What are the wellness trends that will play a role in employee health and wellness in 2022? Understanding these trends can help organizations better plan for 2022 and beyond and help best support their people to be engaged and thrive in a positive culture. One of the most important stories in employee health and wellness continues to be the COVID-19 pandemic and its far-reaching impacts. As our collective COVID-19 experience closes in on 2 years by early 2022, it has driven substantial changes in how and where we work, as well as introduced new stressors and health risks, which has impacted our overall health in many ways.
It is hard to predict what will happen in the next phases of the pandemic, as it is very much related to our collective drive to move forward with vaccinations and other health measures that are evidence-based and very effective. It is however a little easier to predict what is happening now and will continue to happen in 2022 from an employee health and wellness trend perspective.
The wellness trends for 2022 are:
- COVID-19 – Sustainable Return to Work & Living with COVID Risk: employers need the ability to reach people where they are at and support their health journey with leading technologies. As we move into the next phases of the pandemic, with looming next waves and case surges, as well as vaccine mandates on the horizon, one thing is certain, workplace health programming looks a lot different in a pandemic that outside of one! Employers have digital tools at their disposal to help them to safety return people and customers to offices and business locations. Vaccination and testing status tracking solutions will be needed from the start of 2022 onwards.
- Brain Health & Psychological Safety – Mental Health Challenges Mount: The increase in brain health issues started prior to the pandemic, has accelerated during, and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, prescriptions for anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and antidepressant medications hit an all-time high in 2020, will hit another all-time high in 2021, and is being set up for even more growth in 2022. Requiring health and wellness solutions that focus on mindfulness, resiliency, exercise, and diet, along with positive coping mechanisms.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) – Does Your Employee Wellness Program Stack Up? Racism, ageism, ableism and gender equality are key issues for employers to address from a variety of perspectives, including health.
- Financial Health – Literacy is Not Enough: financial wellbeing is a pillar of any well-designed and holistic health and wellness program. The events of the past couple of years have driven the need for improved financial health and wellbeing. This will continue to be a need for employees as the economy looks to rebound in 2022.
- Data-Driven Decision Making – Driving Engagement and Health Outcomes: the need for health and wellness programming that is supportive of employees on their journey to improved health and higher engagement needs to be based upon data.
By planning ahead with these five trends in mind, companies will be better prepared to handle the challenges of the upcoming year. Click here to view a copy of the report in its entirety.