Organizations are very conscious about ensuring their happiness and well-being. Hence, they come up with well-developed wellness programs and facilities at the workplace. However, with the majority of the workforce working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations need to relook at their employee wellness programs. They should consider different employee wellness ideas for Work from Home.
There are typically 2 areas of wellness that should be considered by the organization as part of employee wellness programs:
1. Physical Wellness
This is about maintaining the physical fitness and well-being of employees so that they do not fall sick and become less productive.
2. Mental/ Emotional Wellness
This type of wellness focuses on enabling employees to handle stress and anxiety better and ensuring that they can have a more relaxed and fulfilling work and personal life.
Employee wellness is directly correlated to their productivity, the quality of work and the customer experience delivered by them. Various studies have shown that healthier and fitter employees are able to contribute more to the growth and profitability of the organization.
Healthier employees are also likely to be more innovative and better at problem-solving. They are likely to create a more positive work culture with a high degree of camaraderie.
They also tend to stay calm and focused during a crisis and overcome work-related challenges more effectively and efficiently. On the other hand, less healthy employees might result in lower productivity, absenteeism, lower quality of work, missed deadlines, poor customer experience and poor teamwork.
Organizations need to understand that the wellness issues faced by their remote employees might be different from those faced by their on-site employees. While they might be safe from infectious diseases such as COVID, there are other issues that they might be facing:
1. Obesity and Lifestyle Diseases
Most employees working from home are known to develop body pain, stiffness and weight gain over time. These problems often stem from the lack of movement through the day, poor posture, unhealthy eating habits and improper work schedule. Over time they might also get lifestyle diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiac problems.
2. Anxiety and Stress
Employees who work from home often suffer from higher levels of stress and anxiety as compared to their in-office co-workers. Multi-tasking between various work-related tasks and household chores might increase their stress levels significantly. The pay cuts and the lack of job safety can often result in high levels of anxiety. This can lead to depression and lifestyle diseases in the long run or even aggravate existing conditions.
3. Sense of Isolation and Depression
Employees working from home would typically work on their own. The lack of informal interaction with co-workers might make them feel isolated and demotivated. The emotional support of coworkers cannot be underestimated. This growing sense of isolation can also lead to depression in the longer run.
The wellness needs of remote employees are relatively unique and hence need to be addressed accordingly. Discussed below are some wellness ideas that can prove helpful for organizations in this context:
1. Ergonomic Workspace Solutions
One of the biggest physical wellness issues faced by Work from Home employees is that of body stiffness and pain caused by the use of uncomfortable and improper chairs and workstations. Organizations can choose to partially or fully finance ergonomic furniture for their Work from Home employees to address this common health issue.
2. Virtual Fitness Sessions
Another common and effective way for organizations to ensure physical wellbeing of their Work from Home employees is to arrange for virtual fitness sessions, either through live streaming or pre-recorded. These fitness sessions can range from Yoga, Pilates, Zumba and other forms of workouts either in an online group format or individually on-demand.
3. Digital Wellness Platform
Organizations can also look to invest in a digital wellness platform that provides employees with various articles, videos, tips and other resources related to health, fitness and nutrition. The platform should also have live chat support to address their queries and issues.
4. Wellness Contests and Rewards
Organizations could look at instituting wellness-related rewards to encourage employees to involve themselves in various fitness activities. This could be enabled through integration with various fitness bands or devices that employees might use.
Gamified leaderboards, contests and rewards for winners can further motivate employees to participate in fitness activities. Though targeted at wellness, this initiative can be made fun and exciting for the employees.
5. Virtual Counselling and Support
Mental and emotional wellness of Work from Home employees is of paramount importance to organizations. They can arrange webinars with well-known wellness experts and counsellors build awareness about mental health.
Employees should also be given the option of scheduling one-on-one sessions with the counsellors. A helpline for immediate assistance might be a good idea as well.
6. Good-for-Soul/ Just-for-Fun Meetings
Good-for-soul or Just-for-Fun meetings are gaining much popularity as an initiative for enhancing the emotional wellness of Work from Home employees. The objective of such meetings is to provide a forum for employees to indulge in informal chit-chat and friendly banter with their colleagues.
Conducted in an informal way, participants can let their hair down and show their fun side in these meetings. Conducting such meetings once a week can go a long way in reducing the stress and anxiety levels of employees and creating good team bonding.
These Employee Wellness ideas for Work from Home can help organizations ensure the well-being of their remote working employees and ensure that they continue to be productive and are able to contribute to business growth.
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