10 ways COVID-19 is improving the wellbeing industry
COVID-19 is nothing to make light of … but there are a lot of good things that have come out of the pandemic when it comes to the wellbeing industry.
Wait, what? This giant, once-in-a-lifetime health crisis improved wellbeing?
Not to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes — COVID-19 has definitely rocked everyone’s lives — but if we pause and take a look at the positive changes that have come as a result, the list is actually … intriguing. Seriously, it did bring us some of the most heart-warming stories of humanity. Everyone loves a good balcony concert.
Despite all the division, loss, challenges, obstacles, headaches, tests, and everything else that’s been thrust our way since 2020, there has also been a massive movement toward certain areas of wellbeing that many weren’t prioritizing before. Was the need always there? Sure, but a global pandemic does nothing if not catapult the basic human need for health and happiness to the forefront of everyone’s minds — and companies within the wellbeing industry (of which there are aplenty) are no exception.
Not convinced? That’s okay — we weren’t convinced there was much to smile about regarding COVID either. But alas, the wellbeing industry trends and changing perspectives of those around us has proven us wrong. Here’s how the pandemic is morphing workplace (and just life) wellbeing for the better.
Connection is getting attention
We’ve all spent more time in literal isolation over the last two years than maybe ever. But human beings need connection, and wellness programs need to facilitate that among their members. Programs that come with easy, fun, accessible, and productive ways to stay in touch virtually with colleagues, from home or other remote locations, are more paramount than ever. Thankfully, that’s a strong suit of ours.
Mental health has its own stage
Even sports broadcasters are talking to players about their journeys with suicide ideation and mental health during regular game schedules (something I’ve never seen before). New mental health-focused programs are popping up, expanding, and collaborating with big-name celebrities to pursue their mission. Companies like Healbright are also partnering up with Sonic Boom to provide members with the much-needed resources to navigate these times.
Exercise is more accessible
When gyms shut down in 2020, companies like Peloton saw a tremendous demand for at-home equipment. As the months (and years) passed, more people realized that you don’t need a fancy gym membership to get a workout in. Heck, you don’t need much of anything beyond yourself! Influencers on Instagram and TikTok started sharing their own workouts, and living rooms everywhere saw an influx of sweaty bodies getting that daily movement in. Our daily challenges, which touch on a variety of wellness topics, including exercise, aim to bring quick exercise moves to our members, so that they can continue to work out safely at home.
Telehealth has been expedited
It’s still not easy peasy for everyone to get healthcare right from their kitchen table (or at all), but the pandemic shines a light on an immediate need to have this as an option, when so many felt unsafe going to the doctor or hospitals. Being able to get an on-call doctor on the line while you’re at home sick with a kid (or just yourself) is much easier than driving to an office, and so many health concerns can be addressed quickly over the phone. And many wellness programs, ours included, are able to facilitate incentives around completing simple tasks like preventive exams or telehealth visits.
Chronic disease management is in
With more research and studies coming out around how COVID and chronic illness affect one another, there’s been an increased focus on how wellbeing programs can help members navigate life with a chronic illness. The ability to integrate with third-party vendors and their services is one helpful method for wellness programs to use. More content, health challenges, and contests around chronic illness management is another key feature of a well-rounded program. People want to know how to go about their day and get support beyond the doctor’s office.
Workplace flexibility is being prioritized
Let’s call a spade a spade: People are flipping exhausted. Healthcare workers. Teachers. Corporate executives. Public servants. Factory workers. Stay-at-home parents. It doesn’t matter; everyone is tired, and everyone’s level of exhaustion deserves to be seen and heard. That’s why more workplace wellness programs are popping up: to help facilitate self-care during the work day. See how we differentiate ourselves in this space. In addition, workplace flexibility is becoming more important than those in-office perks. Many are benefitting from a WFH or hybrid environment and the scheduling ease it affords them. Not to mention, less commuters means less pollution, and office-free days allows many to save money on their wardrobe.
Preventive screenings are key
Ever-evolving COVID-19 research is also highlighting the importance of simply regular screenings and preventive exams. Catching things earlier means a healthier life overall, areweright? Thankfully, many programs do include biometric screenings and health risk assessments within their model.
Hard conversations are happening
We don’t need to tell you how divided America feels right now. But on the flip side, many people are having conversations with relatives, friends, partners, and colleagues for the very first time. It’s a time to either judge one another or respectfully disagree with one another. Even if this means losing a connection (or worse), starting tough discussions is good practice for confronting conflict, expressing our own boundaries and needs, and keeping those boundaries.
Collaboration has increased
Every workplace has an undercurrent of employees silently supporting each other through tough times by picking up the slack when someone’s out unexpectedly, covering with their supervisor, taking the reigns on a project, etc. Humanity has warmed our hearts in new ways, and digital wellbeing programs are following suit. A platform needs to make it seamless for members to collaborate on wellness together, too, bringing the “we’re all human” back into focus. We all need an extra leg up sometimes — and we all could use some kudos along the way!
Innovation is a love language
These times of hybrid work environments, closed daycares, positive COVID tests, canceled flights, and other previously unforeseen obstacles have screamed for flexibility and pragmatic tactics to keep business moving. That’s one reason why Sonic Boom has always lived and breathed innovation as part of its makeup. It keeps us fresh and up-to-date on what works best for our members. We love having that “edge!”
Your employee wellness program should not only cater to these shifting guidelines, but it should also lean into them and see how it can improve upon and grow with the shifting landscape of wellness.
If you’re interested in learning more about what we do and how we do it, you can request a quote, demo, or more information here.