The most effective workplaces emphasize a sense of symbiosis: a mutually beneficial connection between employees and management. The workers provide their time and expertise, and in turn, the company doles out paychecks and health insurance. Although, in recent years, more and more companies are working to expand upon that relationship. One such method is through wellness programs, which offer employees a chance to improve their overall health and well-being. The idea is that a company's biggest resource is often those it employs, and giving these people opportunities to better themselves only enhances the bottom line. If your company's out of the loop, here are some of the programs worth adding to the office: The ins and outs of wellness programs Over the last decade or so, wellness programs have grown into a $6 billion industry. A survey by the RAND Corporation found that half of all companies with 50 or more employees have a program in place{I think this might be the link you wanted. Most businesses take them quite seriously, spending as much as $521 per employee, doubling amounts from just a few years ago. In all, these programs have helped some companies save as much as $250 million on medical costs over a 10-year span. Preventative care What's the best way to fight off an illness? Stop it before it ever begins. Companies across Canada are working with employees in order to better vaccinate themselves, either bringing flu shots into the office or paying for the procedure elsewhere (while giving people the necessary time off). They're also helping to prevent the spread of disease by teaching people proper techniques for covering their mouths and better enforcing the use of sick time. As an extension of all this, doctors are occasionally brought in to answer questions and promote the importance of self-care. Exercise programs Being stuck in an office chair all day doesn't give you a lot of time to work out. To help their employees maintain a more active lifestyle, some companies have organized daily or weekly exercise regimens. Whether it's simple stretching, table tennis, brisk outdoor jogs or contemplative yoga, these programs are giving people a chance to overcome the side effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Additionally, regular exercise has improved the overall focus and concentration of many workers. Holding classes In addition to exercising the body, businesses are also offering employees opportunities to work out their minds. At the most basic level, these classes are geared toward an actual profession, like refresher courses for bookkeepers. However, some of these classes have more universal applicability, like how to balance personal finances or cooking with healthier ingredients. Even something like sculpting or painting classes can bolster creativity and ignite new ways of thinking. Better food and snacks There's a tendency for a lot of office workers to simply eat whatever is most readily available. Unfortunately, that often means potentially harmful items like fast food. The solution, many companies have found, is to simply provide better food choices. That could mean something as simple as stocking the break room with fresh fruits and vegetables. Other employers have gone so far as to cater nutritious meals every week or on a per-month basis. Even swapping out coffee for tea can offer added health benefits.