Which Wellness Perks Do Employees Value Most?
Consider the value in offering your team a few thoughtful, low-cost perks.
A recent survey from FutureWorkplace and View says that the top factors that go into great wellness at work are basics that often get overlooked. Good quality air and light ranked top on survey respondents’ list of wellness wants, and being able to customize their workspace ran a close third.
These are often simple benefits that won’t break the bank. Consider putting a common area where you have the most windows in your office or in an outdoor space. Invite employees to hold meetings or take breaks in these areas, or even grab their laptop and work a few hours. Conduct a lighting audit by walking around your office to see what areas could use more or different types of lighting. Consider installing lamps or overheads with daylight bulbs to increase the feeling of natural light.
Working it out
The next big wellness perk is fitness – but that doesn’t mean costly premium gym memberships for everyone. Employees can still break a sweat and lower their cholesterol with exercise that ranges from outdoor walks to yoga in the conference room. Use a standard waiver in your benefits package to reduce any potential liability from injuries, and consider using staff meetings and internal email to promote your fitness offerings.
An on‐site gym might be more cost‐effective than you think as well – especially if you partner up with others in your office building. You can even create an entire gym focused on using bodyweight, flexibility and stretching with yoga mats, fitness balls and suspension training systems. A simple space and some basics can go far here.
Or, think about an underutilized space in your office – can you turn that into a quiet meditation room or break room with some comfy chairs, good coffee and a few inspirational magazines and books? Get creative about the space you have, small tweaks can have big upsides.
The newest wellness trend has to do with finances. American companies offering financial wellness services rose to 83% in 2017, up from 20% in 2015. Workshops and one‐on‐one counseling for retirement readiness, making a savings plan and budgeting are just a few of the topics you can cover.
Begin by putting together a simple online survey to find out what financial stresses your employees are under, and what they’d most like to learn about. Identify the top three issues employees care about most. From there, talk to your financial advisor about where to find resources that would support your efforts, whether it’s a series of YouTube videos, a live speaker or creating a library of books to lend on financial topics.
Other low‐cost wellness perks
Consider offering healthy cooking classes; easy to do if you have an office kitchen or simply create a space where you can share healthy recipes.
Let employees bring their well‐behaved pets to work. Studies show that dogs can reduce stress for all the employees, not just the dog owner themselves. Just make sure no one is allergic.
Take a page from juggernaut retailer Zappos and give employees free reign with their workspace. The former president of Pixar, Ed Catmull, believes that a personalized workspace frees up creativity no matter what role you play in the company.
Before starting a wellness program:
- Conduct a simple online survey about what your employees might want in the way of wellness perks.
- Assign a budget to your wellness perks initiative, even if it’s small.
- Talk to your advisor about incorporating financial wellness perks into your offering.
Sources: shrm.com; hbr.org; virginpulse.com; sfmic.com; worldatwork.org; business.wholelifechallenge.com; inc.com; zappos.com; 401kspecialistmag.com