It seems like workplace wellness is all the rage these days. In fact, the industry is currently worth $8 billion. From healthy catering to yoga rooms and subsidized gym memberships, companies continue to invest in their employees to boost morale, productivity and overall happiness. But the question remains as to whether these programs are actually effective.
One designer and programmer shares his sentiments with the Harvard Business Review.
Company bulletins emphasize that these things are intended to offset work stress, and at the same time obliquely reinforce the idea that work stress is the inherent byproduct of being good at what you do and working hard at it. These things are often pitched as indulgent bribes to make up for the demanding expectations.What Wellness Programs Don’t Do for Workers, Harvard Business Review
A new survey reiterates the same results as the HBR report. Authors of the study questioned over 1,600 US workers to discover what wellness perks mattered to them the most. By contrast, they also questioned which perks did very little or nothing to improve their productivity.
Surprisingly, most participants found fitness facilities and health-related tech to contribute the least to their productivity.
So what perks actually work for the participants?
Simple things. All the benefits they really wanted included the ability to personalize their workspace, natural light and better air quality. Around half the workers stated that poor air quality made them sleepy during the day. Other reported that natural light and air quality affected their productivity, mood and wellbeing.
All the extra perks attract new hires, but it’s the basic benefits that keep workers happy in the long run.