A common theme has emerged since the start of the pandemic – consumers are taking a more active role than ever in their health and wellness choices, focusing on boosting their natural immunity. According to a report by global nutrition company Glanbia, “Global Immunity Trends for 2022 and Beyond,” 67% of consumers say the pandemic has made them more conscious of their overall immunity when thinking about their health in the long-term health.
In this new year, it is imperative for employers to recognize this shift in priorities toward preventive care and provide team members with relevant tools and dining options in an environment that supports these new health and wellness initiatives.
A healthy building
The workplace environment no longer gets a free pass when it comes to wellness. Research has proven the environment in which we work has a powerful impact on our physical and mental well-being.
Disinfecting high-touch surfaces is a minimum effort, with more companies looking to incorporate touch-free solutions to mitigate further the spread of contagious illness. AV controls, scheduling of conference rooms and ordering lunch, can now be accessed via an employee’s personal device. Removing these friction points from the workday not only reduces stress associated with return-to-office, but also significantly reduces contact with high-touch areas of office past (think wall-mounted control panels and meal ordering kiosks).
Food is medicine
Functional foods, foods that promote health, boost immunity, and combat sickness, have been trending for the past few years and saw accelerated growth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, functional foods have many benefits beyond meeting nutritional goals; they also help with disease prevention and promote optimal health.
“There is little doubt that COVID-19 has woken up Americans in many ways,” Phil Lempert, food trends editor for NBC News’ “Today” show, wrote in Forbes. “The first is a new understanding of what and how they eat and how these foods and beverages have a significant effect on their stamina, strength, and immunity to fight off viruses and other health abnormalities. Shoppers have changed how they are choosing their foods with a new yearning for reading labels, understanding what ingredients are in their foods, where their foods come from and which foods they should avoid.”
Technology and personal health
Consumers want personalized wellness strategies and are optimizing their health using technology. This includes a massive increase in the use of wearable fitness and wellness devices and biometric monitoring. According to Gartner, a technology research and consulting company, global spending on wearable devices totaled $81.5 billion in 2021 – an 18% increase over 2020. Fitness, wellness, mindfulness and stress management digital platforms as well as interactive or virtual teaching kitchens and online classes like this one with celebrity chef Bal Arneson, continue to rise in popularity as individuals look to be healthier at work, on the go and at home.
Interest in nutritional genomics, or how genetic variation influences different responses to dietary intake, is also increasing in popularity and is expected to grow to over $17 billion by 2023. By applying the results from genetic testing and working with a virtual registered dietician to develop a personalized nutritional plan, consumers can view results and recommendations and record and track progress through apps on their smart devices.
A healthy partner
We as companies must understand the role we play in keeping our employees healthy which has a direct impact on their productivity, physical and mental well-being. By focusing on everything from the campus itself and food choices to personal health technologies, employers can empower their workforce to make their best individual decisions. It’s critical that your facility management services and foodservices partner support this trend and your efforts to do so.
In April, Compass Group’s corporate facility services division ESFM (formerly Eurest Services) became a Keystone member of the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), the global authority on healthy buildings. This built on Compass Group’s previous involvement with IWBI, with Compass Group leadership serving as IWBI Concept Advisors and participating in the IWBI WELL Task Force on COVID-19. Read more here.
Compass Group is also passionate about our food and where our food comes from. We strive daily to use the best quality food with innovative recipes incorporating immunity-boosting, healthy gut and non-animal products to satisfy our customers’ requests.
For the fourth consecutive year, Compass Group has been named among the Healthiest 100 Workplaces in America by Healthiest Employers® for its commitment to the health and well-being of its associates.
Compass Group strives to be the best workplace every day. We’d like to help you be a healthier employer as well. Interested? Let’s talk about it.