Why Working from Home Now Is Not What It Was Pre-Covid, Part Four . . .

New Options for Supporting Your Employees’ Fitness and Wellbeing

We’d like to start today’s article with stories of two health-oriented people who have been working from home over the last few months.

Ben and His Treadmill

Before the pandemic, Ben exercised every day at his gym. But when he started working from home, he started to go nuts because he was feeling so sedentary. (“Lazy,” he puts it.) So he got online and ordered a treadmill that sounded great. The description said it would arrive in just one box, that it didn’t require assembly, and that it folded up and could be leaned against a wall, “Out of the way.” It arrived in a huge box that he could hardly lift, Ben had to drag it up a flight of stairs into his garden apartment, and it took him an hour to put it together using a flimsy little wrench that was in the box. It is so huge that it occupies most of his living room and it can’t be “folded up.” Now he is trying to figure out how to return it, just get rid of it. “Anything to get it out of here,” Ben says.

Priya and Her Healthy Meals 

After about a week of ordering food deliveries, Priya could sense that her nutrition was going downhill. Plus, her fridge was jam-packed with so much cauliflower that she was calling her friends and trying to give it away. So on an impulse, she searched online and found for a company that would deliver “keto” meals to her place. (“I didn’t know exactly what ‘keto’ meant, but I found out,” she says.) She signed up for a plan and soon boxes started to arrive, each full of small plastic bags that contained chopped vegetables, spices, and “goo” in different colors. Also, instructions every day. But after a week, her fridge is now full of those plastic bags and she has cancelled her plan.

What Can Your Company Do to Support Health-Oriented Remote Workers?

Because every employee has a different preferred way to exercise, eat, and diet, your company shouldn’t sign people up for various memberships, food delivery plans, or other “one size fits all” options. If you do, you will stand a good chance of spending money on offerings that people won’t appreciate or use. 

But you can still support your people by offering a range of options that they can choose from. Here are some options to consider.

  • Offer a food stipend that your employees can spend on whatever they like. 

  • Encourage your people to attend KettleSpace’s online exercise programs such as workouts with SixPackKavak. Check out our evolving list of other options too.

  • Hire nutritionists or wellness coaches and invite your people to consult with them online. A little searching online will lead you to multiple directories of them in your area. Another option? Call a hospital in your area and ask about using one of its counselors to work with your employees. 

  • Ping, ping, ping your employees with reminders to get up from their desks every 30 minutes, to drink a glass of water, or to get outside and take a walk, or to enjoy a 10-minute mindfulness exercise. (Be sure to ask employees to opt in for these reminders, which could irritate people who are not interested.)

  • Have health-oriented supplies and gifts delivered to your employees, such as facemasks, cases of spring water, or coupons that can be redeemed for food at local markets.

  • Engage people with fitness challenges and games, like giving awards to employees who have taken the most steps during a week. Or have them join teams that compete in fun ways. 

  • Offer HyperLocal options for working, including offices outside their homes, but nearby. They can give a great boost to your employees’ happiness and sense of wellbeing.

And Keep Company Communications Upbeat

  • Start your emails with upbeat and energetic language. You can write “Jump On Our Call” instead of “Sign In,” for example. There are always ways to make your language more motivational and positive. 

  • Ask how people are doing and offer encouragement. Because many of them could be hungry for more human contact these days, take a moment to connect on a personal level by asking questions like, “How are you doing today,” or, “Here’s a great idea you can use right now.”

  • Call out employees by name who have done great things. Also, offer everybody thanks for what they are doing. Everyone likes to be singled out for work well done. In the current climate of working from home, thanking people is more important than ever before.

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