2020 wasn’t the easiest year for the workplace, to say the least! With the stress of a global pandemic and an economic downturn, it's more critical now than ever that workplace wellness programs are provided.
How do we do that when almost everyone is working remotely from home? A lot of wellness initiatives are geared toward employees' physical health, which is important, a well-rounded wellness program should also focus on mental and financial health. With the benefit of new technology, it's actually never been easier to implement new wellness initiatives.
When it comes to wellness programs that help with physical health, some initiatives you could consider include:
● Allowing employees time to exercise. Whether it's inside on the treadmill or outside, it’s important to get some form of exercise during the day.
● Working from home gives you the opportunity to make healthy home cooked meals. Encourage employees to try eating something new and healthy throughout the week. Maybe start an online recipe board. According to WebMd, “More research is finding that a nutritious diet isn't just good for the body; it's great for the brain, too. The knowledge is giving rise to a concept called "nutritional (or food) psychiatry."
Focusing on mental health, some initiatives include:
● Organizing a daily/weekly web conference (Zoom, TEAMS, etc.) to talk about everyone's well-being. With everyone in lockdown, people may already feel alone. Having a conference call bringing people together to share their different experiences is a healthy way to help with the strain of the pandemic.
● Incorporate virtual initiatives such as wellness coaching to help with fitness or social events that bring employees together to help keep them connected and engaged.
● Providing access to online resources such as counseling services to help deal with all kinds of issues that people might be dealing with. From financial to relationship problems, these services can help anybody who needs it.
It’s never been more important for companies to have some sort of workplace wellness initiatives in place for employees that are working remotely.
While these are only a few ideas that employers could offer, there are many more that could be implemented. Companies are going to have to continue to develop better and more creative ideas to keep employees engaged, which should include a comprehensive wellness program.