• Richard Burner

Remote Workplace Wellness

Workplace Wellness - While Remote

What is wellness to a company?

According to the CDC “Workplace health programs are a coordinated and comprehensive set of health promotion and protection strategies implemented at the worksite that includes programs, policies, benefits, environmental supports, and links to the surrounding community designed to encourage the health and safety of all employees.”

Employee wellness can affect every aspect of the workplace. This is especially important for remote workers because unwell employees are typically more isolated from co-workers. And unwell employees experience problems in their living environment, not just their workplace environment. When employees are ill or experience stress, it can lead to more serious health problems in the long-term. Poor health causes sick days, doctors’ visits, hospital stays and costly medical procedures.

Incorporating employee wellness programs can help reduce the effects of workplace stress and encourage employees to make healthy choices.

Employee wellness can severely affect productivity and performance. Healthy and happy employees are more productive at business. Which ultimately results in meeting objectives, achieving business goals and delivering quality work. Employee wellness plays a role in reducing workplace stress and overworking and encourages a healthy work-life balance.

Benefits of wellness programs

Setting up wellness programs for your employees comes with many benefits. First, it can save on corporate healthcare costs, and second, wellness programs motivate and encourage employees to achieve healthy outcomes. Several more benefits come from establishing an employee wellness program:

  • Wellness programs help motivate employees to make healthier choices and provide support and care to mentor employees throughout their progress.

  • Employee wellness programs help companies save on overall health insurance costs and provides ways for employees to save money on company health benefits and wellness appointments.

  • Workplace health and wellness programs can integrate team building activities, retreats and team training events educating them on mindful approaches to collaboration in the workplace.

  • Employees who participate in wellness programs at work are more productive and alert as these types of programs provide ways for employees to improve their lifestyle. With better health comes more alertness, energy and stamina, which can result in higher levels of productivity.

A comprehensive approach

An end to end approach puts policies and interventions in place that address multiple risk factors and health conditions concurrently and recognizes that the interventions and strategies chosen may influence multiple organization levels including individual employee behavior change, organizational culture, and the worksite environment. It is important for the overall workplace health program to contain a combination of individual and organizational level strategies and interventions to influence health. The strategies and interventions available fall into four major categories:

  • Health-related programs—opportunities available to employees at the workplace or through outside organizations to begin, change, or maintain health behaviors.

  • Health-related policies—formal or informal written statements that are designed to protect or promote employee health. They affect large groups of employees simultaneously.

  • Health benefits—part of an overall compensation package including health insurance coverage and other services or discounts regarding health.

  • Environmental supports— refer to the physical factors at and nearby the workplace that help protect and enhance employee health. Additionally, comprehensive workplace health programs can benefit from community linkages that are partnerships with surrounding community organizations to offer health-related programs and services to employees when the employer does not have the capacity or expertise to do so or provide support for healthy lifestyles to employees when not at the workplace. Within this framework and approach any number of specific health risks (e.g., physical inactivity, poor nutrition, tobacco use, stress), conditions (e.g., obesity, musculoskeletal disorders, mental health), and diseases (e.g., heart disease and stroke, diabetes, cancer, arthritis) can be addressed.

Get our ultimate guide for the 20 essential elements of an effective Workplace Wellness Program

4 Simple Steps to get started

1. An assessment to define employee health and safety risks and concerns and describe current health promotion activities, capacity, needs, and barriers.

2. A planning process to develop the components of a workplace health programs including goal determination; selecting priority interventions; and building an organizational infrastructure.

3. Program implementation involving all the steps needed to put health promotion strategies and interventions into place and making them available to employees.

4. An evaluation of efforts to systematically investigate the merit (e.g., quality), worth (e.g., effectiveness), and significance (e.g., importance) of an organized health promotion action/activity.

Best practices for managers when integrating wellness practices for a Remote workforce

When incorporating an employee wellness program, it’s important to maintain best practices that will encourage employees to use the program. For instance, offering healthy snacks or our Work from Home Kits, to help teammates from reaching for processed snacks. The following key points provide several approaches for ensuring best practices when establishing a wellness program.

  • Team leaders can set examples by practicing healthy habits and behaviors, and avoid overworking and burnout, emphasizing a healthy work life balance

  • Managers can incorporate motivational techniques to encourage employees to incorporate health and wellness routines and practices at work

  • Allow employees to provide their input and share their ideas for creating a health-conscious work environment and company culture

  • Create a mindful company culture focused on making health and wellness a part of the overall work environment rather than simply introducing a wellness program as an extension of company health benefits

  • Implement daily or weekly communications to answer employee questions, offer additional support and to share ideas for improving health and wellness

Get our ultimate guide for the 20 essential elements of an effective Workplace Wellness Program

Employee wellness FAQs

Because of the variety of approaches to integrating an employee wellness program, consider these factors when creating yours:

What are some examples of employee wellness programs?

There are many different options for incorporating wellness programs in the workplace. The following three ideas are examples wellness programs for the workplace:

  • Providing healthy snacks, and popular beverages (coffee, tea, and coconut water, etc)

  • On demand Fitness videos and classes that emphasis body weight workouts

  • Employee assistance: Incorporate employee assistant programs so that your staff can contact counselors when they feel they need additional support or if they need to seek out additional resources for coping with stress and other mental health issues.

How can employee wellness programs benefit employers?

Employee wellness programs benefit employers by lowering overall corporate healthcare costs and reducing the number of sick days or personal days employees take off to address healthcare issues and illness. A wellness program helps to incorporate a mindful approach to managing a business so employees feel comfortable and safe when making healthy changes in their lives.

Are wellness programs tax deductible?

Wellness programs can be tax-free for employees and tax-deductible for employers or freelancers. Wellness programs can lower the overall costs of healthcare premiums, especially if these programs are part of a corporate benefits package. If employers pay for a portion of their employees’ health insurance premiums, this portion can be written off as a company expense on corporate taxes.

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