Organizations are very conscious about ensuring the happiness and well-being of their employees. With a significant segment of the workforce working remotely since 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:
This is about maintaining the physical fitness and well-being of employees so that they do not fall sick and become less productive.
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.
Studies have shown that healthier and fitter employees can contribute more to the growth and profitability of the organization.
Healthier employees are also likely to be more innovative and better at problem-solving.
Hence, 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.
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 throughout the day, poor posture, unhealthy eating habits, and improper work schedules.
Over time they might also get lifestyle diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiac problems.
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.
This can lead to depression and lifestyle diseases in the long run or even aggravate existing conditions.
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.
Hence, the emotional support of coworkers cannot be underestimated. This growing sense of isolation can also lead to depression in the long run.
The wellness needs of remote employees are relatively unique and must be addressed accordingly.
So, here are a few wellness ideas that can prove helpful for organizations in this context:
1. Ergonomic Workspace Solutions
2. Virtual Fitness Sessions
3. Digital Wellness Platform
4. Wellness Contests and Rewards
5. Virtual Counselling and Support
6. Good-for-Soul/ Just-for-Fun Meetings
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.
Hence, organizations should choose to partially or fully finance ergonomic furniture for their ‘Work from Home’ employees to address this common health issue.
Another common and effective way for organizations to ensure the physical well-being 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.
Organizations can also 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.
Organizations could look at instituting wellness-related rewards to encourage employees to involve themselves in various fitness activities.
This could be 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 generally for wellness, this initiative can be made fun and exciting for the employees.
The mental and emotional wellness of Work-from-home employees is of paramount importance to organizations.
Hence, they should arrange webinars with well-known wellness experts and counselors to build awareness about mental health.
Employees should also be given the option of scheduling one-on-one sessions with the counselors.
A helpline for immediate assistance might be a good idea.
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.
Such meetings aim to provide a forum for employees to indulge in informal chit-chat and friendly banter with their colleagues.
When conducted informally, participants can let their hair down and show their fun side in these meetings.
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 can contribute to business growth.
Lead author: Sagar Chaudhuri, the Co-Founder and CEO of HiFives. He is an HR Tech Evangelist with over 25 years of experience in the corporate world and entrepreneurship. In the past, Sagar has worked with companies such as Genpact, Infosys, and ICICI Bank, in leadership roles. He has an engineering degree from IIT Kharagpur and an MBA from IIM Lucknow. Connect on LinkedIn
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