16 Virtual Wellness Activities And Ideas For Remote Employees
The work-from-home or remote working scene is still pretty much relevant. And it is essential that employees working from home must prioritize to stay healthy and fit.
According to studies, remote workers frequently wind up working long hours. This is because there is no clear separation between work and home. It's all too simple to stay working late at night.
This can affect mental and physical health, resulting in stress and burnout. However, with virtual employee wellness initiatives, you may encourage your remote staff to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Hence, wellness activities for employees are great ways to promote healthy habits. These programs keep employees engaged in healthy activities while working from home.
They provide opportunities to introduce wellness activities and challenges to increase health awareness. Such programs benefit employers and their employees in more ways than one.
Importance Of Virtual Wellness Activities For Remote Employees
When working remotely, the possibility for casual interactions over coffee or lunch simply does not exist.
Remote work has blurred the distinction between actual work hours and family time. This can contribute to staff burnout influencing work quality. Adding to all these challenges are a few more, such as:
- Disconnected teams
- Less internal communication
- Employee isolation
- Technical problems
- Low engagement
All of these challenges are enough to decrease productivity levels over the long term.
Virtual wellness programs help establish and reinstate company culture even when not everyone is in the same physical space. It shows they value their employees and care about their health and happiness.
Here are a few ways virtual wellness programs for employees help you overcome these obstacles:
Promotes healthy lifestyles by encouraging healthy eating habits and increased physical activity.
Decreases stress and anxiety, which reduces the likelihood of employee burnout.
Increases employee happiness by helping employees maintain good mental health.
Increases productivity by providing staff with the necessary tools to execute their jobs.
Increases employee retention and fosters loyalty.
Lowers healthcare costs and absenteeism. The whole point of virtual wellness programs is to instill healthy habits focusing on overall well-being. And the success of such an initiative leads to reduced health troubles of employees. With this, the workplace absenteeism rate decreases too.
Fosters social connections among employees. Sowing the seeds of camaraderie in the workplace is essential. One of the struggles most employees face in the office is working together in harmony. But, integrating such wellness programs can help employees work together smoothly.
Encourages movement for better health. Remote employees are prone to developing chronic illnesses due to decreased mobility. Practicing wellness activities gives the push inactive employees need to move about.
Provides flexibility to accommodate schedules for wellness. One of the perks of virtual wellness activities is that busy workers can easily make time for some self-care.
Interactive apps make it engaging. Incorporating interactive fitness apps is an effective way to keep your employees engaged in wellness activities.
Data tracking enables goal setting, which helps set the bar high for the participants. It helps in painting a picture of how participants are making progress fitness-wise. Furthermore, it sheds light on the areas of improvement if required.
Cost-effective compared to on-site programs. Virtual wellness activities require no dedicated space. Unlike on-site wellness programs, employees can carry out workouts according to their convenience.
One such example of an organization that has lower healthcare costs is Johnson and Johnson. The company managed to drop the smoking rate and increase the physical activity rate. All these with a simple addition to their employee wellness activities: a smoking cessation program
Related Podcast: Happiness In the Workplace
List Of 16 Virtual Wellness Activities And Ideas For Remote Employees
Remote working has become the new normal and is not going anytime soon. Focusing on employee wellness is crucial with the ever-increasing stress levels. So, if you are an employer, you should ensure your remote team's optimal wellness.
Introducing and incorporating practical wellness activities can improve remote employees' health and well-being. They can serve as ways to get your entire workforce together and keep them motivated in such difficult times.
These activities aim to improve staff health and employee morale, and productivity. Here are 16 wellness activity ideas that you can use to improve the health of your remote employees:
Physical Wellness Activities
1. Work-from-home Workout
We all know that physical fitness is a vital part of overall wellness. However, making time for gym and other activities is difficult due to long work hours. It is mostly because there is no balance between work and personal life. This has hence led to numerous people becoming more sedentary day by day.
But having virtual fitness training sessions for your employees can help them stay fit and active while working from home. Doing so will also help relieve workplace stress and strengthen your employees' immunity.
Check out this quick and effective work-from-home workout plan you can encourage your employees to do.
You can enroll them in various fitness classes or register them with fitness apps. Such apps have quick and effective workout plans that can be squeezed into day-to-day activities. One such workout plan from Vantage Fit is the 7-minute workout plan.
The plan consists of 12 exercises, from jumping jacks to triceps dips to planks. These exercises, when combined with a healthy diet, can make you achieve your fitness goals.
The best part about this plan is that there is no need for any equipment and a lot of space. The plan is designed for busy individuals to get their daily dose of exercise in as little time as possible.
2. Virtual Yoga Class
Yoga is another physical discipline that has gained worldwide popularity In modern times, especially now due to the lockdown.
Practicing yoga helps in several ways, such as increasing flexibility, relieving stress, and much more. The benefits of yoga can be precious for corporate employees, especially.
So, why not hire a yoga instructor to offer three or four yoga classes to your employees?
Our entire workforce recently got together for an online yoga session consisting of some poses and breathing exercises. It helped us cope with work stress, ease muscle tension, and refresh our minds.
Also read - 14 Fantastic Benefits Of Yoga In The Workplace
3. Stretch Break
After sitting for hours straight, stretch breaks allow employees to take a break and move about. There are two primary methods for conducting stretch breaks remotely.
Method #1: Arrange a ten-minute guided stretch where teammates meet on Zoom to practice exercises together.
Method #2: Set up a calendar or notify and remind employees to stand up, walk around, and shake out their limbs.
Making the workout an official workplace event can inspire more people to participate and get some much-needed exercise.
4. Step Challenge
Working from home can make your employees unfocused and increasingly sedentary. A sedentary lifestyle can negatively impact their health and, consequently, increase your organization's healthcare costs.
Creating a step challenge is a fantastic way to prevent remote employees from sitting on their chairs all day. Employers can complete their steps by doing everyday chores and attending walking meetings.
"The best situations to do a 'walk and talk' would be if you're not in charge of taking notes, not leading, or presenting any new material, or facilitating the discussion." —career coach Kimberly Lucht.
One fantastic way to prevent your remote employees from being sedentary and sitting on their chairs all day long is by creating a step challenge.
To create a successful one, set a daily number of steps that your employees have to walk every day, and encourage them to participate. Reward their participation and goal achievement with attractive rewards. At the end of the challenge, you can share your experience on social media, which may inspire other companies.
Using a wellness platform like Vantage Fit can make your step challenge even more exciting and engaging with amazing features like leaderboard, incentivization, and much more.
Mental Wellness Activities
5. Morning Meditation
If you have incorporated regular meditation at your workplace before, you must be aware of the fantastic benefits that are associated with it. Meditation at work is highly beneficial to workplace productivity, employee mental health, employee satisfaction, and much more.
Virtual guided meditation sessions in the morning can be an excellent way for your remote workers to start the day on a positive note. It will help them eliminate all negative thoughts and unwanted stress, helping them become more productive and motivated.
Even five or ten minutes of regular meditation can help your employees thrive in a remote work environment.
6. Stress Management
According to research, 80% of employees are stressed at work and intend to seek help to deal with it. This is when remote therapy comes into play once more!
But, you must guarantee that these sessions are tailored to each employee's specific needs and address the issues they face daily.
Remote teams can experience a variety of stresses. Employees who receive stress-management training learn methods to manage stress effectively at work and in their personal lives. You can organize mental health workshops that offer multiple sessions covering all dimensions of mental wellness.
7. Online Journaling
The power of penning down in a journal is often overlooked. Working remotely can be monotonous and stressful. And in the long term, such emotions affect remote employees’ work quality.
This is where journaling can work its magic of stress relief. Writing down one’s emotional turmoil can help give employees a different perspective and reduce stress. This will help them tackle the root cause behind the emotional roller coaster.
Journaling is a task that most are reluctant to try, as not everyone is habituated to the idea of writing their thoughts. So, you can incentivize and gamify this activity to encourage their participation.
For instance, you can set a fixed number of points for every journal entry employees make for a specific number of days.
Social wellness activities
8. Host a virtual Feel-Good Meeting.
Your staff is already attempting to overcome the difficulty of adjusting to this new remote work standard. And you sure would want to go to whatever length is necessary to simplify this transition for them.
If you host some feel-good meetings, employees will feel less isolated and more connected to their coworkers. These emotional ties are critical in keeping your employees engaged at all times.
Meet the team over a virtual campfire or on fun Fridays and play some games and challenges. You can even reminisce your outing memories by hosting a book club meeting or visiting a virtual museum together.
Nutrition wellness activities
9. Healthy Cooking Club
Gourmets and epicureans will go crazy for a healthy cooking club. Establishing a healthy cooking club can be one of the most beneficial virtual employee wellness activities. It will encourage remote employees to eat nutritious and balanced meals while working from home to keep fit.
You can encourage them to share healthy recipes and upload photos of their dishes for community interaction. You can even organize real-time virtual cooking sessions where employees can enjoy themselves by watching each other prepare!
With this exercise, you will see that a couple of them who rarely cooks has developed into competent cooks. To awaken your inner cook, you can look for various recipes worldwide and try them on your own.
10. Water Drinking Challenge
Water is often termed the elixir of life. Keeping the body hydrated all the time is essential for employees to maintain overall well-being.
As mentioned earlier, remote employees tend to overwork, unable to draw a line between personal and professional life. Along with it, studies report overworked employees forget to stay hydrated or even to eat properly.
Now, this is something that employers should be wary of since dehydration can immensely affect work performance and quality. It’s because dehydration can cause brain fog, wherein the affected person suffers from decreased work productivity and loses the ability to focus.
So, hosting a water challenge is a great way to promote wellness for your remote employees. To make such a wellness initiative a success, you can integrate a health-tracking app that allows you to log daily water intake.
11. Virtual "Healthy Lunch and Learn"
One of the most brilliant remote wellness activities that you can conduct for your remote employees is a virtual "healthy lunch and learn" session.
If you have not heard of "lunch and learn" sessions before, they are informal team meetings that occur over lunch, where employees can explore and learn new topics and share ideas.
Conduct your virtual "lunch and learn" session, wherein you encourage your team members to have a healthy lunch and provide them a chance to learn skills for themselves and the company.
This way, you can ensure that their nutritional needs are met. You will also be able to foster team collaboration and build company culture. Moreover, you can also ask them to enroll their food and count their nutritional values with wellness apps like Vantage Fit. With this app's help, everyone can track their nutritional intake and plan their meals accordingly.
Skill Building activities
12. Finance Workshops
Financial wellness undoubtedly plays a significant role in maintaining overall wellness. Arranging finance workshops is another great way to impart valuable financial information to employees. You can reach out to renowned financial experts who are willing to educate corporates on how to deal with financial stressors and lead a less stressful life.
13. Life Coaching for Groups
With group life coaching sessions for remote employees, you may improve employee well-being and develop an efficient team. Group life coaching is a collaborative method for teams to establish personal and professional objectives.
Individuals benefit from life coaching because it enhances self-awareness and practical skills such as planning and communication.
14. Education in health and wellness
You can help your staff improve their daily well-being through virtual health and wellness events. Bring in a different expert each month to give tips and techniques on personal well-being. They can also teach a few new methods to take control of their health.
Nutritionists or doctors can also give them a personalized balanced diet. Infact, employers can continue with the doctor if they want to.
15. Clean Your Desk Challenge
It is not an exaggeration to say that a clean desk helps you maintain focus and attention. Not only that, but it also keeps your mood fresh and tranquil. As a result, a clean desk challenge is one of the simplest virtual wellness exercises you can begin.
Urge your virtual workforce to clean their home offices. And request them to share photographs and videos of their desks online. This will push your team to maintain a cleaning practice.
You can even reward the challenge winners with prizes and honorable mentions. This will motivate them and others to keep their workplace clean throughout the challenge.
16. Good Habit Challenge
We know that adopting a good habit is easier said than done. But none of these practices are impossible to do. Adding a "good habit challenge" for remote workers can be an excellent strategy to promote healthy habits and increase productivity.
First, list easy, healthy practices your remote employees may include in their daily routine. Healthy practices such as taking frequent breaks, getting enough sleep, and drinking enough water.
Create a challenge in which remote workers can track their progress over a specific period of time. You can create these challenges with the help of any wellness app. These apps have it all; you just need to register yourself and your employees. One such app is the Vantage Fit app.
This app consists of a curated list of challenges updated every week and rewards you for completing the challenge. Those rewards or incentives for individuals who finish the challenge successfully are gift cards or vouchers.
You may help your remote workers stay engaged and motivated by supporting healthy behaviors and cultivating a community.
Driving Participation in Virtual Wellness Activities
One of the most significant disadvantages of remote work is its detrimental impact on business culture. It also includes participation in work activities such as wellness programs.
Companies may benefit from better team cohesiveness by conducting wellness programs in a virtual setting.
Here are some ideas for increasing employee engagement through virtual health and wellness activities:
Build a digital wellness binder containing employee health materials. They can browse for future activities or other wellness program information from there.
Involve employees one-on-one to determine the most appropriate wellness activities.
Address the fundamental elements of wellness, such as food, exercise, sleep, and mental health.
Provide communication tools or set up a wellness buddy system to promote social well-being. Or you can register with such wellness apps with features like social feed or leaderboard.
Offer rewards and incentives to encourage employee participation further. Incentives serve as an extrinsic motivator. They have the power to attract and engage participants successfully.
Send reminders to participate. Everyone requires a little bit of push and reminder about their goals and commitments. Keep the spirits high with some fun and engaging reminder templates.
These features allow you to share your accomplishment and achievements within your community. This can hence, keep track of their wellness activities.
Effective Remote Work Wellness Tips
Ergonomic tips for home office setup
Ergonomics is paramount for employees to deliver quality work and maintain healthy work life. Many remote employees dismiss the use of basic work essentials. As a result, their work quality gets affected unknowingly. Here are some tips that remote workers should keep in mind:
- Maintain proper posture.
- Get a work chair, and adjust it to an appropriate height.
- Avoid hunching as you work on your laptop.
- Keep your thighs parallel to the floor. Do not let your feet dangle.
- Avoid working on the couch or bed.
- Work in an area where there is sufficient light.
Allow flexible breaks
Taking breaks is vital for the employees’ and the organization’s success. You should encourage remote workers to take brief breaks during work hours. Pausing work for some time reduces the chances of burnout and pent-up stress.
Virtual wellness activities can be fun, engaging, and rewarding for your remote employees. They will help your employees stay fit, healthy, and productive while working from home. Also, they can serve as a means of showing your care for their health and well-being.
Also, it will give them the nudge to push forward and achieve their health goals. And if you sponsor them with gym memberships, yoga classes, and other lessons, they will be motivated to care for their health. Hence, they can serve as a means of showing your care for their health and well-being.
In this case, the best strategy is to incorporate a corporate wellness program for best results. Vantage Fit is yet again a wellness platform that you should consider if you want to promote employee wellness. This platform aims to create a happier and healthier workplace holistically.
So far, combining the essence of gamification and incentivization, Vantage Fit has helped employees take 19.4 billion steps on a global scale. So, hurry, schedule a demo today to get a sneak peek.
Frequently Asked Questions
1 What is the definition of virtual employee wellness programs?
Virtual employee wellness programs are activities and practices that improve remote employees' health and well-being. These initiatives aim to reduce chronic disease health and economic burden through prevention and management. Aside from that, they want to boost staff morale and productivity while also boosting their quality of life.
2 How can you boost your wellness when working from home?
Some of the greatest methods for staying healthy and improving wellness when working from home are:
Eat well - Have a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Reduce your intake of junk and unhealthy foods.
Remain hydrated - Stay hydrated throughout the day.
Meditate - Make time in your busy day for workouts, yoga, or meditation. Even 15 minutes of daily walking or exercise can help you stay fit and prevent health problems.
Home office makeover - Arrange your home office for greater comfort and proper posture. Redesign the workspace you've designated for work to fit your needs better.
Work-life balance - Have a healthy work-life balance. Keep mobile phones and newspapers away from your workspace during working hours. Devote your working hours to your job and spend the rest of your time with family, friends, and personal interests.
Connect with colleagues - Form deep bonds with your remote coworkers. It is critical to be approachable and social with distant employees and colleagues. It lets you get to know each other better and establish stronger bonds.
Establish a regular schedule and keep to it to rid yourself of feelings of purposelessness and depression.
3 Why should you provide virtual wellness programs for remote workers?
Your staff is the most valuable resource you can have as a boss. Their happiness is synonymous with the success of your company. If they prosper, so will your business.
Sadly, it won’t happen if your remote workforce is anxious, burnt out, frequently unwell, and unproductive. You risk losing business, high turnover, and absenteeism.
Vantage Fit - A complete AI-Powered Solution for seamless implementation of your Corporate Wellness Program to nurture a healthy and engaged workforce