While most media companies end each year with a roundup of what happened during the past year, Well+Good, a wellness-focused media company founded in 2010, closes each year with a look towards what they predict will be pertinent to their readers in the coming year.
Their annual wellness trends report, which was recently released, has historically been pretty spot on in identifying emerging trends in the wellness space ranging from what readers will eat, what they’ll wear, how they’ll work out and what they’ll chose to put in their medicine cabinets in the new year.
This year’s report includes 14 predictions for what the editors foresee making a splash in 2019 ranging from CBD products going mainstream to seeing more outdoor-inspired footwear far from the trails. Also on the list are several predictions that might affect the way women work in 2019 and as Well+Good team is known for incorporating the latest wellness trends in their own workplace, I caught up with Well+Good founders Melisse Gelula and Alexia Brue to chat about what they envision emerging in workplace wellness.
Here are the top four:
Businesses will better encourage employees to disconnect.
Today, in an era where all employees are just a notification away, the threat for workplace burnout is higher than ever. In 2013, when former HuffPost editor Arianna Huffington explained that she faithfully sleeps with her cell phone in another room, the statement made headlines. Today, as self-care has become more mainstream, mobile apps are being updated to warn about screen time and more Arianna Huffingtons of the world are choosing to use their platform to speak about the importance of work life balance, the notion doesn’t hold quite as much shock value. That being said, companies still have some catching up to do in terms of setting boundaries for employees. According to Brue, one of the biggest things employers can do to help their employees truly leave the workplace when they walk out the door is to set clear expectations for unplugging.
We’ve set boundaries around no unnecessary Slacks or emails after 7:00 p.m. Unless there’s something mission critical, like a campaign about to go live, as a culture we don’t do after hours or weekend slacking or emailing. That’s not to say we don’t ever work on the weekends because, yes, it can be a great time to catch up on things – and we do have a dedicated weekend news editor – but we tell our team members that they’re generally not on the hook for responding then, says Brue.
Workplaces will work to bring wellness resources under one roof.
One of the trends the founders are most excited about is the emergence of one-stop wellness options – multi-use spaces meant to offer up everything from healthy food options to fitness facilities to spa experiences – all under one roof. Gelula believes workplaces have an opportunity to hop on this trend in order to make the lives of their employees easier.
Workplaces are no longer leaving the struggle to implement work-life balance to the employee. You have to recognize that it takes employees time to commute to the gym or go get a holistic treatment. If you can bring these things directly to the office and your time-crunched team, it’s not just appreciated, it helps balance what their inbox and work demands are throwing at them, explains Gelula.
At a time where millennials are spending more money on wellness than any other generation, Gelula also believes that companies that are able to prioritize creating these one-stop wellness spaces will be better positioned to attract and retain young female talent.
Wellness is cultural currency across the country, so it has a huge appeal. And there’s buzz around what some companies offer in their comp packages (on-site gyms, nap rooms, fitness reimbursements, etc.) versus insurance companies not being as preventative in what they cover.
Less beer taps and bagels, more kombucha and health-conscious snacks.
The Well+Good office is pretty unique in that it has a DIY yogurt bar, kombucha on tap and samplings of virtually every new new-to-market healthy snack option kept stocked. While most companies don’t have a snack supply that is quite on this level, most can make an effort to ensure there are more health-conscious food and beverage options for employees in the office. According to Brue, this is one of the easiest ways that companies can show their commitment to wellness in the workplace and that minimal effort does go a long way.
Other companies not in the wellness space are definitely making their snack offerings more health-conscious. Offices don’t have to look like it’s Halloween year-round—and probably shouldn’t. There’s an awareness that nutrient-dense snacks actually help with focus and support overall wellbeing, so things like bananas, almond butter, rice crackers, nut bars, veggie chips, hummus, and matcha are great, says Brue.
Companies will offer more flexible wellness offerings.
One of the things the Well+Good report outlines is the increasing trendiness of the wellness space. That means there’s a lot of clutter to comb through but according to the Well+Good founders, there isn’t harm in giving the wellness trend of the moment a try and employees might really appreciate the opportunity to try learn about reiki healing, mineral infusions or to try their hand at aerial yoga.
At Well+Good we think that wellness should be fun and even entertaining. So if there’s a trend that’s surfacing and that your team members are asking about, maybe do something for a month—but you don’t need to commit to it permanently. Your employees might really enjoy a crystal workshop, learning about the types and what they do. Ours did, but we won’t be offering that monthly, says Brue.
One of the great things about workplace-facilitated wellness classes is that they allow employees to unplug from their routine. Keeping these experiences varied will ensure they offer a fun escape from the pressures of work and signals genuine interest on the part of the employer to keeping employees happy and healthy.