Organizational Wellness

Why Work-Life Wellness Can Save The Workforce As We Know It

Oct 3, 2023
Last Updated Oct 3, 2023

Workers from all walks of life are looking for a new employee contract. It’s out with the old way of working and in with the new health economy. 

As an executive in the wellness space, I am all too aware that if a company promotes a culture of wellbeing, then it can truly help employees become the healthiest versions of themselves. On the other hand, working for a toxic culture where turnover is high and wellbeing services aren’t accessible can honestly start to debilitate an employee’s life. And with a record number of workers “quietly quitting” and the impact of the “Great Resignation” that dominated the news cycle last year still going strong, employees are rethinking the value that work should hold in their lives. So it’s safe to say that the way we’re working… just isn’t working.

In a way, I’ve known this for years. That’s why I set out to make employee wellbeing universal over 10 years ago. As co-founder and CEO of Wellhub, I truly believe in our mission to improve employee wellbeing – in and outside of the workplace. Evidently, not all companies are committed to cultivating a culture of wellbeing as employee stress is at an all-time high and 60% of employees are emotionally detached at their workplace. And according to our new State of Work-Life Wellness 2022 Report, our proprietary research found that 48% of employees said their wellbeing declined further just this year (and it was already at an all time low thanks to the pandemic). To put it simply: we’re in a crisis of wellbeing, and as employers, we have a responsibility to confront this crisis head-on. 

In our first annual report, we gathered insights from 9,000 employees across 9 markets on their thoughts and behaviors surrounding wellbeing and the workplace. We found that 25% of US workers don’t feel their work allows them to take time for their wellbeing. A quarter of US employees state that they don’t think their employer demonstrates they care about their wellbeing. The results are staggering and it suggests that the issue is in how we compartmentalize and prioritize our lives at home and work. This is an experience I know all too well, and is something I – like many others – have struggled with in the past. We tend to focus more on one (usually work) at the expense of the other (our personal wellbeing).

This realization came to me when I found myself working extremely long hours, not spending enough time with my family, stressed out and feeling unhealthy overall – both physically and mentally. This was the impetus for making 2021 my year to prioritize wellbeing. I committed to visiting Wellhub’ partner gyms and studios, picked up a meditation practice, and started playing tennis again. A few of the big – albeit not totally surprising – changes I noticed after making this shift were an influx of better reviews as a leader, a better top-down ability to drive results for the company, and greater fulfillment in my personal relationships. I was thriving, and it all stemmed from being able to prioritize my wellbeing. And I want to help as many people as I can to experience the same. 

As leaders, we must realize that our responsibility to our employees extends beyond the typical workday and now, more than ever, it is a critical time for HR leaders to bridge their organizations’ work-life wellness gap. The good news is that there are many things that can be done to promote better engagement and wellbeing in the workforce. As research tells us, when employees are healthy, business thrives. 

Our report analyzes work-life wellness through three lenses: body, mind, and life where we’ve gathered insights from employees around the world, predicted key trends for 2023, and offer practical recommendations for HR leaders to promote healthy and holistic wellbeing practices in their organizations.  

Top 3 takeaways from our State of Work-Life Wellness 2022 Report: 

  1. As we enter a new health economy, workplace priorities are shifting to factor in the way employers take care of their employees and companies who act sooner, rather than later, can set themselves apart in the competitive marketplace. In fact, our results show that 76% of US workers would consider leaving a company that doesn’t focus on employee wellbeing. 
  2. Fitness has reached nearly all corners of the consumer landscape and there is an undeniable mind-body connection that makes fitness a critical tool in mental health and overall wellbeing. Our data shows that 63% of US workers are engaged with their employers wellbeing offerings. That’s 20% above the global average – indicating a demand for a comprehensive wellbeing benefit that supports physical and mental health. 
  3. Employers can act as a strong influence on the emotional resiliency of their workforce if they re-evaluate their company’s benefits package. We’ve identified a gap between the demand for mental health services and their current availability. Our findings show 25% of US employees are not happy in their job, signaling that few organizations truly understand the importance of a well-crafted benefits program. People want to improve their mental health, but they need easy and tangible ways to do it. So show employees you care about them and their mental wellbeing by prioritizing your employee wellbeing programs in 2023 and beyond. 

With one third of our lives spent working, the only thing we’ll do more of is sleep. And based on my own experience, if we’re going to spend so much of our time at work, shouldn’t we also pay more attention to how our lives are going at work? Never forget – employees are the most valuable asset a company has and without productive and healthy employees, a company flounders. Simple as that. 

So what are you waiting for? See how work-life wellness empowers employees to tap into their “feel good” time, from anywhere, at any time, in and out of work. 

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Cesar Carvalho

Cesar Carvalho is the CEO & co-founder of Wellhub. Based out of Wellhub’ headquarters in New York, Carvalho oversees worldwide operations implementing the company’s overall strategy. He has previously worked at CVC, McKinsey & Company and AC Nielsen.


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