As we are entering 2022, we take the chance to look back on the past year and everything that happened. The Covid-19 pandemic continued its grip around society as it did in 2020. The sense of crisis might have been milder than in the previous year. A state of normality formed, even though we continued to live by all the different limits of restrictions and regulations interrupting our everyday life.
As the leading benefit solution in the Nordics, we can see that health and well-being have become more and more important for our customers and users through the pandemic. Health benefits raise more and more interest and companies have realised the need to adapt and update their benefit provider during the year, not only at the year end.
Physical exercise has always been seen as a great way to stay in shape and to keep healthy. As the pandemic hit, many of our routines came to a halt. Gyms and sport arenas were closed down or at least limited how many people could enter them at the same time. Limited access to physical activities has led to a decrease in physical activity around the world, and less people have been active on a regular basis.
We looked at what was purchased the most with sport benefit during 2021. We saw that Gym training has stayed as the most popular way of physical exercise, despite all the restrictions. It has been the most popular way of using sport benefit in Finland as well as in Sweden. The wellness allowance in Sweden was used to pay for a gym membership or other group training activities by 25 % of all Epassi’s users.
In Finland, ski centers are the runner-up for the title of most popular sport activity. Sweden differed here since swimming was the runner up there, closely followed by Padel. We can, of course, also see that online training has increased in popularity in both Finland and Sweden. Online training has become increasingly popular which can be attributed to the pandemic. Online training provides employees with a great way of exercising in a safe environment. It is also very flexible and makes it easy to adapt your training schedule to your personal circumstances.
Taking care of your mental health might be more important now than ever before. Between coping with national (or regional) regulations, staying healthy and keeping a reasonable work-life-balance when working from home, it is not surprising to see that our mental health might have suffered during the pandemics. A high amount of people have felt lonely and isolated, especially in urban areas, already before the pandemic. These numbers have increased rapidly during the last few months.
A lot of people have a limited number of social circles, and their workplace might be their only place for a daily social encounter. As the pandemic hit and businesses moved to remote working, people were cut off from their usual social circles. A sense of isolation soon followed. This has led to an increase of issues such as anxiety and depression.
One way to cope with stress and anxiety is to make sure there is room for recovery and relaxation. This could be done through massages, which explains why having a massage was the most popular way to use well-being benefit in Finland. In Sweden massage has always been in the top for usage of the wellness allowance, and 2021 has not been an exception.
We are now entering a new year with continued limitations and regulations for our everyday life. It is important to remember to make sure that your team members are feeling well and have proper conditions to maintain their well-being.
The digital benefit solutions offered by Epassi are a great match for facing the new normal; fully digital, pay as you go and supporting existing ways of offering benefits. Epassi is the leading benefit solution in the Nordics. We strive to keep growing and meeting the needs of our customers and users. As a forerunner, we take pride in our advanced technology solutions and are accelerating our development to become even better.