BY LAUREN BEISTEGUI, ANALYST AND WELLNESS COMMITTEE LEAD
Over the past year, many industries have experienced change and the need to navigate new ways of working – including those that have completely transitioned to a remote work environment. When we are so focused on problem-solving and tackling these challenges head on, it is easy for a critical component of our lives to take a back seat: health and wellness.
In a fast-paced, ever-changing world, you may feel like there is never enough time. Or maybe you’ve found that you have more than enough time, but haven’t found an exercise alternative to your gym that is still closed. In either scenario, the importance of your wellness never changed; in fact, it probably grew.
Our overall health is comprised of several components, such as social, physical, emotional, and mental wellness, which all impact things like happiness, motivation, and productivity. This year has forced many of us to change our routines and find new ways to maintain our well-being.
For employers, this is an opportunity to support your employees by championing and encouraging wellness in your organization.
This year has forced many of us to change our routines and find new ways to maintain our well-being.
Ideas You Can Support and Promote Remotely
If you are looking for ways to create excitement around wellness and engage people within your organization, here are ten ideas to get you started.
Wellness Wednesdays – Provide information or resources via a weekly email or company forum update (Yammer/Slack, etc.) to keep wellness top-of-mind.
Virtual Movie / TED Talk Showing – Stream a movie or TedTalk through Microsoft Teams or Zoom and facilitate a discussion afterwards.
Bingo Cards – Create a bingo card of wellness activities to complete in a certain timeframe; this can even be a competition.
Wellness Challenges – Facilitate a challenge activity, such as a Step Challenge or Virtual 5K, for team members to track their steps/exercise.
Encourage Breaks: Puppy Parade – Host a Zoom or Microsoft Teams call and have team members with pets introduce their animal companions; bonus points: talk about how pets can help with stress management.
Recipe Learning Happy Hour – Send out ingredient lists the week before and host a Zoom call to teach team members how to cook a new meal.
Resources – Send links, infographics, and/or videos from credible sources to inform and encourage.
Positive Playlists – Create a positive playlist that can be shared (ex: Spotify) with others.
Podcast Discussions – Select a podcast episode and set up time to discuss key takeaways.
Digital Cookbook – Create a cookbook full of employee-submitted recipes.
Unleash Your Inner Wellness Champion From Afar
From March through May, the Sendero Wellness Committee utilized “Wellness Wednesdays” to provide information, resources, and opportunities to participate in virtual events. This agile approach allowed the team to address changing wellness needs over time. We discovered a few best practices for success:
- Balance your opportunities – Initiatives should be balanced between virtual events to connect with others in real-time and activities/resources that can be consumed or enjoyed individually at any time.
- Be flexible with timing – To account for differing schedules, choose different days and times for your virtual events, such as a mid-morning coffee break, over lunch, or during the early evening as a happy hour.
- Provide variation – Everyone’s wellness needs are different and change over time; provide resources and opportunities that cover different aspects of wellness, like mental and physical health.
The possibilities for wellness-related content and events are endless. Research ideas, brainstorm and encourage creativity with your team, and know that it is okay to experiment and pivot in order to find what works best for your organization.
Most importantly, your company culture should inform your planning – remember to listen to your people and seek to understand what they need and are looking for.
Your company culture should inform your planning – remember to listen to your people and seek to understand what they need and are looking for.