a family pretty quick. Not to mention,
students who are coming out of
education these days have an average
debt of $40,000 to $50,000.
Technology is increasingly playing a
much more instrumental role as far
as health and well-being lately. There
certainly has been no shortage of
stories written on trackable devices
and mobile technology. Where do you
see innovation happening?
On one end, we’re saying people are
too connected digitally and we need
to create greater balance in their lives.
There’s a new field that talks about digital
Are you seeing technology play a role
toxicity and how we help people create
some separation between themselves
and their phones. On the other end, the
solution to that seems to be a new piece
of technology we’re asking people to use.
That said, I think technology can be
a great tool, as long as we’re helping
people use it and not expecting them
to spend their lives on their phones
and on computers to help manage their
lives. The technology and the tools that
have been the most powerful are the
ones that can connect people in more
of a social way.
when it comes to involving remote
workers in well-being initiatives?
Absolutely. We have people here at
WELCOA who, prior to joining the team,
were working remotely and didn’t feel like
a part of what was going on. They wanted
to be around people again. Technology
such as video conferencing can be
especially effective in getting them to feel
they’re part of whatever journey the home
office might be on.
So if there is any kind of corporate
challenge that’s happening—or any
other types of events—[involve] remote
workers. Make them feel like they’re
part of the team. When you have people
who are working out of home offices,
sometimes there’s a disconnect between
the work that they’re doing and how
that contributes to the success—or lack
thereof—of the organization.
Those who are working remotely
still need to have access to the same
resources as those at corporate. So if
the home office has a fitness center,
maybe it’s finding similar resources
in the communities where remote
workers live and work.
What trends are likely to reshape the
well-being landscape going for ward?
I was just reading yesterday that
we’re starting to see a decline in
incentives. In recent times, we have been
heavily reliant on extrinsic motivators
and penalties. We’re going to give you
this money if you do this; we’re going
to give you this money if you achieve
this; and we might even penalize you if
you don’t do this. I think we’re certainly
trending away from those approaches
and starting to really tap into people’s
intrinsic desires to be well.
Going for ward, I think the focus
is going to be much more on culture.
That’s been a word that I think a lot of
been able to wrap their heads around.
They’re wondering: What does culture
mean? What’s the return on it? How do
you accurately measure it? How do you
I think that, over the next 10 years,
we’re going to get much better at
understanding the main dimensions of
culture and how they can be improved.
Just as importantly, how can that
improve organizational performance?
I think we’re going to start to see
wellness as more of a talent strategy.
How do we [use it to] bring in employees?
How do we use it to showcase our
organization as a top employer?
The other big trend is the built
environment. How do we really
optimize the places where we work to
improve health and well-being just by
virtue of being in them?
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