Organizational Wellness

Corporate Wellness Trends in 2023 and Beyond

Apr 26, 2023
Last Updated Apr 22, 2024


Year after year, Americans set the same goals on New Year’s Day — getting fitter, losing weight, eating healthier, getting more sleep, and spending more time with family and friends. These are great aspirations!

The problem is that nine out of 10 will have given up by March. And that’s more than a personal problem — it’s a workforce issue for employers. 

Employees’ health can have a direct impact on their ability to do their jobs well. When people are tired, for example, they’re also more likely to make mistakes. This also puts them at risk for conditions like heart disease and mood disorders, which can drive up healthcare costs. This is a widespread issue: over 30% of employees sleep fewer than the necessary seven hours a night. And that’s just sleep! Employees are also struggling to eat wellmove enough, and maintain their emotional wellbeing. As revealed in our latest report, the State of Work-Life Wellness 2024, nine out of 10 workers say their emotional and physical wellness impacts their productivity. 

To put it simply: wellbeing is a vital part of employee productivity and company success. 

The good news is human resources can help by offering programs that address employees’ comprehensive wellness goals. Understanding and acting on these wellness trends can ultimately foster a healthier and more productive workforce that leads to a stronger bottom line for your company.


Hottest Wellness Trends for 2024

Wellness looks different for everyone, so how can you pinpoint wellness opportunities that are relevant for your entire workforce? One option is to analyze what is trending. This can help you identify what employees generally find useful and exciting. 

It’s also important to consider opportunities or resources that support work-life wellness. What can your company offer to support employees and their wellness goals?

Here are 10 other wellness trends for 2024, and the actionable steps you can take to show your employees their wellness is your company’s greatest asset.

Trend 1: Tech-First Wellness Initiatives

Wearable technology that tracks fitness activity, sleep, calories burned, stress levels and so much more are exploding in popularity. These gadgets can monitor all kinds of metrics that help individuals assess their fitness or keep an eye on their health condition. 

For example, issues like hypertension or diabetes can be better monitored by tracking someone’s activity level, heart rate, and blood pressure. Technology like smartwatches can often do all of the above. Employers are seeing enormous benefits of offering these technology devices as an employee benefit

Aside from physical devices, there is also technology like apps that can add to a wellness program. Fitness and meditation apps, for example, are like having personal trainers for the body and mind in your pocket. A 10-minute meditation can improve focus while reducing stress, and with access to an app or digital program, employees don’t even have to attend a class.

Trend 2: Digital Detox Initiatives

While technology can be a powerful wellness resource, balance is important. It’s also beneficial to unplug every once in a while.

Most people use devices constantly these days — at home and work. Sometimes, wellness can be as simple as stepping away from your screens and setting better boundaries around device use. To help employees find a better balance some companies are implementing digital detox initiatives at work. This can look like an office-wide break where people take a walk or chat in the breakroom, or implementing walking meetings. Anything that encourages employees to disconnect from digital devices throughout their day can alleviate the stress of screen overload. 

Stepping away from devices can also help the social aspect of the job. This can lead to more meaningful conversations and create a sense of community at work. Sixty percent of workers say that their productivity at work is lower when they feel lonely, according to The State of Work-Life Wellness Report 2024. This suggests that combating loneliness at work (such as building better connections with coworkers) helps not just the employees, but company performance as well.

You can also host a Device Detox Challenge as one of your workforce wellness challenges. You can challenge workers to go a full week without scrolling through social media during downtime, for example, and offer gift cards or swag for anyone who makes it to the finish line!

Trend 3: Pickleball Fever

If you want to encourage physical activity in your workforce, Pickleball is hugely popular these days. Wellhub saw a staggering 214% increase in Pickleball check-ins last year! Not only is it a fun game that many people clearly enjoy, but it’s also considered one of the more accessible sports—which boosts inclusivity at work. 

HR can organize regular Pickleball games or even set up a tournament that employees look forward to joining. If you really want to encourage participation, you can offer rewards for winning or simply participating. If you don’t want to organize an event, consider creating an employee-led Pickleball team that is supported by the company. Their enthusiasm and commitment could keep the team going for years!

Pickleball is also great for an employee’s social wellness. You can play one-on-one, but you can also team up with a coworker and compete with another duo. That teamwork is a healthy way to boost both the health of employees and the camaraderie between colleagues. 

Trend 4: Sports-specific Yoga

There’s yoga for golfers, yoga for runners, yoga for dancers. LeBron James does yoga. Ditto for Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, the Los Angeles Clippers, who employ a full-time yoga instructor for the team. 

Whatever your sport, there’s a yoga class to help stretch overworked muscles and balance body and mind.

One of the exciting things about yoga is that it is accessible and relevant to all kinds of employees or interests. And, given that93% of workers say their physical wellbeing impacts their work productivitysupporting your employees’ physical health and productivity, offering inclusive yoga-based activities can help you reach more employees.

One way to implement a sport-specific yoga program is to create monthly sessions that focus on a different sport each time. You can tailor your programming to match up with seasonal sports: Yoga for skiers in January, and yoga for runners in May. If you have a hybrid or remote workforce, consider offering these classes virtually to increase the program’s reach. 

Trend 5: Supporting Environmental Wellness

Employee comfort is a major trend in 2024. Discomfort is distracting, which decreases productivity, so the environmental quality of the workplace is critical this year — for office and WFH employees alike. For example, if an office is poorly lit and only offers low-quality furnishings, that environment can make working miserable — and miserable employees are less profitable

 A well-designed, ergonomic office fosters comfort and enhances focus for employees. This can help boost employee satisfaction and reduce stress levels since employees can put their health first. Plus, adding a little greenery and natural lighting to spruce up the space can transform a room. In fact, natural light is the most desired office feature for 62% of employees, according to Zipdo. Something as simple as the lighting can completely change the mood and satisfaction of the workplace!

With so many companies using work-from-home setups, HR can help remote employees with environmental wellness, too. For example, some companies implement a reimbursement policy for home office equipment employees buy. Others simply buy ergonomic equipment for remote workers themselves. 

Aside from providing resources, HR can actively encourage employees to take regular breaks and get some physical movement, even in their WFH environment. Company leaders can help spearhead this effort, too. A team lead, for example, may invite employees to join them in a remote stretching session when the afternoon slump hits.

Trend 6: Breathwork — a tool anyone can use at any time

Few people are aware of, let alone harness, the power of their breath. But using ancient breathing techniques — pranayama — can boost energy and improve focus. It can also positively impact work performance and even balance the nervous system. This type of breath work may be helpful in the workplace to boost morale and reduce stress.

Take the 4-7-8 breathing exercise for example. This is an easy way to step away from work for a minute and center your mind. To try it, close your mouth and inhale through the nose for a count of 4, and then hold the breath for a count of 7. Finally, exhale completely through the mouth, making a whoosh sound, for a count of 8.   

Not only are deep breathing exercisesgood for reducing stress in the workplace, but it can also be performed anywhere with low energetic cost, as this Frontiers of Psychology study points out. Something as simple as breathwork can make a positive impact on employee wellness—but sometimes it’s the smallest solutions that get overlooked. Wellhub data shows that 77% of workers are engaged with their employer’s wellbeing offerings.

Working breathing exercises into your wellbeing offerings and educating employees on their benefits may help boost engagement at work. For example, you can hold monthly on-site or virtual breathing classes that teach centuries-old techniques for increasing vitality. It may be as simple as replacing the coffee break with a breathing break.

Trend 7: Group fitness is back

Wellhub research shows that 93% of global employees believe their wellbeing at work is just as important as their salary—and one way to boost their wellbeing is through group fitness. Not only does group fitness promote an active lifestyle, but it also encourages greater social wellness at work. 

Exercisers often find they push themselves harder when working out in a group. That’s one explanation for the rise on popularity of pole fitness, Pilates mat, aerial yoga, aerial hoop, plus the old standbys — Zumba, CrossFit and Spin.  Fitness classes are also a great way to meet people and socialize.

Consider sponsoring a group fitness evening out — either in real life or virtually — monthly and check out a different studio or workout each time. Scheduling the class for 4 p.m. can also help deliver the message that you sincerely care about your employees’ work-life wellness

Trend 8: Customizable Wellness Programs

Wellness programs are especially effective when organizations offer wellness that is tailored to the employee. Since no two people are the same, having a flexible program is a powerful way to boost engagement at all levels of your organization.

To be truly customizable requires the wellness program offer more than just physical health benefits. Many have mental wellness initiatives or apps and nutrition resources, which helps employees take care of their holistic wellness, not just physical fitness. 

Take Miami Children’s Hospital as an example. With personalized health goals and appropriate incentives and follow-ups, 77% of the program’s participants reached their goals, according to Corporate Wellness. This tells us that wellness programs typically work best when employees provide key wellness opportunities and employees can choose what works best for them.

Trend 9: Plant-based meals

People are realizing they don’t have to go completely vegan to reap the rewards — for themselves and the environment — of a plant-based diet. In fact, 47% of Americans define themselves as “flexitarian” where they want to eat more meatless meals than meaty ones, according to a study from One Poll. The benefits of a vegan diet include weight loss and a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.

To accommodate this shift, you can stock the employee break room with healthy plant-based snacks: fruits, raw nuts and veggies, plant-based protein bars and dairy alternatives — oat and almond milk. 

Trend 10: Volunteer together

Volunteer programs boost morale and productivity, which helps create a better working environment. Plus, employees want volunteer opportunities. Current employees from the Gen Z and millennial generations seek to balance their work commitments with a drive for social change, according to Deloitte’s Global 2022 survey. The numbers speak for themselves — volunteering can contribute to employee satisfaction and wellness.

Finding volunteer opportunities is obviously a great option, but it’s not the only one. One strategy HR can implement is offering greater financial support for volunteer opportunities. For example, 66% of The Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose member firms offered PTO volunteer programs in 2019, according to the Harvard Business Review. Helping employees take off to volunteer empowers employees to go after projects they are passionate about and boost their own social wellness.

Employee Wellbeing is Always Trendy

 When 87% of workers would consider leaving a company that does not focus on employee wellbeing, it’s no wonder organizations are looking for corporate wellness solutions. 

A holistic wellness program like Wellhub lets HR leaders act on all of these trends and more. With personal trainers and sleep trackers, group exercise classes and yoga studio memberships, and more, Wellhub is ready to meet employees wherever they are on their wellness journey. There’s a reason more than 50,000 companies already trust their workforce wellness to Wellhub!

Talk to a Wellbeing Specialist today to learn more about launching a wellness program!

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Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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