Adjusting Wellness Benefits for Remote Workers

Traditional Wellness Benefits

Wellness programs have been a growing trend over the past few years and a major component of many organization’s wellness programs was in office benefits and perks, such as midday yoga classes, discounted gym memberships, walking meetings, health seminars, free healthy snacks in the break room, etc. With the outbreak of COVID-19, a majority of organizations transitioned their workforce remote and, moving forward, many are planning on keeping a large portion of their employees working remotely.

This means that changes have already been made to wellness benefits, and they will need to continue to evolve based on the reality of today. However, there is more to it than simply transitioning traditional wellness benefits into the virtual world. Many traditional benefits were created to address pre-COVID wellness concerns. Employers priority now will be to adapt their offerings to fit what a remote workforce in a post-COVID world needs.

Wellness Benefits for a Post-COVID World

Previous benefits do translate well into a virtual environment, such as virtual yoga, virtual water cooler chat groups, and free subscriptions to mental health apps, but these are best when combined with customizable, remote options. Listed below are some great wellness strategies and points to consider from HRDive:

  • Offer split scheduling options, especially for those with children under the age of 12 and for those caring for other family members.
  • Offer access to both online and in-person employee assistance programs and resource groups.
  • Provide access to online healthy cookbooks and even signup as a team for online cooking classes.
  • Educate on and promote healthy remote-work habits. This could be habits such as working for 90 minutes and then taking a 20-minute break to step away from the computer and move around or declaring a daily employee wide quiet hour with no meetings, emailing, or messaging to allow everyone to focus.
  • Get employees active by encouraging them to sign up for virtual team runs. You could also have them sync their Fitbits or Apple Watches and have step competitions.
  • Communicate with employees about creating work-life balance. Remind them that they do not have to respond to emails right away or even check their email past office hours. Emphasize the importance of “ending” workdays and stepping away from their home office.
  • One of the most important steps for employee health and wellbeing is to ensure employees do not feel isolated. Incorporate virtual lunch-and-learns, do weekly or even daily check-ins, have employee virtual game nights, or relaxed coffee hour meetings where everyone just catches up before the workday begins.

Remote workers struggle the most with work-life balance and burnout, so your goal should be to create wellness benefits that prioritize these areas. You should also consider talking to your employees or sending out a survey to learn what kind of remote wellness benefits they are looking for. What is important is that you offer customizable options and provide maximum flexibility as employees service their wellbeing needs.

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