When was the first time you actually heard of the term “mindfulness?”
Even if you did know about the term, since when have you actually seen it take the shape and form that it has taken today in the health and wellness industry?
Believe it or not, terms like awareness, mindfulness, fulfillment, and spirituality have only recently entered our vocabularies. And these terms are not just spoken about and emphasized on to describe the life of monks, but has expanded dramatically to everyone in all walks of life. Wellness is no longer just about physical and financial health, but programs that are aimed at boosting performance as well as social and emotional well being of people.
This is a great thing to have happened to us. This new demand has led to a new digital well-being market, where more than $2 billion in venture capital has been invested in the last two years. All of this goes into creating a suite of online videos, applications, and tools that help people through stress and improve their mental and emotional health. Global corporate wellness market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% CAGR to reach revenue of $63.26 billion by 2022, as per a recent study from IndustryARC.
Wellness is more important than ever for organizations, as innovative programs for financial, emotional and mental health are aimed at increasing worker productivity. The line between work and life is increasingly getting blurred, which needs to be filled with well-being programs that need to be treated as corporate responsibility. Well being programs focused on physical, mental, financial and spiritual health are now being used as a strategy to drive employee productivity, retention, engagement, and performance.
What has led to this demand from workers and society at large is the presence and acknowledgment of a huge amount of stress at work. Studies have shown that more than 40% of all workers face high stress in their jobs, the negative effects of which spill over to other areas of their lives. Missing targets, tight deadlines, pressure, office politics and long working hours have made most workers lives miserable. This makes them question a lot of things about their work lives, and even their existence. The latest example is that of the city of Mumbai in India, where a jaw-dropping 31% of professionals suffer from stress.
Organizations have started understanding the importance of such holistic wellness programs. According to Deloitte’s survey, Global Human Capital Trends Report 2018, two-thirds of organizations now state that well-being programs are a critical part of their employment brand and culture. However, it also states that there is a huge gap between what organizations are offering and what employees actually expect or value.
Well-being is particularly important to the younger employees. Millennials now make up more than half of the workforce in many countries, and they believe in notions of self-care and emotional nourishment. This has made the provision of wellness programs at work a differentiator and a key business performance strategy. With such a high demand from workers, as well as a vast market coming up, it will be interesting to see how CEO’s and CHRO’s use this message and help it to improve the overall quality of their employees’ lives. Because now is the time.