Unlock 2.0 is underway in India and businesses are starting to come to normal. However, the process is expected to be a long one and will likely take place in phases. So remote working will remain valuable for some time to come. Some businesses may continue with it even after complete normalcy; however, it remains to be seen how much time it will take to reach that stage. At a time like this, the need for effective and easy to implement employee wellness programs can’t be emphasized enough. However, the expectations out of employee wellness programs for remote workers in the current scenario would definitely see several changes from a normal corporate wellness program.
It’s about re-inventing corporate wellness to suit the current scenario. So whether it is providing remote workers with necessary resources now or building employee wellness programs keeping the future needs in mind, it is important for HR managers and leaders involved in the process to come up with something that serves the purpose of providing remote workers with motivation, engagement, entertainment, and mental and emotional support that will play as a catalyst to enhance productivity.
The freedom that people were used to before the pandemic seems so distant now. There are far greater restrictions on how and where people work. Maintaining employee wellbeing has never been more important. Working from home has a lot of downsides as well that need to be addressed and controlled. People can start feeling anxious staying at home for such a long time. Working at a particular pace can become more difficult than it usually is. However, there is no need for either companies or their remote employees to bother about taking control of the situation and ensuring that these testing don’t get the better of them. A well thought-out wellness program for remote employees that includes simple yet effective measures can help remote teams to stay physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy. Here are a few possibilities that companies can include in their employee wellness programs for far-reaching results:
You might also be interested to read: Measuring The Benefits Of Employee Wellbeing Programs
Employee Wellness Programs#1 Streaming fitness classes
Employers can stream fitness classes and ask remote workers to build a fitness routine of their own. When everyone submits their routine, they can decide upon something that is easy to do for everyone. Make self-reporting compulsory so that everyone follows the routine to whatever capacity they are able to. Even some physical workout everyday can go a long way in keeping remote workers physically fit. The same way, employers can even ask their employees to meditate or perform yoga or do other exercises for improving the mental health of employees. To encourage togetherness amongst employees, employers can ask them to perform physical and mental exercises together virtually. Create a more competitive environment by introducing fitness challenges from time to time.
#2 Health and wellbeing hub
Employers should make sure that their wellness program includes making healthy resources easily accessible to their remote team. They can maintain a digital hub of sorts and share it through Google Drive or a Slack channel. They can ask their employees for suggestions regarding their favorite nutrition and fitness sites and gather all the resources in the hub. They can go an extra mile to make it easy for their remote workers to work on their health at home. They can offer online subscriptions to their employees to make it really easy for them to stream workouts or healthy recipes whenever, wherever they are without bothering about subscription costs. Another way to fill that information hub up is to ask the remote team to submit videos or photos of their favorite recipes that are on their menus more often than not.
#3 Meetings for the soul
Working from home is not at all easy, more so when going out is not too wise an option. So even when they aren’t working in the office, they may still want to be a part of the team. Unnecessary meetings are unwanted and uncalled for. However, virtual meetings held once in a while can help employees become emotionally engaged, something which is very important for the satisfaction of employees, especially the remote ones. Employers can create a breakroom vibe by asking employees to schedule virtual coffee or snack breaks to discuss things apart from work. Employees can also be asked to show their playful side by sharing their hobbies with other team members or showing their remote workplace at home. The objective is to make employees feel connected.
#4 Mindful breaks
Remote workers have a tough job of adjusting to a new way of working during this pandemic outbreak. Employers need to ensure that their employees are taking extra care in creating a productive work environment at home. Having said that, regular breaks are equally important for productivity. Working from home is itself quite a tough adjustment to make in such a short span of time. So if employees are asked not to take regular breaks, which they were allowed earlier in the office, the productivity may take a hit instead of going up. Putting in the hours is one thing and asking employees to work hours on a stretch is another. This could lead to remote workers overworking and burning out. To do away with this, employers should make it amply clear to all the remote employees that breaks still apply.
#5 Counseling assistance
Employers can offer their remote workers a healthcare package that covers their expenses for seeking assistance from counselors, psychologists, and other such healthcare professionals that offer round the clock support for mental health and wellbeing. This is a necessity in today’s times as work stress and the stress that comes from seeing everything that’s happening around can start taking a toll on one’s mental health.
A well-built mental wellness program can go a long way in building employee confidence, improving their health and wellbeing, keeping them engaged, and making them more productive.
You might also be interested to read:
- “10 Easy Wellness Program Ideas for Remote Workers” by Marielle Leon 18 May 2020
- “COVID-19 Employee Wellness Toolkit” by Wellable