Buying Guide: 8 Best Employee Wellness Platforms for Remote Organizations

 
employee well-being platforms

Remote employee wellness is a top priority for you as an HR leader. Not just for physical health reasons, but for mental health and connection as well. You’re likely looking for a cutting-edge employee well-being solution that suits the diverse needs of your organization, and also boosts engagement. 

You may have heard of modern well-being platforms that give employees the chance to take guilt-free breaks and connect with their teammates during the day in a way that’s fun, relaxing and doesn’t feel like more work.

These apps can help reduce the feelings of employee loneliness, stress, and mental overload which are ongoing problems for many remote workers.

In this blog, we’re diving into what’s important to consider during the buying process when comparing employee wellness platforms, plus we’ll look at the pros and cons of some of the most popular platforms in the market right now.

How to choose the best employee wellness platform for your organization

Choosing the right wellness app or platform involves understanding your organization’s specific needs, and focusing on a solution that can fill gaps amidst the perks and benefits your employees have available today. It also needs to be user-friendly to drive engagement, cost-effective to keep your budget in check, and aligned with your company’s remote workplace culture goals.

Budget 

Any platform you sign up for should have the scalability to move with your company as it grows. It needs to be able to meet you where you’re at now, while having the capacity to support a larger number of users in the future. 

You’ll need to pay careful attention to the pricing structure of these apps, as some of them can become seriously expensive when you need to move up a tier to accommodate more of your employees using the app. 

Ideally, you want as many of your employees benefitting from the platform as possible as your organization grows, so choose a platform that offers the least amount of friction and the most flexibility.

Ease of use 

Hallmarks of a successful wellness platform are having a comprehensive implementation process for administrators like yourself, and an interface that is easy as pie for your employees to use.

Look for platforms that are engaging, interactive, and accessible on the multiple devices your remote employees might be using at home, or taking with them to co-working spaces, such as tablets and mobile phones. Convenience is just as important as ease of use for a program to be successful, so the program you choose should meet employees where they are as much as possible.

Comprehensive

Does the platform offer a wide range of wellness activities and resources, or is it limited to one thing (e.g. meditation)?

You should ideally choose a platform that has wellness activities and resources to engage employees at every level of well-being, and appeal to their varying interests. Taking a more holistic approach to what a wellness platform offers means you can cater to the diverse needs of your remote workforce. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that many well-being platforms were initially designed for individual users or small businesses. If you’re an enterprise company, these solutions might not have the reliability, variety, and scalability that you need.

Expert content 

Always check who is leading the wellness activities on an app. Many platforms base their wellness programs on scientific research, or have activities that are led by instructors who are experts in their field. 

Platforms that have expert-led content will give you peace of mind that they’re going to be effective in promoting and protecting the health and well-being of your employees. The employees will also be more likely to engage if instructors are credible, as they will perceive that the classes will be worthwhile for them.

Support for success 

Look at the platform’s reputation, customer reviews, and ongoing support options. Reliable end-user support, access to customer success for engagement strategization, and a track record of successful implementation in other enterprise organizations are good indicators of a dependable platform.

Best fit

There are a few different ways to determine what type of platform would be the best fit for your teams. Employee feedback is helpful, especially when it comes to learning what challenges employees face when it comes to well-being, and how they can be solved. 

For example, are your employees experiencing burnout? Isolation from their peers? Less engagement? 

Consider these issues and also factors like abilities and varying wellness interests.

Trying to find the best employee well-being platform for your organization might feel overwhelming, but there are a few excellent wellness platforms out there that tick the boxes in many of these areas.

8 best remote employee wellness platforms

Calm for Business 

Calm is a popular wellness and meditation app that is primarily aimed at consumer subscribers. 

During Covid, Calm added a new solution for the workplace to help support employee assistance programs (EAPs), offer preventative activities and resources to manage the mental health of new remote workers, and improve engagement and productivity.

Calm Business can be particularly useful for employees who have trouble sleeping, or who feel angry or anxious. It offers an extensive library of soothing music, soundscapes, mindfulness exercises, and meditation sessions of varying lengths.

Pros

  • Suitable for workplaces of different sizes
  • Integrates with Microsoft Teams and Zoom
  • Has an enterprise plan for workplaces with 100+ employees

Cons

  • Only focuses on mental health
  • Employees have to pay if they want to use premium features
  • Customer reviews say there are not enough meditation sessions to choose from
  • No prices listed on the website

Headspace for Organizations

Headspace for the workplace is similar to Calm, but has a wider range of features on offer for employees. Like Calm, it began life as a user-friendly app to help individuals get started on their journey of meditation and mental wellness.

With the B2B expansion, remote employees can tap into industry-leading mental healthcare, therapy, coaching, and mindfulness. For employers, it also includes a full EAP replacement solution.

Pros

  • Evidence based mental health solutions and activities
  • Expert-led content
  • More variety for employees than Calm Business
  • Gamification features

Cons

  • No functionality to create shared experiences for teams
  • Employees mention that the content seems to be the same as on the personal app, and it would be helpful if there were more work-related meditations
  • Users mention it can be difficult to navigate around the app
  • Lacking in robust engagement metrics
  • No prices listed on the website

Movespring

This platform provides companies with fun, user-friendly activities and step challenges to help get employees up and moving. Users connect to the app with a smartphone or wearable device to track their activity, which syncs in real time to Movespring’s web, iOS, and Android apps.

As well as the challenges that come with the app, users can also create their own individual or team challenges which can help boost engagement. 

Movespring is a great choice for global workplaces who want to make sure their remote employees are keeping their fitness levels up, and it gives everyone a chance to connect with each other in an interactive environment.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Promotes friendly competition and teamwork between co-workers
  • Good customer support
  • Designed specifically for corporate workplaces
  • Pricing slider on the website to estimate annual costs

Cons

  • Users say that the app doesn’t track their steps and movement accurately
  • Cost can be prohibitive for smaller companies
  • Could have more variety for activities
  • Admins need to interact with challenges and activities, which can be time-consuming

Wellbeats

Wellbeats positions themselves as an app that “gives people of every age, interest, body type, and ability level the same opportunity to live a healthier life”. It takes a holistic approach to employee wellness, offering on-demand classes for yoga, nutrition, meditation, and virtual fitness.

Like Bright Breaks and Movespring, Wellbeats has built-in social features that allow coworkers to invite each other to classes.

Pros

  • Expert-led content
  • Personalized recommendations to help each employee reach their wellness goals
  • User-friendly
  • Reporting and engagement metrics

Cons

Wellable

This is a holistic wellness platform similar to Wellbeats. It lets organizations of all sizes offer engaging programs to their employees, and it has active users in over 35 countries. Wellable’s core solutions include on-demand fitness and mindfulness classes, holistic coaching, and multimedia educational content.

This platform also offers some interesting features for companies — one of these being its plan flexibility. You can sign up to a recurring plan, or sign up to use it for a one-time wellness event in your organization, such as an employee appreciation day, or to support a monthly wellness theme.

There is also a Lifestyle Spending Account feature which can help organizations incentivize engagement. Employees earn credits by engaging in Wellable activities, and they can redeem these either in a virtual marketplace, or by requesting reimbursement in cash or gift cards.

Pros

  • Activity challenge and leaderboard features
  • Pricing estimator on the website
  • Good customer service
  • Integrates with popular fitness apps like Apple Health, Fitbit, Garmin, Runkeeper, and Strava

Cons

  • No live online classes
  • Customer reviews mention that the app can be slow and glitchy
  • Reviewers also mention the platform doesn’t sync reliably with other apps

Nectar

Nectar approaches workplace wellness in a different way from the previous platforms. It’s a rewards and recognition solution that helps team members to feel valued and connected, which is a big morale booster for distributed organizations.

Leaders and employees can all send shout outs and reward points to each other that accumulate until they’re redeemed. Nectar has an extensive rewards catalog, so employees can use their points credits for things like branded swag, Amazon items, gift cards, and more.

Pros

  • Simple, effective way to show appreciation to coworkers
  • Integrates with HR and SSO tools, Slack, and Microsoft Teams
  • Pricing is listed on the site, with volume discounts available
  • Employees comment that they love the rewards system

Cons

  • Reviewers say there is a tendency for the same people to get recognized every month, and that the praise can feel disingenuous
  • One reviewer says that “the downfall to any tool like Nectar is that you can miss behaviors that could be valuable to your team if they become too reliant on the rewards” 
  • Limited options for employees in some countries to redeem their rewards points

GuineaPig

This wellness app is an add-on for Slack and Microsoft Teams. It’s designed to help your employees boost their mental and physical fitness, offering a range of recorded activities from home workouts to yoga, chair stretches, and mindfulness sessions.

GuineaPig is unique in that it integrates with the platforms that your teams are already working in during the day. Once the app is added, they’ll get daily reminders and notifications that give them a gentle nudge to stand up and stretch, take a break, or find a healthy activity that they can do from their seat.

Pros

  • Simple to set up and use
  • Shared Slack or Teams channel for HR to connect with Guinea Pig’s support team

Cons

  • Only offers on-demand video classes
  • No pricing on the website

Bright Breaks 

Bright Breaks is a complete online wellness solution that was designed specifically with the remote workplace, and the well-being of remote workers in mind. 

The platform offers a huge variety of live-guided and on-demand wellness sessions, plus easy to run challenges in different formats. It’s a comprehensive app that can take away a lot of the hassle of implementing and managing a wellness program.

It’s user-friendly and highly engaging for remote employees, offering simple yet effective 7-minute sessions called ‘breaks’ that integrate smoothly with your employees’ calendars. 

With a range of live virtual wellness activities to choose from, such as yoga, chair exercises, meditation, strength routines, and more — employees just need to click to add the breaks they want to attend to their calendar, and they’ll get a text and/or calendar notification when it’s time to take their breaks. There’s also the option for breaks to be automatically suggested every day in the free spots of each employee’s calendar based on set preferences. 

What sets Bright Breaks apart from the other wellness solutions above is that we go beyond being a transactional service provider. We partner with you to help strategize your employee wellness tactics to maximize engagement levels. Our Customer Success team works alongside you to set and achieve employee wellness goals at your organization.

Easily boost and re-boost engagement with Bright Breaks’ internal challenge feature. Inspire your employees with wellness challenges just for your organization with a dedicated leaderboard for individuals or teams to participate in.

Pros

  • Reviewers say they love the variety of 500+ on-demand videos and 300+ live breaks each week to choose from
  • A diverse range of expert content covering yoga, fitness, mindfulness, nutrition, keynote speakers, and more
  • Outlook and Google calendar integration making it easy for busy employees to engage with the platform when convenient for them
  • Regular strategy calls with the Customer Success team
  • Fresh promotional materials every month to keep wellness and Bright Breaks top-of-mind among your employees 
  • Individual and team-based wellness challenges 
  • Detailed usage metrics
  • Transparent pricing

Cons

  • Less suitable for in-office, or front of house staff
  • Not suitable for smaller teams

In summary

All of the apps we’ve mentioned above are great solutions for HR teams who are looking to implement a wellness solution into their workplace. But there’s no “one size fits all” platform. 

You’ll need to do your due diligence, weigh up must-have features and nice-to-have features, and be aware of any hidden fees or tricky pricing structures that might blow out your wellness budget. 

Whether you’re looking for a standalone fitness app like Movespring, a meditation app like Headspace, or a holistic wellness solution with live classes like Bright Breaks, you’ll need to make sure the platform is something your remote employees will feel excited and motivated to engage with.

Bright Breaks was built for businesses. Our fun, user-friendly platform is designed for maximum positive impact on your remote employees’ wellness — with minimal legwork for your HR department. 

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What you should do now

  1. Promote best practices for remote worker health with free copy/paste, pre-written scripts you can post every week in your internal communications channels.

  2. Learn from top HR & People Leaders about the latest strategies to keep your remote workforce happy, healthy, and connected on The Virtual Vibe Podcast.

  3. Contact our sales team to discover the benefits of our built-for-the-workplace wellness solution, compared to B2C offerings like Calm or Headspace.
 
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