Stress in the workplace is nothing new. We have been talking about it for as long as most of us can remember. But thanks to the COVID pandemic, dealing with stress at work has taken on new meaning. It has become so important that it is time to admit that stress management needs to be part of any and all future corporate wellness strategies.
Corporate wellness is rooted in the understanding that employees do not serve their employers well if they are not well themselves. It is in an employer’s best interest to promote wellness among workers or jeopardize its own business. That being the case, it seems meaningless to embark on any kind of corporate wellness program without making stress management a priority.
Engagement and Stress
As a company that specializes in designing and building state-of-the-art medical kiosks, it would be easy for us to focus all our attention on telemedicine technologies. But that’s not us. We do a lot of research into how the American workplace is functioning. That research recently led us to data from Gallup that shows some disappointing things.
Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report reveals that only 21% of the global workforce feels engaged at work. Just 33% believe they are thriving in their jobs. That does not bode well for the remaining two-thirds of the workforce. But it gets worse.
The report also shows that 44% admit to experiencing “a lot of stress” in the workplace. No wonder employees aren’t engaged or thriving. They are spending most of their time dealing with stressful situations that only make them wish they were somewhere else.
So what are employers to do? Make stress management a priority of corporate wellness. Then act on that priority through a range of benefits, changes to company culture, and more.
U-Haul’s State-of-the-Art Wellness Center
U-Haul is one of the world’s most recognized moving brands. With trucks and storage locations from coast-to-coast, the brand is known to almost all of us. It turns out that U-Haul has made a concerted effort to implement a broad-based corporate wellness program to both take care of current employees and incentivize new hires.
Among the strategies they’ve implemented is the opening of a brand new health and wellness center in Phoenix. Known as the Shoen Family Conference & Fitness Center, it serves nearly 1800 employees who work at the company’s main headquarters.
The center offers a plethora of sports and athletic facilities including basketball courts, free weights and cardio machines, indoor track, yoga and spin classrooms, and more. The facility also offers a walk-in health clinic, dental services, and a telehealth center for employees visiting from out of town and those who normally work remotely.
We are especially intrigued by the onsite clinic. Not only does it offer primary care and dental, but employees can also access physical therapy and acute care – probably for minor emergencies. Telemedicine capabilities undoubtedly allow employees to consult remotely with other healthcare providers. There is more, but hopefully you get the point.
Make It Work
None of this is to say that every company needs to open a corporate wellness center similar to U-Haul’s. In all fairness, not every company can afford such extravagance. The point is to find something and make it work. Corporate wellness needs to make stress management a priority. Simply talking about it will not do anymore.
If we don’t figure out a way to help people manage their stress, they will not be productive at work. The mandate is there for companies to take a vested interest in managing stress. Will they?