COULD CORPORATE WELLNESS WORK FOR YOU?
With an increasing number of businesses revisiting their staff benefits and wellbeing coming out on top of employer needs, Vitality Editor Becci Vallis looks at whether you could expand your client base by offering an inside job?
If there was one good thing to come out of the pandemic it was the realisation that people need a better work life balance. The shackles of being chained to a desk 9-5 were severed and the unhealthy habit of staying late in the office was suddenly not an option. Now, with the majority of people returning to their work environment (although still rarely five days a week), companies are having to revisit what benefits they’re offering employees to keep their physical and mental health in a state of harmony.
It's such a hot topic that, according to recent research, the global corporate wellness market is predicted to hit £61.59 billion by 2027. With 11 million days a year lost to workplace stress, employee wellness programmes are quickly becoming the norm to keep staff productive and decrease employee turnover. However, what’s interesting is that while in America, over 80% of companies with over 50 employees offer some sort of corporate wellness benefits, in the UK, only around 45% do. Although this looks set to change.
WHAT’S ON THE MENU?
Forget a free weekly yoga class or a discounted gym membership. “That one size approach doesn’t fit all anymore – a fluid and empathetic lens has to be worn,” says Kim Smith, co-founder of CBD brand, Kloris who has been working with businesses to offer educational content in the realms of relaxation and stress management using natural tools (like CBD). “Businesses must not underestimate the existing knowledge employees currently have within the realms of concepts like self-care. Now, it’s very much about how the workplace can look to support people on their individual journey,” she continues.
Meditation sessions, chair massages, puppy visits, pop-up smoothie bars, manicures, reflexology, Beyonce dance classes, relaxation rooms – companies are coming up with all sorts of innovative approaches to keep their staff happy and content. “It means there’s a huge opportunity to create worthwhile programmes in untapped grounds,” continues Kim.
Sound appealing? It should! By entering the world of corporate wellness you’re opening up your services to a whole new audience and who knows where that could lead? “Most companies have a wellness budget, however they don’t know how to spend it,” admits Grace Taylor, owner of Incorporate Massage UK who broke into the corporate wellness realm eight years ago with her seated acupressure business. “Subscriptions to mindfulness apps or beer and pizza Fridays have become a common go-to but offering a wellness service to a company ticks the health and wellbeing box and most importantly the team feel rewarded and valued,”
“Bringing wellness to the corporate space is a win-win situation. Employers are applauded and your personal job satisfaction is rewarded at every visit as you’re infiltrating what is usually a stressful environment – you have a captive audience,” says Grace. “So many team members comment on how grateful they are that we’re available to them at work where they usually don’t take time for themselves.”
ENTERING THE ARENA
Decide what you want to offer and how it would work, for example, the time needed for treatments, the money you need to make and the sort of space you would need to carry them out. Then think about the sort of businesses you’d like to work with and research to see what they have in place already – if anything. “One huge tip for success is to pitch your business at every opportunity, with every person you meet,” recommends Grace. “There is always some way to infiltrate your business into the corporate world and most people will know someone that’s in need of wellness. I once landed a contact whilst in an elevator, apologising for taking up space with my massage carry case, alerting everyone in the lift that corporate massage was available in the building – I got booked up on the spot!”
Because a lot of businesses are starting afresh too, you could even suggest working with them to help create a workplace wellbeing strategy. If you offer various services, why not suggest they have a feedback forum where they can comment on the types of treatments they would benefit from or like to have available, especially as the personal aspect is so important. Consider those that are still working from home and remotely too. If you’re a mobile therapist is there an option to visit people at home so they don’t miss out on the benefits or could you offer virtual sessions over Zoom a la lockdown where DIY facials became a hit.
You could also think about partnering with other holistic businesses you might already know or work with. Maybe a PT who could offer one-to-one sessions? A nutritionist who could give consultations or provide bespoke meal plans and advice? A yoga teacher who could recommend some stretches to do between meetings or share tips for that all important breathwork? A therapist or counsellor who can support staff with their mental health? The possibilities are endless.
“A 15-minute seated acupressure massage can reduce stress by 85%. This increases productivity, boosts the immune system and reduces the stress hormone cortisol. All this in turn is benefitting a business massively,” says Grace. Arm yourself with similar statistics, flash your BABTAC credentials and who knows what exciting businesses you could extend your beauty expertise to. Right now, you have the upper hand so play your cards right and you could get a flurry of new clients and an extra source of income. Like we said, win win!