Are you struggling to offer health and wellness benefits for your work-from-home employees? Discover 5 remote worker benefits — from health apps to virtual socials.
Some organizations are beginning to open their offices post COVID-19, but many are continuing with remote and hybrid work options. However, working from home day after day can eventually take a toll on your employees’ health and wellness.
Buffer’s 2022 State of Remote Work reported some interesting statistics. When asked to choose all the reasons why they struggle with working from home:
- 61% say they are in more meetings after making the shift to remote work
- 45% feel that career growth is more difficult for remote workers to achieve
- 40% mention they are working more since they started working remotely
- 25% say they have difficulty unplugging outside of working hours as the office is always there
- 24% say they experience loneliness when working-from-home alone
How do you keep your remote workers healthy? From virtual happy hours to ergonomic home office setups, discover top wellness tips for the workplace.
Health issues impacting remote workers
When it comes to physical health, working from home comes with the risks of:
- Long periods of inactivity. Remote workers don’t have the opportunity to walk across parking lots; they also aren’t climbing stairs to meet with coworkers
- Head, neck, and shoulder pain from an incorrectly positioned computer screen, keyboard, and mouse
- Back pain as a result of using a non-adjustable, non-ergonomic chair
Remote wellness benefits should focus on both physical and mental health options. The American Psychological Association’s Work and Well-being Survey reported on the growing pressure and stress remote workers are facing. These issues are affecting both mental health and the ability to do one’s job. A sizable 71% of respondents say they feel stressed out and tense during the workday.
An HR department faces various administrative challenges when it comes to successfully rolling out the corporate wellness policy to remote workers. How can you and your company help support the physical and mental health of your remote workforce?
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Why traditional wellness strategies don’t work
Reporting on the business of well-being, Corporate Wellness Magazine noted that 80% of companies offered some kind of wellness benefits to employees. However, they also revealed that the majority were generic programs offered by their health insurance provider.
Corporate Wellness Magazine noted that 80% of companies offered some kind of wellness benefits to employees. However, they also revealed that the majority were generic programs offered by their health insurance provider.
Getting buy-in from staff means your wellness strategy needs more than simple health screening tests. Workers want customized options that engage with them on a personal level.
Having an on-site gym at the corporate headquarters or discounts to a local gym is fine for local office workers. However, employees working in another state, or another country, can’t take advantage of any on-site wellness benefits.
Wellness strategies remote workers can actually use
These 5 ways you can help promote remote worker health and wellness benefits.
1. Provide ergonomic equipment for home offices
A remote worker’s home office space is not set up like the corporate office. Cramped workspaces, makeshift furniture, and dimly lit rooms don’t usually contribute to a positive environment.
Share tips and resources to help your work from home staff set up their own ergonomic office space. Recommend items such as a good quality office chair or a dedicated desk lamp. An adjustable computer desk is another nice option.
2. Schedule regular social events
Virtual team building events let everyone come together to discuss a specific non-work topic. Anyone who’s interested can attend including office, remote, and hybrid workers. Then, roughly a week or two before the next social event, participants can vote to select the next movie or book.
Set up a regular day and time where everyone can gather in a virtual meeting space to discuss the selected movie or book. You can even encourage participants to enjoy a favorite drink or snack, such as candy or popcorn, to make the event more fun.
3. Offer telehealth app subscriptions
Virtual healthcare visits let workers meet with a psychiatrist or counselor at a time that works with their schedule. This also lets them address any mental health challenges from the comfort of home.
A telehealth app is one way to break the mold of a cookie-cutter wellness program. These apps can provide benefits that meet the needs of a diverse workforce. Virtual healthcare visits let workers meet with a psychiatrist or counselor at a time that works with their schedule. This also lets them address any mental health challenges from the comfort of home.
Calm, Talkspace, and What’s Up are a few of the more popular health apps currently on the market. Most of them have options for attending a therapy session via chat, text, or video.
4. Create special Slack channels
Slack’s Donut app lets you schedule a time to meet with coworkers. Once a week employees get paired to connect with one another. They agree upon a day and time to meet for about half an hour, and these informal coffee sessions happen virtually. Participants are free to talk about anything they want.
This is a great way to meet with coworkers on a one-on-one basis. At the end of the meeting, the employees take a screenshot headshot. The photo gets posted on the Slack watercolor channel to share with the entire team.
5. Set up virtual health classes
An ergonomically friendly office is a nice perk. But what if employees are still complaining of back pain and body aches? Yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates are all great ways to loosen tight muscles and help improve flexibility.
Instead of trying to get remote workers to the gym, bring the fitness class to their living room. On-demand virtual fitness classes are a nice option to offer work-from-home employees. They don’t need a lot of space to set up a yoga mat and follow a 30-minute routine.
Future of remote work
Opening your company to remote work lets you hire a global and diverse workforce. This means workers living across the state or in a different country will likely continue to work from home even after the pandemic is over.
Discovering ways to adapt your workplace wellness program can help address some of the challenges remote workers face. You can even roll out these remote worker benefits to workers transitioning to a work-from-home or hybrid option.