October 5th, 9:41 am
It’s never been more vital for organizations to foster the well-being of employees than now. This is especially vital in a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has forced a drastic change in the workplace landscape.
While work from home (WFH) has increased freedom and flexibility (no commute), along with that comes loneliness, burnout, and longer hours, which have increased productivity and health risks. Stress is no longer the exception but the norm as it’s difficult to disintegrate work from the already stressed personal life.
Heightened stress levels are a leeway to unhealthy lifestyles, land of human touch and engagement, and poor performance.
On that end, as a manager or team lead, it’s even more important to prioritize wellness for remote teams. Only teams that take this precaution are more likely to overcome the changes that come with these drastic changes. Such teams will be more equipped to overcome the challenges of the new workplace dynamic.
If this is a new undertaking for you as a manager, you may be wondering, “What are the best wellness activities for remote employees?" We make it easier by laying out some of our top select online wellness challenge ideas to get you started.
This article covers:
With remote working, most employees have lost access to their local gyms (or your company gym), walk less often, and perhaps feel the effects of a sedentary lifestyle working remotely. One of the best ways to encourage them to move is to get them access to virtual group fitness programs.
While memberships to on-demand fitness platforms are great to keep a remote team active, you may not be sure if your employees use them. If that’s your fear, hosting an ongoing fitness challenge would be a gamechanger. Here, you’ll be sure to meet your staff via video call and workout together with the instruction of a fitness instructor.
Steps challenges are the easiest wellness programs to organize and set up. All you need is to set a daily steps goal. Then the participants will use their smartphones, smartwatches, tracing apps, fitness trackers to keep track of the steps taken. Let your employees record progress and weekly share their progress. To make it fun, offer an incentive to the employees who hit a certain step goal.
Meditation techniques can help set your people up for a healthy mind and body. As a result, they’ll be more prepared to navigate stress and uncertainty in their personal and work lives. Consider morning meditation sessions, access to meditational apps, and sharing links to free meditation programs.
Take full advantage of our guided meditation programs to host a virtual guided meditation for your team.
Virtual yoga is one of the most overlooked wellness activities by managers and team leaders. But it’s one of the most effective and proven stress-relief techniques. You should hire an experienced yoga trainer to lead the sessions for maximum results.
Find out more about our Virtual Yoga Sessions.
One of your virtual wellness activities should be to get employees to eat healthier. To that end, consider hiring a nutritionist for a one-on-one consultation or set up several virtual workshops to support their dietary well-being.
Your colleagues are more likely to be cooking more often now but have significantly less time now. With a cooking class from an experienced chef (or better one of your employees who loves to cook), they can be inspired to take time off their busy lives and learn to make a special delight.
Refer here for some cooking classes.
As part of an individual's wellness program, consider offering a wellness package that includes psychologists, counselors, and therapists. This will focus on other areas of personal well-being that directly affect their work. To make it even better, let your virtual employees experience a complimentary session with the life coach so they can dive deep into their personal lives.
One way to bring mental health awareness to a team is by inviting specialists to facilitate seminars around that hot topic. You want to create a free space for your employees to speak out about mental health issues.
Goal sharing is one of the activities in your wellness program that can enhance sharing of personal milestones and enhance a collaborative spirit. Regular checkups with the team on this exercise ensure they encourage each other towards accomplishing goals.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good laugh to a person’s well-being. Standup comedy is a sure way to entertain your remote team once in a while. Look for a workplace-friendly comic for your next team celebration, virtual hour, meeting, or just set up a time specifically for your team to be entertained.
Online storytelling workshops for teams can be exciting and a perfect way to engage them. These sessions can be essential to build trust and enhance psychological safety and support for those who feel isolated.
The stress from working alone can make work dull and less motivational. But the fun, the games, can lighten this up. The fun will reduce stress, make your team more productive, creative, and ultimately more engaged. It does not matter whether you create regular games and retreats or incorporate simple games in your meetings. In all, the evidence that fun boosts productivity is compelling. That said, here are some fun and engaging games you can consider for your next virtual team building or meeting;
Find more fun Virtual Games.
Virtual happy hours, just like the happy hour at the bar, are social events to cultivate a team spirit by bonding and connecting employees. To make the virtual happy hour fun and engaging, you want to look for high-energy and hilarious virtual happy hour games. Some ideas your colleagues will love are: Virtual Trivia, Virtual Scattergories, Water or Not Water Game, Never Have I Ever, Name That Show, Virtual Talent Show, Two Truths and a Lie, and so many activities that you can find on the Virtual Happy hour collection.
If your remote workers can’t attend a Friday after-work gathering in person, it’s time to bring them together for fun online activities and a good meal. The remote food subscription is one of the perfect wellness activities for meetings, virtual events, or a treat.
Treat your employees to energy-giving, nourishing, healthy snacks to inspire them to live healthily. With a healthy snack pack delivery package, your employees can bite healthy snacks as they work. Some snack treats you can get started with include: nuts, baked chips, granola bars, organic fruit snacks, and more.
Everyone's individual mental health journey is different, and it may be influenced by other factors such as culture and environment. That’s why it’s important that everyone feels comfortable talking about mental health at work, regardless of where they come from or what they do.
Online book clubs are not only an enrichment to the employees’ personal growth but are also a great way to spend time together. Consider coming up with book reads for the month (or take suggestions from the team), then schedule a time to meet on Microsoft Teams and Zoom to discuss the takeaways.
Financial health forms a great part of the overall well-being of a person. Virtual employee financial wellness programs can include financial advisors’ meetings, financial literacy workshops, and other material that will enhance better financial management for your team.
Remote work isolation can diminish your coworkers’ well-being. Having a block of time to work with them silently or engaged in a project on Microsoft Teams or Zoom can eliminate the isolation. During this time, they can ask questions and exchange work-related conversations with each other.
Virtual team building brings teams together to achieve deeper bonds and create a collaborative workforce. The games and activities are all designed to be fun and fast-paced. This not only enhances communication in a team but also prioritizes their well-being. Purpose to also include wellness activities as part of your virtual team-building activities.
Curate a safe space for your list of resources that support mental health. It can include links to the websites containing employee health programs, mental health support, disability coverage, and more. You want to make these resources accessible to all your remote workers.
Especially now where there’s not much interaction with the outdoor life, your employees may feel that they have to slog it day after day. Unfortunately, this is leeway to burnout and the end of their social life. As your manager, you should create WFH guidelines that allow for days off. Similar to work from office life, employees need time off to recharge and handle any personal needs.
You may feel like every day is a grind to move, hit the goals, or pivot your business. But even then, it’s more important to ensure that your workforce is sharpening their skills and strengthening their growing appetite. In this thought, consider offering online learning sessions or paying for them a course for your remote team to complement or strengthen their work.
Group workshops are amazing, but sometimes your employees need one-to-one support to have their concerns catered for. Specialist access in your wellness program will ensure your people get the individual support they need.
Consider setting up small groups (of about six to eight) and encourage regular interaction in a safe space dedicated to health matters. Better yet, hire facilitators once in a while to coordinate mindfulness and personal development for these groups.
As a manager, it’s vital to pay close attention to how most of your employees work remotely. Most of them may not have a lot of social interaction. As such, most would appreciate and greatly value the opportunity to connect with others. A virtual buddy program will help your remote team feel the support they need to battle against mental health issues.
We’re a huge believer in having fun in the workplace. Fun is the key element to employee happiness. It creates a more positive mindset within the team, promoting higher levels of well-being and better mental health. As such, you must foster communities where employees can communicate freely and share funny and positive content. Aim to incorporate fun games and challenges in your meetings to eliminate boredom.
Healthy living is something you want to foster in your remote team. To enhance this, consider using health living credits to enhance employee health habits. You can think of simple health habits such as the drinking water challenge, where colleagues share their water-drinking progress throughout the day on a dedicated Slack channel.
Working remotely gives people the flexibility to work from anywhere couches to the kitchen counter. Unfortunately, if the working environment and the office equipment are not conducive for work, productivity and health are at risk. To ensure employees' workplaces are conducive, why not cover their wellness equipment and furniture?
Your team was used to having chats during their lunch break. You can bring back these memories by gathering your team to learn about a wellness topic. To make it special, let them bring their lunch as they listen and learn. Think of this one as one of the excellent wellness Wednesday ideas for remote employees. You can find a full blog dedicated to Lunch and Learn topics.
Working remotely hinders any separation of work and personal life. When the two are intertwined, you can expect disruptions on either. If you, as the manager, have no guidelines and demand that your team members work all the time of the day, you can expect a frustrated and burnt-out team.
Flexibility while working from home allows your team to work when they’re productive while still managing their everyday lives. Don’t underestimate the potential of an employee knowing they can pick up a child from school. This will drastically improve your team's mental health.
Working in a remote team comes with a unique set of challenges than working in an office setting. Without specific structures and systems, constant disruptions, and lack of human touch or engagement, an employee is at more risk of mental health issues and productivity challenges. With this in mind, it’s best as a manager to look for ways to motivate your remote team with virtual wellness activities. Our list of virtual employee wellness program ideas will empower your team’s health and wellness and foster a positive, happy, and productive remote team.
Hey, we're Onsite.fun. We're determined to help you organize and manage team building events that your team will love.
We're Joan & Jaume, co-founders of Onsite.fun. Two brothers that joined forces to make distributed teams more united than in-office. Onsite.fun is your one-stop shop to manage and organize team-building events company wide. We find the most remarkable activities online and wrap them on a suite of tools that make them easy and convinient to book for distributed teams.
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