In Praise of Workplace Wellness Programs

Wellness Room

Workplace wellness has become popular over the years with many companies coming up with their own policies to promote it. The rise of employee wellness programs is a positive development towards supporting initiatives that push for workers’ well-being.

Corporate wellness programs vary and often tailored based on various factors including employees’ needs and the nature of work involved. For some businesses, it may take on the form of providing better access to health assessments and education. For others, it could be providing a soothing space for employees to relax or a gym or fitness room and equipment to make it easier for their people to get a workout in the workplace.

As the trend continues, there are many possibilities which can shape companies’ employee wellness initiatives of the future. Who knows, there may even come a time when corporate buildings will feature facilities like a free indoor walking track and other facilities that will take workplace wellness to new heights.

Another approach some businesses take is to support organized fitness activities like employees forming recreational groups or sports teams. Some companies recognize and provide limited or full financial support for hiking or mountaineering clubs, running groups, and basketball or football teams among others.

Whatever type of program may be in place, a company’s wellness policy can provide immediate and long-term benefits not just to employees but to the business itself. With chronic stress one of the factors that lead to burnout, a business decision like investing in employees’ well-being can help in making the workplace less stressful or at the very least, provide a way for people to distress if needed.

7 of the Best Cities in the World for Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance may fundamentally be a personal choice. But there are external factors that affect people’s ability to achieve it. For those who live in countries where most workers clock in over 40 hours of work every week what is left of their time dictates how much is allotted for leisure. There are cities, however, where people in the workforce spend less time at work thus giving them more personal time to enjoy as they choose to.

Paris, France
Highlights: France has a 35-hour work week measure in place since it was introduced in 2000. But the City of Light boasts of even shorter work hours averaging 30.84 in a week. The recent ruling that makes it legal for French workers to ignore work related emails after office hours seems like an added boost in creating an environment where the working population can enjoy work-life balance.

Lyon, France
Lyon, France
Highlights: Coming at the heels of Paris is another French City. Workers in Lyon enjoy a roughly 31.36-hour workweek and a total of almost a month’s worth of holidays.

Moscow, Russia
Highlights: Moscow is one of the cities in the world with the shortest work hours per week. Workers in this city spend approximately less than 32 hours at work.

Helsinki, Finland
Highlights: Helsinki makes it to the less than 32-hour work week group. It also boasts of a workforce that enjoys benefits that allow for greater work-life balance with plenty of options for family leave. Finland’s list of holidays likewise provide ample time for Helsinki workers to spend more hours spending time with family or doing non-work related activities.

Vienna, Austria
Highlights: Austria has a 40-hour work week or lower on average. And in Vienna, it is not unusual for workers to clock in less than 33 hours ever week. The city’s workers likewise have more than 25 days of holidays every year.

Milan, Italy
Highlights: Milan work week is fairly shorter than most countries with workers averaging about less than 33 hours at the office.

Copenhagen, Denmark
Highlights: Denmark landed at the top spot in the 2016 World Happiness Report – a ranking measured using several parameters including quality of life. So it should not come as a surprise that Copenhagen makes it to the list of best cities for work-life balance, which is one of the cornerstones of better quality of living. Work hours may vary for women and men averaging at around a 35 to 40-hour work week and could sometimes go as short as less than 33 hours a week for some.