Most workplace wellness programs a waste of money: study

New research shows volunteering is the exception and helps improve mental health

Why It Matters

More employers, including those in the non-profit sector, are offering workplace wellness programming than ever before. However, new research suggests that volunteerism may be the only one offering a return on investment.

Corporate wellbeing is a $3 billion industry in Canada, but new research suggests it may not be money well spent. Employees who participate in workplace wellness programs, such as mindfulness classes, resiliency training or relaxation exercises like yoga, reap no discernable benefits, according to a recently published study in the Industrial Relations Journal. The study’s author, a research fellow at Oxford Univerity’s Wellbeing Research Centre, said it’s possible wellbeing initiatives could even negatively impact some employees.

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