Half of organizations in a recent Gartner survey reported that at least 81% of their employees are working remotely during the coronavirus pandemic. Another 15% of those surveyed said that 61% to 80% of their employees are working remotely in current conditions.
Remote work is the new norm: Meetings are held via video conferences, conferences are hosted as webinars, conversations are conducted via email or collaboration tools. People are missing social interaction, resulting in new trends such as virtual happy hours and at-home workout classes.
Corporate wellness programs don’t necessarily need to fit into any sort of template, but they do need to fit the interests and needs of the team, said Kay Perkinson, chief of staff and interim vice president of HR at Vecna Robotics.
“Given today’s work from home order, your corporate wellness program will likely look entirely different than it did before,” Perkinson said.
Perkinson recommended the following initiatives for organizations struggling to brainstorm ways to help their remote workers:
- Support employees looking to make their space more conducive to productivity by offering reimbursements for home office equipment, like ergonomic chairs or monitors.
- Deliver care packages of healthy snacks to colleagues and their families.
- Encourage regular video chats or happy hours that promote face-to-face communication.
- Get team members moving by hosting a weekly virtual workout class that even their families can participate in.
- Don’t forget about the little ones either–consider introducing staggered hours or having story time for kids to help create a supportive environment for childcare.
“Corporate wellness programs are critical now more than ever. Before, these initiatives were often looked at as perks for team members,” Perkinson said. “Now, they’re making a considerable difference in helping teams become more of a community than a company.”
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