As we bid farewell to 2023 and welcome the new year, the spotlight is on the well-being trends that will shape 2024.

For the 58 percent of UK individuals who make resolutions, with 28 percent focusing on health, the workplace is emerging as a key player in helping professionals build healthier habits.

With 32.8 million working professionals in the UK, businesses are poised to be unsung heroes, fostering habits that enhance health, well-being, productivity, and happiness.

  1. ‘Third Place’ Support

Given the overwhelming 7.7 million NHS waitlist, mental health support is diversifying into non-traditional realms such as gyms, churches, and even pubs. Investments in training for venues, like barbers and hairdressers, are integrating mental health conversations into daily life. In 2024, workplaces are set to introduce mental health first aid champions who will naturally weave such conversations into the working environment. Leaders, including line managers and HR teams, will need to lead by example, fostering a non-judgmental, supportive culture.

  1. The Need for Connection

Post-pandemic, one in 10 UK workers feel lonely, with loneliness costing employers £2.5 billion annually. The workplace must address this by understanding diverse employee needs for connection, whether through in-person interactions, activities, or team sports. Bridging the gap and fostering a sense of belonging will be crucial.

  1. Consumer Wellness in the Workplace

Consumer trends like ice baths and collagen supplements are prevalent, but their integration into the workplace is essential. With long-term sickness on the rise, businesses need to investigate the impact of these trends on employee health. Research, tailor services, and seek employee feedback to offer genuine support, especially considering that 42 percent of UK workers haven’t been asked about their well-being support preferences.

  1. The Rise of Health Tech

AI has become a buzzword, with a £21 million government pledge for an NHS AI rollout. Personalised health approaches, driven by AI and wearable fitness trackers, are gaining momentum. Employers can support their teams by providing access to personalised healthcare options such as 24/7 GP helplines, online therapy sessions, and health screenings.

  1. A Continued Debate on Flexible Working

Despite 63 percent of top CEOs predicting a full return to the office, employee expectations for flexible working remain strong. In 2024, the work-from-home debate will persist, with a focus on work-life balance. Blanket policies won’t suffice; businesses must embrace diversity and flexibility, valuing employees’ lifestyles and supporting their unique needs.

Wellness trends are not just personal health pulses; they are the secret to creating an employee-first business. Staying on top of these trends, tailoring support and policies, will transform teams into thriving forces. As the new year unfolds, workplaces have a golden opportunity to champion well-being and create environments where employees can truly flourish.

 

 

 

 

Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.