Free counselling, free financial and nutrition seminars, subsidised gym memberships, pilates, working from home, walking groups and sporting activities.
These are just a snapshot of some of the things businesses are offering to staff to
help increase mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.
In the wake of Covid-19, councils and businesses spoken to by NZME said it was crucial staff felt happy and supported.
The news comes as research by the Mental Health Foundation shows from December to February, 26 per cent, or about a million people, had low mental wellbeing.
Chief executive Shaun Robinson said workplaces had not escaped because they were a huge part of people's lives.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council people and leadership director Karen Aspey said the council ran a WorkWell programme that had achieved gold accreditation. Mental health and wellbeing were key focus areas.
Staff were also taking part in a month-long Wellbeing Passport Challenge, which included activities incorporating physical exercise, healthy habits and mental wellbeing.
Meanwhile, it had paid Toi Moana $26,681
in the 2019-20 financial year and $18,820 for the 2020-21 financial year to date for employee assistance programme services.
Tauranga City Council people and engagement general manager Susan Jamieson said one of the key practices that had a positive impact on staff health and wellbeing, post Covid, was a flexible working environment.
Other initiatives included better workplace and task design, resilience support, and helping leaders approach conversations around wellbeing, she said.
Figures show from July 2020 to the end of June 2021, the council spent $63,834 on OCP, an independent service provider with a network of professionals offering a range of wellbeing and counselling services. This had jumped from $38,939 during the same timeframe 12 months before.
Jamieson said use of the service has increased during the past few years.
''It would be safe to assume that Covid has played a part in that, as well as a greater general awareness throughout New Zealand of mental health issues and the availability of services to help.''
Rotorua Lakes Council organisational enablement deputy chief executive Thomas Collé said staff spent a lot of their life at work.
''A safe and healthy workplace means more than just productivity. Each council team member is part of our community and we know that a positive environment within the organisation will enable each person to enjoy life more outside of work.''
The council had been part of the WorkWell scheme developed by Toi Te Ora Public Health and achieved a Gold Standard Accreditation in 2018 that it still holds.
Free financial wellbeing and nutrition seminars, flu vaccinations, access to an occupational health nurse and support for national campaigns for health and wellbeing were just some of the activities on offer.
''Staff report changes as a result of the programme that include healthier eating, weight loss, increased physical activity and smoking cessation.''
From June 2019 to May 2020, 68 clients also took advantage of free, confidential and professional counselling services through Benestar, compared with 77 from June 2020 to May.
Western Bay of Plenty District Council people and customer services group manager Jan Pedersen said it offered a subsidised confidential counselling service for all staff.
The number of staff utilising those services has remained consistent over the past few years.
''The wellbeing of council staff remains a top priority.''
Last year it also introduced the WorkWell Programme to wrap around existing programmes.
Initiatives in place included flexible working arrangements, subsidised (after-work) pilates, discounted gym memberships, wellbeing guest speakers, wellbeing tools, healthy lunch options, lunchtime walking groups and other sporting activities, she said.
Toi Ohomai student and staff experience executive director Patrick Brus said overall there had been significant improvements in engagement levels and satisfaction after Covid-19.
Toi Ohomai had a range of wellness initiatives in place including free gym classes and discounted memberships, and a broad range of learning and development programs.
These encompass resilience and mental health support, as well as a dedicated wellness staff committee that promotes monthly health events and information for all employees.
Ministry for Social Development organisational assurance and communications deputy chief executive Melissa Gill said last year it launched Pā Harakeke, a wellbeing plan that included more than $3 million in funding for the next four years.
''We now have three staff members who are focused on developing wellbeing practices, and a programme of work that aims to further strengthen our capabilities in this area, including recognising and responding to mental health issues.''
Guidance and advice were also provided by its workplace mental health and wellbeing lead, who was a registered psychologist, alongside EAP counselling and other services like financial coaching.
Clients who were feeling overwhelmed, stressed or mentally unwell would be referred to the range of services offered by the Ministry of Health.
Zespri chief people officer Edith Sykes said during the pandemic it supported the mental health and resilience of its people by creating support initiatives to help people maintain their wellbeing.
''We introduced a global policy around flexible work to empower people to decide when and where they work, in the way that works best for them and their team. We also have confidential employee advisory services.''
In April Bay of Plenty recruiters said good workplace culture was "more than just fruit in the staffroom" and a tight job market meant employers were having to "pull out all the stops" to attract quality candidates.
Ryan+Alexander co-director Bernadette Ryan-Hopkins said at the time jobseekers were asking more up-front questions about an employer's attitude towards workplace wellbeing and flexibility.
"We had seen a tilt towards a greater focus on wellbeing in the past decade pre-Covid but it is more top of mind now that people have, in some instances, had a taste of a more balanced lifestyle during lockdown.''