The risks of the COVID-19 pandemic have changed the workplace dramatically. Almost all industries suddenly made an overnight leap to working from home. And telecommuting has been seen as the work setup of the future.
It’s no surprise, however, that a big shift in workplace norms and in daily routines can eventually feel exhausting and monotonous. Employee engagement might also be dampened. Fortunately, with some thoughtful changes and intentional work by HR, that’s easily fixed!
These six employee wellness ideas can help boost engagement, as well as mitigate risks and vulnerabilities so that you can increase your employees’ productivity, efficiency, motivation, and energy when such need arises.
- Organize an online workout or yoga class.
Workouts, yoga and meditation are all activities that alleviate stress and are helpful in keeping both the mind and body active. As we all know, remote work can be tough at times and employees are more often than not pressed for time beating deadlines constantly. These activities can be an effective way to incorporate self-care and wellness into their daily routines so that your team members do not always have to feel bad about eating or from working too much. Set up classes on Zoom which your remote employees can enjoy. Allot a time in a day where you can do this. Remote teams can do it in sessions whenever any of the activities can be squeezed in their schedules.
- Do charades or online wheel of fortune.
To give employees some time off or just to break the ice and tension in the remote workplace, you can try organizing charades where you can divide teams and proceed with the game. Charades is a crowd favorite and it is a basic one that can be transcribed or integrated into your Zoom teleconferences easily. Once you have divided the teams, Google a charades idea generator to choose words and phrases which can stir the fun in the game. The person acting out the topic or charade at hand shall be on the Zoom spotlight feature so everyone can see it, their team, of course, has to figure out and debunk in one minute. This is a great way to practice teamwork and critical thinking skills which can be beneficial to spike the energy in the remote workplace.
- Offer smoking or alcohol cessation programs
For team members who smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol on a daily basis or at an uncontrollable frequencies, a pep talk might just be their lead to wellness and a new lifestyle. Employees who smoke and drink can potentially cost their employers money for health issues so webinars and interactive activities that aim to lessen these cases can help. Ensure that your steps here are properly guided by lifestyle experts or coaches as well as pharmacological assistance to reap greater benefits.
- Make room for challenges.
Water challenges, 30-day diet challenge, and biggest loser were known to be successful in terms of promoting physical exercise and hydration within the virtual workforce. The thing that makes this a great part of your wellness program is that it establishes a company culture and motivate employees to reach their goals, consult their colleagues and simply improve their wellness habits.
- Free parking for bike riders.
This is becoming a trend since most companies are slowly reopening and are already allowing their workforces to go back to the physical office. To spearhead their wellness, you might want to encourage alternative transportation. For example, you can do bike sharing or proceed with public transportation incentives. Not only is this a good move for your company and helping your employees save money and be fit, it also practices sustainability which is good for your employment branding and reputation as a whole. If it is also possible you can provide free parking spaces for those wanting to bring a bike to work. Steps that highlight sustainability and environmental responsibility are always loved by both employees and clients.
7. Check in!
Lastly, make sure you’re frequently communicating with your team! Regular check-ins are a great way to foster positive speech, empathy and establish an open employee communication system. It is basically a virtual roundtable discussion where your staff and employees can share what they are feeling at the moment of reporting. They can also throw into the table a recent realization, a funny anecdote or story, an innovative way to do or perform their jobs, a new hobby or recipe they just discovered, or a basic and simple fun fact.
The objective of check-ins is to create an open discourse where they can share and be listened to. This, hopefully, will be able to reveal issues they might be facing real time. Check-ins can reduce certain feelings of loneliness or stress in these tough times. Another way to gauge employee feedback is with pulse surveys, which can also be done anonymously for more candid feedback on sensitive subjects.
Whether physical or virtual, employees definitely have to have the heart for wellness and these tips just might help you with that.
Guest contributor: Aussy Aportadera is pursuing the unhurried life in the beachside town of La Union, Philippines. After a career in communications and publishing for luxury lifestyle, food, and wine, she is now a yoga teacher and co-owner of a ceramics brand