Merely talking, many people emphasize more on the job than personal health, which is the reason why many employees face mental health issues more often. Moreover, during the outbreak of COVID-19, many companies have offered options for work from home. However, the frontline warriors daily face the risk of being affected, but still, as the situation is unlocking, they compulsorily have to work to save their jobs. Because with the risk of their lives, there also comes risks of jobs that they cannot ignore. In these times of economic loss, many leading organizations have stepped up in offering wellness programs for contributing to employee welfare.
What is the Remote Employee Wellness Program?
Employee Wellness programs are benefits that the employer offers their employees to foster them to stay healthy and improve their health. It is quite an indication from the employers that they look after their employees and want them to be energetic and happy while working.
Wellness programs can include ideas like yoga, meditation class, help them quit unhealthy habits, and many more to educate and bring awareness about health and hygiene.
Many companies have employee wellness policies stating guidelines to talk about programs, while many of them have started investing in such programs to help their employees during the lockdown.
Why is the Remote Employee Wellness Program Needed?
For some people, a job is always a priority over health. And that’s when issues of mental health and work-life disturbances occur. In other words, being sick makes an employee more unproductive in their work.
According to surveys from mental health, 1 of every 6.8 people suffer from mental health problems in the workplace, which constitutes 14.7% of the total. For a startup company, even this much health issue can obliterate the ongoing projects very much.
Concerning this and the outbreak of a pandemic, many companies have started to look at wellness programs as an employee welfare incentive for their employees to help them through their tough times.
Despite this, wellness programs also have the capability to attract more talent as it promotes the companies’ efforts they put for their employees. It can also be thought of as one of the ways to retain the best talents.
What is the Effect of COVID-19 on the Health of Employees?
People welcomed 2020 with an exciting enthusiasm, but it was nature’s call that this year-2020 is remembered as the “year of tragedies.” Since the outbreak, the governments have declared worldwide lockdown and such initiatives to secure public health. Companies have either shut down or accepted remote working to safeguard their employees’ health.
As we all are headed towards the “New Normal” workplace culture, more and more emphasis is put towards the remote working theory. And while putting that into work, it is noticed that employees nearly spend 3 hours more than they did at the office. It has liquidated the work-life balance of the employees and cost them their mental health.
Not only the provision for working remotely, but the rise of unexpected events has caused havoc in people’s minds and affected their mental health. It can be supported by the fact that more than 91 million people have lost their jobs by the end of April 2020, which can be seen through the figures stated in the graph below.
The fear of losing jobs also turned the employees’ morale down and pushed them into the dark. Many sectors have faced the turnover in job ratios, according to reports.
As a result, many companies have invested in though remote, but some exciting wellness programs to keep their employees encouraged while taking out equal work from them. It also lifts their mood and creates a positive perception of the company.
What are the Different Remote Employee Wellness Programs you can Offer your Employees?
It is evident that remote monitoring of employees is a little hard to follow, but providing welfare practices may not be. Wellness programs can range from virtual programs to bringing gym clubs to the offices. We have incorporated the lists of programs that you can offer virtually to encourage your employees while being at homes.
1. Working Flexibility
Your office hours may be fixed, but the remote work hours may not be. Although, while working from home, there may occur many disturbances like children playing around, TV sounds, and much more going on, due to which an employee may not be able to focus.
Try providing flexible hours while you can also observe if their total working hours are completed anyhow. This way, the stress that may happen can be minimized, and the employee can stay productive while following the orders.
If the plan works well, you can apply this to the office also. Because according to Flexjobs, 80% of the people selected job flexibility as the top factor while evaluating a job prospect. (source)
2. Virtual Counselling Programs
They say, “An empty mind is the devil’s workshop.” And the negative vibes of lockdown that we discussed above are already onto the people’s minds. Moreover, if they don’t find their colleagues around them, they will feel more depressed, and the perfect thing you can offer them is virtual counselling sessions.
The sessions will help them in building self-confidence, trust among coworkers, mental, and wellbeing support. It will eventually provide them the power to fight their negative thoughts and be more efficient in their work.
3. Habit-Correcting Challenges
People often fall into bad habits that degrade their lives until someone is there that supports them to leave. Habit correcting challenges helps the employees to quit habits that cause harmful effects on their health. The regular use of such challenges spread a healthy vibe around the office and, in turn, makes the employees more responsible.
Habits such as overeating, smoking, etc., can be reduced when the coworkers always remind them of the challenges. Further, on successful quitting, they can be rewarded too.
4. Remote Training Sessions
Since the lockdown, the schools and colleges have started teaching online, and it comes out to be very fruitful. Just like this, companies can offer various training sessions. The thought that companies provide virtual training sessions will eventually help in retaining talents and attracting more.
Offer them programs that help them in the current ongoing projects. Moreover, it’s for their own good and will help in more business productivity.
Not only technical training, but you can also offer training sessions with yoga and health experts to keep your employees encouraged and enthusiastic.
5. Virtual Yoga Class
After getting an international acknowledgment, Yoga is used as a therapy for many health issues. While working from home, virtual yoga classes can help employees make a habit of giving time to their physical fitness.
Moreover, due to more and more advancements in the automation field and increasing speed to complete the tasks in daily routines, people often forget to keep a check on their health and neglect the common issues.
Yoga has an inherent capacity to provide flexibility in the body, relieve stress, and refresh the mood. Everyday practices of performing yoga and meditation keep the mind calm even in the most challenging situations, thus giving more work efficiency.
6. Walking Challenges
Constantly working from home can make the employees sluggish and cut down their productivity. The most helpful way that also gives accurate results is to include your employees in walking challenges.
Motivate them to participate in the same and provide them daily challenges to pass through. It will also help build fitness and wellbeing activities, which employees may not do on their own. Further, employees can share the same on social media, and employers can set up appraisal rewards for them.
A group effort to every activity you do enhances the feeling and makes everyone happy to perform it.
7. Super Sundae
We always hear this word used on Sunday activities that freshen up the mood for another week. You might wonder how you can lighten up the employees’ week, as an employer.
Super sundae could be anything you can perform virtually, which helps employees and even their families participate and create healthy relationships with each other. That could include the virtual campfire, movie nights, dinner delights, and game sessions that employees enjoy.
8. Virtual Community Clubs
We have heard of clubs in which people engage and perform activities together. This club comprises various kinds of activities related to fitness and enjoyment that result in employees with full enthusiasm.
The HR and manager can take part in building one wellbeing club. They can create various groups on WhatsApp, teams, etc., to engage the employees and make them stay connected to all the updates.
It also helps employees build trust and healthy relations among coworkers resulting in a strong team effort for the job work.
9. Remote Lunch and Learn
We often heard of employees offered team lunches by their superiors for the extra efforts they put into work. It is always one of the appreciation ideas that employers think of for encouraging their employees.
Like this, employers can also gather everyone for virtual lunch and learn activity for everyone to share their ideas, any updates, any suggestions that might be felt hesitated to speak on before. Because the conversations over a plate of fries and burgers may not always happen over piles of files.
It can also help employees share ideas frankly over the virtual meet that could be impossible due to distance communication.
The Bottom Line
At last, I always feel that efforts made can never go empty. While people are struggling to make their living in the time of COVID-19, as an employer, it becomes your prime duty to find ways to stay connected to your employees.
A thought of how to handle living in these times can make employees depressed. Still, a small effort made to encourage them through various activities can make them feel powerful and, in turn, results in the process of improving the retention rate of employees.
Whether you start with a simple idea, you can always make a difference. And despite being in lockdown, employees can believe that they have chosen the right place for their wellbeing.