BOSTON, Massachusetts – A new study released by Wellable, a company that helps employers manage next-generation corporate wellness initiatives, reveals that mental wellness is the clear winner when it comes to expanding benefits in 2020. In its annual report, Wellable found that 80 percent of employers will increase their investment in mental health programs this year. The mental health category includes programs focused on stress management, sleep management, and mindfulness and meditation.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more people are moving towards meditation as they seek ways to calm anxiety and enhance their lives, and employers are reacting in kind. In fact, Wellable’s research found that 66 percent of employers are planning to invest more in this area than they have in years prior. While traditionally these services required larger budgets to scale, the growth of online mindfulness and meditation tools allows organizations with limited resources to offer these programs.
The report also looked at benefits that employers are investing less in for 2020, and the results aren’t surprising when you consider that the majority of the workforce is now comprised of millennials. For instance, employers are expecting to invest less in health fairs and fitness classes, potentially due to the fact that workers are looking for more individualized options; millennials are widely considered the most individualistic generation.
“Each year that we’ve conducted the Employee Wellness Industry Trends Report, I’ve been encouraged by the findings that employers care deeply about investing in their employees’ overall well-being,” said Nick Patel, president of Wellable. “Additionally, the fact that this year’s findings show that employers are investing in more than just physical health is a positive societal sign that mental health is more widely talked about and accepted as a key facet of one’s overall health.”
Other highlights of the survey include:
Financial wellness continues to be a popular area of investment (64 percent): Financial wellness requires a high level of specificity as each employee faces unique challenges, whether it be paying off student loan debt or planning for retirement. As such, in 2020 employers will need to implement more tailored solutions to truly impact the financial health of employees.
Employers are investing more in caregiver support: As the baby boomer generation ages, caregiver support has become more relevant than ever as more workers find themselves in managing both elder care and child care. Employers are offering benefits such as remote work (67 percent), paid time off (53 percent), and flexible schedules (84 percent) to accommodate their employees’ responsibilities.
Employers are investing more in telemedicine (62 percent): Telemedicine has surged in popularity over the past decade, as it makes it easier for employees to access mental and physical health care.
The report surveyed consultants and wellness directors at health insurance brokers across the country and reflects the current positions of thousands of companies and millions of employees.
Download the full report from Wellable.