Just over half of U.S. employees say they participate in some type of wellness-related activity, whether it’s linked to an employer-based program or not.
In addition, a poll of 617 full-time workers commissioned by Flex+Strategy Group and Work+Life Fit showed that those who work outside the confines of a traditional office are more likely to pursue the types of activities typically encouraged by wellness programs on their own, rather than through an employer-sponsored initiative.
“Teleworkers use their inherent sense of discipline, focus and ability to prioritize to not only get their work done, but also pursue a healthy lifestyle,” said Cali Williams Yost, CEO of Flex+Strategy Group. “It’s a positive outcome of telework that employers should value when we consider that one-third of all full-time U.S. employees now work from a remote location.”
The survey also found that a third of all employees participate in some type of employer-backed wellness program.
What are the rest up to?
Well, a quarter say that their employer does not offer any type of wellness program. (Note: This is what employees are saying, but it might not necessarily be indicative of wellness offerings.)
Another 20 percent said that their organization offers a program, but that they choose not to participate. Interestingly, millennials are less likely than others to take part in such programs than their elder colleagues.
Finally, 20 percent of employees (some of whom likely overlap with the above responses) say that they pursue wellness-oriented activities on their own, including just under a quarter of teleworkers. Seventeen percent of conventional workers said the same.
Yost suggested that employees who are trained on finding time between work and family obligations are more likely to achieve wellness objectives. That’s true for teleworkers and office employees.
“Such training provides organizations an untapped opportunity to educate employees about the various supports and rewards available through workplace wellness programs to be their most productive and healthy selves,” she said.
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