Employers around the world are adapting to new measures being taken by communities to limit the spread of COVID-19. This temporary “new normal” involves more people working from home, which can potentially worsen individual health by greatly limiting options for physical activity and social interaction. By adapting wellness solutions for this unique situation, companies can ensure that economic losses are minimized thanks to a healthy workforce that can continue to perform job tasks at optimum levels.
Even employers that are familiar with adapting wellness benefits for remote workers may find themselves needing to expand support due to COVID-19’s widespread effects. While there is an obvious need to maintain optimum physical health to combat the illness, all areas of an employees’ well-being—mental, emotional, financial, and social—are suffering under the current business closures, economic slowdown, and social distancing recommendations.
To boost employee engagement, strategize remote support by addressing a variety of health and wellness concerns:
- Provide Health Education – Thanks to social distancing, social media and internet use has increased substantially; more people are viewing and sharing health articles and news, especially ones related to COVID-19. As a result, it can be even harder for employees to find accurate information online. Employers can proactively provide their teams with reliable, evidence-based health information that is backed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), or leading research institutions.
- Encourage Physical Activity – It’s easy for employees to become sedentary when they are inside for most (if not all) of the day. Employers can provide resources for employees that make it easier to exercise inside their homes. Virtual fitness classes are an economical option that can deliver an immediate impact across a remote workforce. Another great way to promote physical activity is through a digital wellness challenge, which can help employees feel more connected while working from home and provide extra motivation to live a healthy lifestyle in the current environment.
- Promote A Nutritious Diet – With restaurant restrictions and under-stocked stores, it can be easy to turn to take-away meals and snacks that are not as nutritious. However, more time at home provides employees with an opportunity to try making new dishes and incorporate frozen and canned foods to utilize items already on hand. Employers can support their teams by creating forums for recipe sharing, providing links to cooking blogs and videos, or by launching a company-wide challenge that encourages people to make healthy food choices.
- Foster Social Connectivity – Social distancing doesn’t have to equate to social isolation. Employers can organize a team-wide challenge or competition to provide employees with a healthy and stimulating outlet. Another strategy for strengthening social relationships is to encourage employees to schedule a virtual lunch or happy hour with colleagues.
- Offer Emotional Support – A rapid transition to a remote work environment can create emotional distress for employees, especially with schools, childcare facilities, and other institutions shutting down or limiting access. Employers can help their teams practice daily mindfulness activities that reduce stress and anxiety, improve performance and productivity, and increase overall well-being.
Wellable’s COVID-19 Solutions
In response to the workforce changes precipitated by COVID-19, Wellable offers turnkey, budget-friendly solutions that can be quickly and easily deployed to a dispersed workforce and address various areas of health.
- Wellness Challenges – These company-wide programs are an excellent way to engage employees in holistic well-being through team or individual competitions, interactive and educational content, and motivating rewards. Using a mobile-first platform, these challenges are ready for remote access and participation. They can also support social well-being and mental health by maintaining connections with coworkers, encouraging camaraderie, and providing a sense of structure to employees’ health goals while gyms and other fitness programs are temporarily closed down.
- Wellable Live – This virtual wellness program provides daily activities for remote workers as well as their family members (which can be especially beneficial with everyone together at home). The activities include fitness classes, mindful meditation sessions, and educational seminars. The events cover different exercises and practices each day to boost activity levels, support mental health, and educate users. Participants can choose to livestream the activities, which can provide much-needed structure to new at-home routines, or choose to watch previously recorded classes that are most relevant to them.
- Webinars – These educational presentations are hands-on and custom-created to connect with employees and instill lasting healthy habits. Discussion topics are completely customized and include healthy eating, weight loss, ergonomics, behavior modifications, stress management, fitness, and more!
- Health Content – Curated, evidence-based health tips are sent via text messages, digital flyers, and email newsletters. As more people are engaged with the news surrounding the medical community during these times, this can be a great way to take advantage of employees’ increased interest in health-related content while ensuring they’re accessing trusted sources.
By utilizing a mix of remote solutions, employers can mitigate some of the immediate effects that COVID-19 is having on well-being and productivity. In the long-run, this extra dedication to wellness will improve individuals’ job satisfaction and personal commitment to healthy habits.