What Type of Wellness do Remote Employees want?
A case study of Illumiti
In this post-COVID world, companies are navigating the concept of what the working environment will look like in the future.
Will everyone go back to the office? Will employees work from home? Perhaps companies will opt for a “Hybrid model” where employees have the flexibility to toggle between their home office and their corporate office; a hybrid system designed to suit their own lifestyle. The Hybrid model option seems to be the most common stance. The virus has broken through cultural and technological barriers that prevented remote work in the past, setting in motion a structural shift in where work takes place.
In November of 2020, McKinsey & Company conducted a study of 800 corporate executives around the world, specifically asking them how they envision remote work playing a role in the post pandemic corporate work environment. Across all sectors, 38 percent of respondents expected their remote employees to work two or more days a week away from the office after the pandemic, compared to 22 percent of respondents surveyed before the pandemic. This indicates that the acceptance of flexibility in work location is increasing.
As we move to this new hybrid working environment, companies are seeing employees struggle with mental and physical health and wellbeing.
While the appeal of remote working is in lifestyle flexibility, the challenge is found in less physical movement, less socialization, and poor nutritional habits. As a result, companies around the world are searching for a comprehensive solution that can be offered to employees working in the office, at home, or geographically dispersed.
Illumiti is a leading systems integration and management consulting company with offices in Canada, the United States, and Switzerland, serving customers globally with over 250 employees. The experienced team empowers customers to realize their vision by leveraging the world’s leading on-premises and cloud-based business applications. Illumiti helps its clients achieve optimized operations in the key areas at the core of their business by implementing custom-fit SAP software solutions at a lower cost, and at a lower risk than other alternatives.
Early in 2021, Illumiti surveyed their employees and realized that while they offered extensive group benefit coverage, their employees were finding it difficult to find the right health and wellness providers, as well as to find the time to travel to these appointments with the new remote working environment. Even before the pandemic, many employees needed to travel extensively for their jobs, and remote work proved to be a barrier to receiving quality and consistent health and wellness support. Employees were seeking support in specific areas: mental wellbeing, nutrition, and fitness services.
Cyno is a Canadian health tech company, aiming to increase accessibility and convenience of healthcare. Cyno's flagship product is the Employee Wellness Plan (EWP). The EWP supports corporations who wish to extend virtual wellness services to their employees. Through the EWP, corporations gain access to the Cyno platform to book live one-on-one or group health & wellness services with a wide range of providers.
Mental Health & Wellness
Physical Fitness Nutrition
Natural Health Wellness
Cyno prides itself on the vast array of choice for employees who are searching for an individualize path to their wellness. As a result, there are specific virtual services such as personal training, yoga, pilates, meditation, reiki therapy, music therapy, mental health counselling, life coaching, physiotherapy, fertility counselling, and much more.
In the first quarter of usage, Illumiti employees booked 319 appointments on the Cyno platform. 94 of these bookings were for group classes and 225 were for 1-on-1 sessions. It is worth noting the types of services that employees were drawn to book: Fitness services constituted 60.3% of all bookings, Mental Health service at 19%, Natural Health services at 11.4%, Nutrition services at 6.9%, and Rehabilitation and Financial wellness 1.4% and 1% respectively.
"There's nothing else out there like Cyno!"
- Frances Song, Senior Director of Human Resources
1. Employees place great value on fitness in a remote working world.
While the initial interest in Cyno started around the accessibility of mental health counselling, the area most engaged in was fitness.
This constituted services such as personal training, exercise program design, yoga, pilates, kickboxing and Barre training.
2. Mental health is more than just therapy or counselling.
The therapy and counselling services on the Cyno platform are a critical part of an employee journey to mental wellness.
A commonly misunderstood concept is the recognition of the supporting role that physical health, nutritional health, and holistic health play in the journey of mental health.
Mental wellbeing services can include life coaching, meditation, and emotional support services, as well as services that are commonly defined as physical, nutritional or holistic health supports.
3. Group sessions are valued by employees for the purposes of team building and socialization.
When working in a remote environment, there is a desire of employees to connect with their peers in non-work-related activities.
Many companies have attempted company-wide virtual yoga class efforts and have been challenged with on-going engagement because different employees need varied outlets for wellness. 5 employees may want to do yoga, while 10 others would like to do Zumba, and 20 others would enjoy a challenging bodyweight circuit class.
By using a concept called “mini-team building events”, smaller groups of like-minded co-workers are empowered to gather together virtually to participate in an event that is meaningful to them.
4. The ability to connect with a health expert one-on-one is a highly valued offering for employees.
Employees greatly value the availability and accessibility of providers to provide one-on-one care in order to avail of the knowledge of a health provider who is an expert in a specific area of wellness.
5. Having a wide range of health and wellness services for employees to choose from is vital in the result of maximum engagement of corporate wellness offerings.
The path to optimal health and wellness is very different for every employee and this requires a customized approach with advice from specific experts.