Living healthy in a virtual world. It’s easier said than done.
Our world is constantly changing, and with the COVID pandemic, we now have another challenge: how to keep employees healthy while in a virtual setting.
With many companies offering the option to work from home. Those once-great features of “on-site gym and healthy cafeteria” are no longer helping employees continue to stay healthy. In a previous article 5 Reasons a Quality Employee Wellness Program Matters, we discussed WHY it is good for employees. Now, let’s talk about HOW to accomplish it in a COVID world.
Here are 5 ideas about incorporating employee wellness in a virtual world.
5 Big Ideas to Inspire Virtual Healthy Living
1. Create Teams
It is important to make sure no employee is alone in their journey through healthy living. COVID has caused a rise in mental health issues. Creating teams (or utilizing ones that are already in place) helps employees can come together and lean on each other for support.
It can be hard to build relationships with your co-workers when you are only connected virtually. Teams provide employees to have a fun group where they can check in with each other.
Also, a team helps create accountability. Team members can decide and discuss fitness goals, talk about mental health, and encourage a work-life balance.
Just because everyone may be working from home, it doesn’t mean mental health should suffer. Being able to chat about life can brighten employee moral and resembles a sense of normalcy. We could always use a little more normal these days.
2. Virtual Challenges
Offer your employees different challenges they can compete in. This is a perfect idea if your office is composed of naturally competitive individuals.
You may even create incentives to get people motivated. It could be something as simple as “the team that wins gets to clock-out a half-hour early”.
Even for those who are not competitive it at least a group bonding activity. All while making sure employees are staying healthy.
Step Tracking Apps
A Step Tracking App allows employees to count their steps in challenges to see who can walk the most steps. You can have employees participate in teams or individually. Not only can you compete against your fellow employees, but you are also able to compete against other companies out there. Haven’t you always wanted to beat your competitor? Well, now you can!
With social distancing guidelines, 5K’s are not being held in person, however, there are Virtual 5K’s. Whether it’s for a charity or just to encourage healthy living in your employees, it’s a great way to get up and moving!
3. Offer Fun Activities
Before COVID-19, companies sponsored tournaments that emphasized the importance of staying active. Apply these to a virtual setting. While you may not be able to have your annual volleyball tournament, you can still offer fun virtual activities for your employees to participate in.
Virtual Yoga is a popular new COVID activity. Employees can take a break from work to take time to be active, all in the comfort of their own home. Yoga has many positives for employees in the workplace. It is a healthy way to let out the stress life is causing. Yoga also teaches breathing techniques that help relax the mind.
Virtual Health Fairs
Due to COVID-19 Virtual Health Fairs have been on the rise. They offer activities ranging from fitness classes to gardening tips. It is a more personal approach to healthy living because employees are able to participate in the activities they desire. A perk of these fairs being virtual is employees are able to join when it best suits them in their own environment.
Virtual Happy Hours
Kick back and relax with your co-workers. Virtual Happy Hours allows employees to bond with each other in a non-work environment. You can create fun theme nights and have employees participate.
Some ideas could be virtual trivia, the cup challenge, or even a virtual talent show. (Show off that secret hidden talent). One benefit of having virtual happy hours is: low cost to the employer and employees can relax while still feeling valued.
4. Encourage Healthy Eating Habits
Bring in a Nutritionist or Dietician
Pick a day and let a Dietician host a virtual meeting with employees to talk about healthy eating habits. A positive is because employees are working from home, they can apply the information they are learning right away.
Because employees have more time on their hands, offering virtual cooking classes not only fills the time, it also introduces a new skill to your employees. It takes the pressure off employees trying to figure it out on their own.
Create a Company Recipe Book
Remember when co-workers would bring in dishes to share with everyone? Do you miss it?
Create a recipe book within your company so that all employees are able to taste that delicious salad or meal you worked so hard perfecting. It also allows employees to try making different recipes out of their normal comfort zone. Best of all, it inspires employees to eat healthier.
With more people eating at homes these days, Virtual Cooking Classes are a great way to spice up that recipe book. This is an excellent way to show employees how to prepare healthy meals.
Another option could be to let employees show off their cooking skills and teach their co-workers how to make their favorite healthy dish.
5. Rest and Relaxation
Make sure your employees are taking time off. The line between work and home is being blurred these days. With employees having to work from home and be a parent, teacher, and activities director there is more added stress than in the past.
Because of this, it is very important to remind employees to take time away from work. Even if an employee doesn’t go on a fancy vacation, still make sure they take some time to get away from work. It is needed for an employee’s wellness and overall health.
It doesn’t matter if you adopt one of these ideas or all 5, the most important part of employee wellness is to care and communicate. If employees are getting the care they desire, then they are going to give more energy to the company. Living healthy isn’t just about counting steps or eating right, but also about making sure your employees are doing okay.