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2023 wellness trends

3 future wellness trends we expect 2023 will usher in

December 15, 2022

Supporting employee wellness needs is a job that’s never done. Needs evolve. Tools evolve. Budgets evolve. Despite all of the changes we expected to see in 2022, employee wellness remains top of mind for human resources teams and benefits professionals. In a survey of our employers in October 2022, we asked what topic they are most interested in. “Employee wellness” was the second-most-provided answer. As we look ahead to 2023, here are four trends we see for employee wellness in the upcoming year. 

Increased access through apps

Wellness-related apps experienced explosive growth at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, global spending on mental health apps increased 32 percent year-over-year in the first 10 months of 2020. Global spending is expected to approach $500 million this year

From an HR standpoint, wellness apps are a win because they make it easier for employees to find the help they need, while also reducing administrative work. For these reasons, app usage and spending should continue to grow in 2023. 

More lifestyle spending accounts

Mental health, financial wellness, and physical wellness continue to be areas of focus for HR teams. With inflation and the uncertainty around student loan repayments, these should remain areas of interest in 2023. 

That’s why employers are increasingly offering lifestyle spending accounts (LSA), which are post-tax, employer-funded accounts that can be customized to support a variety of wellness needs. In the first three months of 2022, we saw a 77% year-over-year increase in our direct employer clients offering LSAs. 

While LSAs can cover mental, financial, and physical wellness needs, here are a few trends we’ve learned administering them: 

  • 60% of funds are spent on physical, 15% on financial, and 25% on other needs. 
  • The most common eligible expenses are apparel, gym memberships, workout equipment, and fitness apps/trackers. 

Watch our Benefits podcast episode below to learn more about LSAs!

Creating a culture of psychological safety

Psychological safety is a vital component to a successful workplace. As this Fast Company article puts it, “Psychological safety isn’t about being comfortable all the time. It’s about embracing the discomfort.” One study found that increased psychological safety in the workplace led to more effective communication, better retention, and increased team performance. 

Human resources teams are also focusing on this in relation to return-to-office plans, since another survey found lower rates of psychological safety among onsite employees versus those who work remotely or are hybrid employees. There are a few ways you can improve psychological safety in the workplace, such as increasing training and normalizing vulnerability.

Developing a growth-oriented mindset

With U.S. unemployment at 3.7% (not far from its lowest mark in 50 years), employers have every reason to look inward to fill needs. And, from an employee perspective, employers need to do everything they can to retain the great employees they have. That means supporting growth and matching emerging opportunities with the right people. 

Soft skill development will also be crucial as we move into 2023. It will be key to find ways to create continuous learning opportunities and create space in your budgets for employees to pursue professional growth at conferences or seminars. Some conferences have continued to offer a virtual option which cuts down on travel and hotel expenses, so give employees the dedicated time they need to virtually attend.  


Want to learn more about how you can support your employees? Check out our employee wellness guide below!

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The information in this blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, you should consult your own legal counsel, tax and investment advisers. 

WEX receives compensation from some of the merchants identified in its blog posts. By linking to these products, WEX is not endorsing these products.

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