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article imageQ&A: How apps can help to minimize employee stress Special

By Tim Sandle     Apr 10, 2020 in Business
Can wellness apps help to reduce workplace stress and to help promote mental health and wellness in the workplace? Paul O'Reilly-Hyland discusses the technology with Digital Journal.
One study reveals that 83 percent of US workers suffer from work-related stress causing businesses to lose up to $300 billion yearly. This has led some employers to investigate how technology might help with this. As an example, a new app has been launched to help employees minimize stress and focus on their personal wellness, called Zeamo.
To learn more, Digital Journal spoke with Zeamo CEO Paul O'Reilly-Hyland.
Digital Journal: What are the typical levels of workplace stress?
Paul O'Reilly-Hyland: 83 percent of U.S. workers suffer from work-related stress. That’s an incredibly high amount, and studies are showing that this number has escalated over the past few years.
DJ: What tends to cause stress in the workplace?
O'Reilly-Hyland: Employees are working longer hours with heavier workloads. They have more demands with less control. There's an added pressure to perform and comply with new workplace changes and technology. And let’s not forget the social factors that play into workplace stress like attending outside events, engaging in workplace politics and going the extra mile to earn a promotion. Employees have stopped taking their PTO and are less likely to take time out of their day for their own mental or physical health, causing even more stress.
DJ: Is the coronavirus situation adding to this?
O'Reilly-Hyland: Absolutely. Across the US, businesses of all types are taking a hit from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, many people have been laid off or furloughed, and hours have been cut. These individuals are under extreme pressure to provide financially for themselves and their families.
Employees working in critical industries, like healthcare, delivery, trucking, and essential retail are working overtime and putting their lives at risk to keep others safe. Imagine the fear and anxiety they experience every day. This pandemic has taken employee stress to a new high.
DJ: What are the costs to business and employees due to these high-stress levels?
O'Reilly-Hyland: Workplace stress is costly for both businesses and employees. For US industries, it’s estimated that over $300 billion is lost annually from stress. And for employees, the cost is more physical as stress is also associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events such as high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
DJ: What is the Zeamo solution?
O'Reilly-Hyland: Zeamo is a fitness benefit that connects employers and insurers with some of the biggest brands in fitness giving employees the variety, flexibility, and convenience they are looking for in a fitness benefit. Through the Zeamo Unlimited gym and studio subscription, employees gain access to thousands of gyms and studios through a monthly subscription. Zeamo partners with major gyms like Crunch, Gold’s Gym, Tapout Fitness, Charter Fitness, Vida Fitness, O2 Fitness and Retro Fitness - and also gives subscribers access to over 350+ streaming boutique classes powered by Openfit.
Subscribers don’t have to worry about enrollment fees, contracts, or inflexible cancellation policies; and they can join, upgrade or cancel anytime. Subscribers also have access to Zeamo Rewards where employees can earn points each time they check into a Zeamo partner gym or studio location. Points can be used toward hotel discounts, concert deals, sporting event tickets, fitness gear, tech, and more.
With coronavirus, many gyms and studios have suspended service; however, in early April, Zeamo will launch Studio On-Demand, a new offering that allows eligible employees to purchase best-in-class streaming workouts at reduced corporate pricing.
DJ: How do people use and access Zeamo?
O'Reilly-Hyland: Employees can download the Zeamo App from the App Store or in the Google Play Store. From there, they can explore and search for the right gym or digital streaming option that fits the workout style they prefer. There’s an option to search by activity or amenity. Once they arrive at the gym, employees simply check in on the Zeamo app, show their pass to the front desk and then workout, of course.
DJ: What types of employers do you work with?
O'Reilly-Hyland: Zeamo partners with companies of all sizes who are looking to give their employees a more flexible, progressive, option for fitness and activity that meets employees at their level of fitness while giving them the option to choose from a wide variety of fitness options. We understand that every employer is different so our goal is to work with every client to design a program that helps them build a culture of wellbeing that is the right fit for their organization and their people.
More about Stress, Employees, Workplace stress, Mental health
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