Blog Index

The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Connectivity: Wellness

Apr 7, 2023
Digital Marketing
by Sydney Frenkel

As the business world adapts to the impact of COVID-19, more employers recognize the importance of maintaining employee health to safeguard their workforce. It should come as no surprise then that demand for corporate wellness programs has risen, and with it, a greater reliance on virtual services. According to a Comprehensive Research Report by Market Research Future, the market was valued at USD 57.3 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 109.4 billion by 2030 at 8.37% CAGR during the forecast period of 2022 to 2030. The massive shift to a remote, distributed workforce was an original catalyst for the increased adoption of virtual wellness resources including online fitness classes and mental health support. Companies that already have wellness platforms in place are now seeking more comprehensive digital programming to cater to the needs of a remote and diverse workforce.

So, what digital resources are out there? First, let’s take a look at what’s happening in the space.

Virtual Wellness Trends

One of the biggest trends in virtual wellness for employees is virtual reality (VR) technology. VR allows employees to experience immersive and engaging wellness activities, such as guided meditation and yoga, without having to leave the office, or in some cases, their house. This can be especially beneficial for employees who may not have the time or resources to attend in-person wellness classes.

Another trend in virtual wellness is wearable technology, such as fitness trackers and smartwatches. These devices can track an employee’s physical activity, sleep patterns, and other health metrics, and provide personalized recommendations for improving overall wellness. Additionally, companies can use the data collected from these devices to create customized wellness programs for their employees.

Online coaching and counseling services are also becoming increasingly popular in the field of virtual wellness for employees. These services allow employees to access professional support for mental health and wellness from the comfort of their own homes or offices. This can be particularly beneficial for employees who may not have access to in-person counseling or coaching services. James Weiss, Big Drop’s Senior Director, stated the following:

What might be most impressive about the shift to online-based wellness is that its continued rise has blurred the lines of wellness quality among in-person and digital options – dare we say, it’s ‘virtually’ impossible to tell any difference. Being able to access providers or programs digitally opens up a wider range of possibilities and that means that companies with benefit plans can offer their workers more variety than ever before – a retention tool that is more and more necessary as companies continue to adapt to changing employment landscapes.”

Another trend in virtual wellness is using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to provide personalized wellness recommendations. AI and ML algorithms can analyze an employee’s health data and generate tailored wellness plans that address specific health concerns. This can help employees feel more in control of their own health and well-being, and empower them to make positive changes in their lifestyles.

Mental Health Support

One of the most significant changes in corporate mental health benefits is the increased focus on remote mental health support. With more and more employees working from home, it has become more difficult for them to access in-person mental health services, not to mention the increased need for mental health support to combat common feelings of isolation and detachment. To address this, many companies are now offering virtual counseling and therapy sessions for employees, which can be accessed from their working environment, wherever that may be. 

A great example of a company that provides mental health support is Big Drop’s Client, Spring Health. Spring Health helps employers modernize their behavioral health benefits with the most effective, comprehensive solution for employee mental well-being. It functions as a single front door to any type of care – from digital exercises to employee assistance programs (EAP) services, to coaching, therapy, or medication.

Spring Health uses a proprietary assessment and machine-learning technology to understand all of the conditions a person may be experiencing and use those results to match them to a care plan personalized to their needs. Each member has access to a Care Navigator to help guide them through their options, assist in booking appointments with therapists, and connect them to domain experts across work-life, legal, or financial services.

Online Fitness Classes

In addition to mental health support, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant shift in the way companies approach physical well-being. As more and more employees have been forced to work from home, employers have had to find new ways to support the physical health and fitness of their employees.

One of the most notable trends in corporate fitness health benefits is the rise of virtual fitness classes. With fewer gyms and fitness centers open, many employees have turned to online workout programs to stay active. Companies have responded by offering virtual fitness classes as part of their employee wellness programs, which can be accessed on demand.

One of Big Drop’s clients Fhitting Room has paved the way in offering virtual classes that meet end-users where they are. Fhitting Room is a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Strength boutique fitness studio that combines the energy of a group fitness class with the individual attention of a personal training session. Fhitting Room owns and operates two flagship studios in New York City and two digital platforms: Fhitting Room LIVE!, virtual boutique fitness classes, and Fhitting Room On Demand.

Accessibility and Inclusivity

In addition to the above services, virtual wellness programs are also being designed to be more inclusive and accessible to all employees. This includes offering multiple languages, providing accommodations for employees with disabilities, and providing various options for different learning styles.

Overall, virtual wellness for employees is a rapidly evolving field with many exciting developments and possibilities. Companies that invest in virtual wellness resources for their employees are likely to see benefits in terms of increased productivity, reduced absenteeism, and improved employee morale. As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see even more innovative and effective virtual wellness solutions in the future.

In Conclusion…

In the future, the need for employee wellness platforms will continue to grow as more companies adopt remote work policies. Simultaneously, as technology advances, virtual wellness programs and e-learning services will become increasingly integrated into these platforms to support this trend. Additionally, there will be a greater emphasis on addressing physical and mental health within these programs as the COVID-19 pandemic becomes more endemic.

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