As we welcome another year, prioritizing health and wellness will continue to gain popularity – and for good reason. Looking back at the last 20 years, some of the most popular health and wellness trends included redefining fast food offerings to include healthier options, more accessible ways to track fitness habits, virtual workouts, extreme diets, ingredient awareness and food alternatives, and efforts to minimize sedentary lifestyles.
In more recent years, and especially since the pandemic, consumers have been becoming more proactive about their health, marking a unique opportunity for there to be a spotlight on overall well-being. In this blog, we’ll dive into some of the trends we saw in 2023 and look ahead to 2024 so employers can better prepare to serve their employees with the right tools for the next year.
As the saying goes, out with the old and in with the new! So let’s dive in.
Top Trends from 2023
Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year for 2023 was “authentic” – if there was ever a word that encompassed an entire market, this is it. In 2023, health and wellness trends empowered individuals to live authentically and to be the best versions of themselves. And on the business side of things, companies realized that in order to retain employees and to have them put forth their best work, they needed to make health and wellness the cornerstone of employee-well-being.
After some tumultuous years, there were bright spots in 2023 that helped everyone encounter what it meant to live authentically. Let’s take a look at some of the top trends of the past year, all of which will continue to have an impact in 2024:
- Self-care – a focal point of many conversations, self-care was something that took center stage with many employees practicing varied forms of it. Prioritizing sleep, managing work-life balance, dedicating time to favored activities, and practicing gratitude were all popular forms of self-care.
- Holistic health – consumers made well-informed decisions that impacted their health as a whole. Thinking beyond just physical health, a well-rounded approach to health and wellness emphasized the importance of physical, mental, social, and spiritual health with employers paying close attention to the substantial impact of each.
- Virtual care – from therapy or coaching sessions to telehealth, convenience and availability quickly became the norm with visits to healthcare professionals through virtual means. What began out of necessity during the pandemic, quickly grew into a sometimes-preferred way of seeking treatment in the past year.
What to Expect in 2024
With the new year bursting through the door, there will be a genuine interest in employees continuing to be sanely ambitious about setting and achieving wellness goals and prioritizing and improving their overall well-being. Using the past year as a touchstone for their current health states, employees are looking to challenge themselves to let go of instant gratification and results and instead look to making small changes that can add up to long-term benefits.
Some highlights expected to dominate for the next 12 months are outlined below:
- Fitness – be it group exercise (pickleball, anyone?!) or at-home workouts, fitness will continue to claim the importance of health and wellness. Thanks to flexible schedules and work-from-home or hybrid roles, employees will more easily have the ability to fit fitness into their daily lives.
- Nutritional intake – From supplements and mushroom coffee to tracking water intake and decreasing added sugars, consumers found themselves paying more attention to gut health in 2023. It is predicted that we will see even more influence and trends around consuming less caffeine, finding alternative protein options (2023 saw cottage cheese making a statement in this category), and even healthier gluten-free options.
- Informed wellness decisions – employees will inevitably look at the totality of wellness offerings and decisions. Employees are expected to continue understanding that health and wellness are not a one-size-fits-all approach. From affordability costs and availability to preventative interventions, they will look to find balance and be confident in how they receive and go about seeking their care – starting with corporate offerings.
Why It Matters
Employees are now entering an era when they feel empowered by decision-making. As companies navigate the intricate landscape of workplace wellness in 2024, it will be crucial to provide the right tools, have the foresight to know what is coming, and the ability to adapt to the needs of employees.
By embracing shifts, understanding trends, and communicating expected changes, employers will be better able to serve their employees and gain their trust through retention and productivity. In the best self-interest of both the employer and employees, a sufficient understanding of trends and offerings will allow for novel solutions.
What You Can Do About It
Not only are employees feeling more stressed, anxious, and aware of their health, but employers are recognizing this and filling the need. And the data is there to prove it. Employers are starting to take a keen interest in the health of their workforce by systematically assessing employees’ well-being. By gathering health-related data, employers are better able to deploy approaches focused on needs, risks, and preventive measures.
A four-part framework centered around summary measures, upstream drivers, real-time indicators, and key enablers can assist with assessing risks and determining important health factors to focus on.
Beyond the usual benefits and compensation that are provided, employees are putting serious weight on what health and wellness initiatives are offered in the workplace. It is no wonder that these efforts are booming. Employees are looking to focus on making changes to their health and wellness by turning their attention to the present conditions of what they can control through what is accessible to them.
Living Longer, Living Well
Employers should remember that their employees are shifting towards not just living longer, but living well with more awareness of their quality of life. Right now, as the clock ticks into a new year, employers play a pivotal role in how workplace wellness is defined.
With an emphasis on elevating and executing health and wellness, Marquee Health offers an outcomes-driven suite of individualized solutions and is committed to partnering with employers to provide supportive and personalized offerings to institute positive changes.
From innovation to convenience, employees are constantly consuming information about health and wellness and discovering what can most benefit them. Keeping in mind what may be trending, employers can make concerted efforts to assess needs and adopt a more holistic and intentional approach to growing a healthy and dynamic workforce.
Want to create a happier, healthier, and more engaged workforce but not sure where to start? Contact Marquee Health today to see how we can help.