert, D. T. (2010). A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind. Retrieved from American Association for the Advancement of Science.: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/330/6006/932


Common Causes of Stress at Work


What is causing us to be stressed at work?


It’s important to know that workplace stress can be caused by a number of factors – from heavy workloads and over-promotion to bullying and blame culture. Some common causes of stress in the workplace include: Learn to recognise the common causes of stress at work so that you can take steps to reduce stress levels where possible. 


  • Excessively high workloads, with unrealistic deadlines making people feel rushed, under pressure and overwhelmed.


  • Insufficient workloads, making people feel that their skills are being underused.


  • A lack of control over work activities.


  • A lack of interpersonal support or poor working relationships leading to a sense of isolation.


  • People being asked to do a job for which they have insufficient experience or training.


  • Difficulty settling into a new promotion, both in terms of meeting the new role’s requirements and adapting to possible changes in relationships with colleagues.


  • Concerns about job security, lack of career opportunities, or level of pay.


  • Bullying or harassment.


  • A blame culture within your business where people are afraid to get things wrong or to admit to making mistakes.


  • Weak or ineffective management which leaves employees feeling they don’t have a sense of direction. Or over-management, which can leave employees feeling undervalued and affect their self-esteem.


  • Multiple reporting lines for employees, with each manager asking for their work to be prioritised.


  • Failure to keep employees informed about significant changes to the business, causing them uncertainty about their future.


  • A poor physical working environment, eg excessive heat, cold or noise, inadequate lighting, uncomfortable seating, malfunctioning equipment, etc.


  • Conflict in the workplace can have a negative effect on the day-to-day working of your business,  or result in a large scale strike or other employment dispute. It can also affect the general health and wellbeing of your employees.

What is the ROI for Workplace Wellness Programs?

The ROI on Wellbeing 

Are wellness programs just a trend, or do they provide actual value for the workplace? 70% of US employers offered a wellness program in 2015, with an expected 8% increase in 2016, according to an Employee Benefits report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). As more and more companies have invested in wellness programs, the argument about their return on investment (ROI) has grown.

A report by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans determined that most North American employers saved $1 to $3 in their overall health care costs for every dollar spent. These savings come from direct costs, like workers’ compensation claims, and indirect costs, like improved loyalty and increased productivity.


Direct ROI: Less Claims and Costs

The healthier the employee, the less likely they are to file a workers’ compensation claim, and when they do have to file a claim, the duration is much lower than their less healthy coworkers. A wellness program that promotes healthy behaviors can help reduce the risk of workers’ compensation claims and lower their costs.


Several studies have found a connection between poor health and workers’ compensation costs:

  • The University of Michigan Health Management Research Center determined that employees with high health risks had the highest workers’ compensation costs.


  • A National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) study showed that workers’ compensation claims involving an obese employee had significantly higher medical costs than comparable claims involving employees with a healthy body mass index (BMI).


  • Another NCCI project that compared obese claimants to non-obese claimants found that in cases with obese claimants, medical costs were 6.8 times higher, claim duration was about 13 times higher, and the claimants themselves were twice as likely to file a claim in the first place.


A wellness program that helps employees make healthier decisions can help reduce these added workers’ compensation costs.


Indirect ROI: Improved Hiring and Retention

The concern for health and wellness has increased significantly in the last several years, so much so that now 87% of job seekers use an employer’s health and wellness benefits as a determining factor when deciding where to apply. And a survey by OptumHealth found that over 80% of employees whose companies had a wellness program said that the program encouraged them to stay longer with their employer.

By investing in their employees’ health, companies with wellness programs receive an indirect ROI from attracting and retaining great talent. In this competitive job market, having something to give your company a leg up is crucial to hiring the best of the best. And with the cost of replacing an employee as high as 60% of the employee’s salary, investing in a wellness program is more affordable than having to manage a high turnover rate.


Indirect ROI: Increased Productivity

Employees that maintain an active, healthy lifestyle with the help of their company’s wellness program have higher productivity, take less sick days, and are more engaged in their work.

A study by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that wellness programs resulted in an ROI of 10.3 work hours per employee per year. With higher productivity rates, employees were able to complete more work in less time. And with better health, employees took less sick days, resulting in an average savings of $350 per employee.

While ROI can be difficult to measure, employers who invest in wellness programs for their workforce are finding a return in healthy behaviors, employee productivity, reduced health care costs, and more. These early results are leading more companies to take some action to improve employee health, in hopes of reducing health care costs over no action at all.

You don’t have to spend a ridiculous amount of money on health care if you invest in effective preventive strategies. A wellness program that helps keep your employees healthy and active also keeps them productive and reduces their risk of injury. While sometimes the ROI isn’t direct or obvious, the benefits from investing in employee health can far surpass the initial startup costs. 

Interested in starting a wellness program at your workplace? Contact a MIND WORK retreat expert to learn more about how we can help to keep employees healthy while reducing health care costs.


Work-related mental health statistics: global and nationwide costs

The global cost of mental health problems  


Untreated mental health problems account for 13% of the total global burden of disease. It is projected that, by 2030, mental health problems (particularly depression) will be the leading cause of mortality and morbidity globally.


  • According to WHO’s Atlas (2014), globally, governments are the most commonly cited source of funding for mental health services, with non-governmental and not-for-profit organisations coming second, followed by employers (through social health insurance) and household income (private insurance and out-of-pocket).


  • Work is good for mental health but a negative working environment can lead to physical and mental health problems.


  • Depression and anxiety have a significant economic impact; the estimated cost to the global economy is US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity.


  • Harassment and bullying at work are commonly reported problems, and can have a substantial adverse impact on mental health, along with poor work-life balance.


There are many effective actions that organizations can take to promote mental health in the workplace; such actions may also benefit productivity. Mind Work has tools and practices that seamlessly integrate into your companies and ensure daily responsibilities are not disrupted.  


Current costs to businesses are at an estimated USD $2.5tr per year and is expected to rise to USD $6tr by 2030. These costs are incurred from lost productivity, including sick leave, staff turnover and presenteeism – when employees show up for work but underperform due to stress, anxiety, depression or addictions. All these conditions can affect energy as well as the ability to concentrate, make decisions, problem-solve and interact positively with colleagues and clients.


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