Strategies for Successful Wellness with Remote Workers

Recently, more people are working remotely than ever before, although working outside of an office or without other employees is nothing new. Remote workers have always existed, including truckers, long-haul drivers, travelling nurses and even numerous airline staff.

Although not all remote workers use computers, many do. They all work in rather remote places with few, if any, co-workers, regardless of the type of work they undertake. They are frequently located outside of any corporate or centralised office. Remote working has evolved into a productive and acceptable option for people to earn a living without having to commute to a single location.

Offering a wellness program to remote workers, on the other hand, involves unique hurdles and obstacles that wellness programs only offered in centralized locations with onsite staff do not face.

This article will assist you in overcoming the most significant challenge in providing wellness programs to remote workers i.e a lack of physical, face-to-face interaction with other employees.

How do You Keep Your Employees Healthy While They’re Working from Home?

In order for wellness programs to successfully impact the lives of remote workers they must overcome several administrative challenges:

  • Getting access to all aspects of the wellness program can be tough. When personnel are dispersed, a biometric screening, for example, is significantly more difficult.
  • It’s difficult to find group support for healthy living without social engagement.
  • It’s simpler to develop healthy habits when you have the support and encouragement of others.
  • Team challenges are impossible to complete unless you can assemble a team.
  • Remote workers are unable or constrained in their ability to participate in wellness programs on-site.
  • It’ll be difficult to persuade remote employees to attend a group lunch and learn or an onsite fitness class.
  • Long-term isolation can lead to mental and emotional health issues such as sadness and loneliness in some employees.

Frequently Asked Health-Related Questions

  1. What impact does remote working have on one’s well-being?

Employees who work from home say they have a greater need for wellness programming that focuses on mental and emotional wellbeing. Social isolation and a lack of regular touch with co-workers can lead to sadness and loneliness in some remote workers. Others who work from home struggle to strike a decent work-life balance. When you work from home all day, it might be tough to keep your work life separate from your personal life.

  1. How can you maintain a remote worker’s happiness?

Remote workers’ well-being is comparable to that of in-office workers. We all need regular exercise, appropriate nutrition, and enough sleep to be healthy. Wellness initiatives for in-office employees are the same as those for remote employees. Remote workers, on the other hand, require greater options for advancement.

 Six Strategies for Successful Wellness with Remote Workers

Here are some time-tested strategies to help any wellness program more effectively reach and impact remote workers.

  1. Involve Others in Remote Workers’ Wellness Efforts

Employees who participate in wellness initiatives are more likely to acquire and maintain healthy habits. When we have the encouragement, support, and company of others, we are more likely to change our behaviour. Some remote workers live with significant others, while others have tight friendships and family links. The most critical aspect of your assistance, regardless of its source, is that you have social support from someone who can hold you accountable and encourage you.

  1. Use Team-based Wellness Activities and Challenges

Your remote workers are already meeting with their co-workers. Employees who work from home might be active members of strategic teams. Instead of employing teams to complete work projects, wellness programs for remote employees might use teams to encourage competition and physical activity among employees.

  1. Make Wellness Activities Virtual

Employee wellness programs for remote workers can do practically whatever a live on-site wellness program can do with the help of technology. Online communications such as SMS, messaging, and chat services are examples of this technology.

  1. Allow for More Flexibility in Your Wellness Incentive Plan 

One of the most common wellness strategies for remote workers is to allow for greater flexibility in the program. To earn incentives, wellness program participants have to earn points by completing a variety of wellness program offerings. Not all incentive requirements, such as participating in a fitness class or completing a 5K road race are conducive to working remotely, especially during a pandemic. Allow remote workers to earn wellness incentive points without having to physically interact with other employees.

  1. Offer Programs on Mental and Emotional Health Topics

Remote employees report having a higher need for wellness programming that focuses on mental and emotional health topics. Remote employees also struggle to maintain good work/life balance. When you work from home all day it is sometimes difficult to separate your work life from the rest of your life. Wellness programs should provide remote employees with greater access to wellness programming that focuses on stress management, sleep quality, work life balance, resilience, mindfulness, and other emotional health topics.

  1. Use a Web-based Wellness Platform

A wellness platform is a software application that is used to manage and administer an online wellness program. Platforms allow employers to integrate employee wellness data with HR solutions, benefits applications, personal health records, and any other database. That’s why they are sometimes called data warehouses. A good wellness platform will allow remote workers to participate virtually in incentive programs, virtual wellness meetings, individual and team-based challenges, health coaching, and biometric screenings. Even if your worksite does not have remote workers, today’s wellness programs will never be fully effective unless they use a wellness platform.

Conclusion

The lack of real face-to-face contact with other employees is the main obstacle in providing wellness programs to remote workers. Despite the lack of physical interaction, a robust wellness platform can allow remote workers to participate fully in wellness programs.

Author: Dr Martin Combrinck (PhD): Sanga Wellness: Certified Corporate Wellness Director. This article was adapted from WellSteps.