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Wellness is an issue in hybrid work? Of course it is!

Over the past couple of months, our blogs have looked at a variety of the important factors to consider in making hybrid work successful.

Now we turn our attention to an often ignored aspect of the workplace in general: wellness.

Research shows that wellness programs significantly increase productivity, engagement, and job satisfaction. And reduce company health care costs, stress, and absenteeism. There are too many statistics around this to even get into it here.

The point is that wellness is especially easy to ignore when your employees are working out of the office. Out of sight, out of mind, right? It is easy enough to assume that their health is their own issue when they’re in office. But it’s even easier to forget about it when they’re working at home all day.

When your employees are distributed around the city or around the world, supporting their wellness is more, not less, important. In the hybrid workplace, you can’t rely on team yoga or department lunch-walks to help your people stay healthy. And you can’t offer the perk of your group plan at the nearby gym.

Here are a few tips on how to make sure your people are taking care of themselves. And also to make sure they know that you care about them. 

1. Begin with a culture of wellness 

Actions begin with values. Instill the value of wellness as a core value of your organization. And be clear about it. In the upcoming evolution of our Innovation Minds platform, we are building in a wellness component that makes it easy for users to check in on their wellness. And if you and they wish, to make that one of their measurable and deliverable goals. 

Whether using our system or another, build wellness into your hybrid workplace as a non-negotiable. Use the power of digital to offer reminder options. Create a culture where your people know that you value, not resent, their self-care and setting work boundaries. Show them you care.

2. Bring wellness into everything

At the same time, wellness is not something you put off to the side half an hour a day and ignore during the other 23.5 hours. There are ways to do every activity in a healthy way. Sitting in front of your computer for hours on end can be very unhealthy. But it does not have to be. Build in scheduled breaks when you get up and move around. Take a short walk in the middle of the day. Do a twenty minute yoga session between meetings. Stretch while you are thinking about the document you’re working on. The point is, don’t just make wellness something extra. Make it a core part of your work.

Again, you can create ways to build these reminders into your hybrid work system. Hybrid work requires digital applications. And digital applications make automation easy. Instead of using automation to get lazy, use it for your peoples’ health.

3. Offer wellness education

Another feature easy to build into your digital workspace is wellness information. This could include a wide variety of options and tools. Exercise videos. Eating plans, even tailored to an individual’s profile. A place to log workouts. Articles suggesting interesting ways to stay fit. You can include wellness tips in the company newsletter or other internal communications.

Yet again, the digital workspace is an ideal place to create such a library of information. And yet again, if desired and acceptable to your people, you can make use of this wellness education an assigned goal and part of the schedule. 

4. Offer wellness activities that work remotely

While the local gym won’t work in hybrid, memberships to fitness apps might. Offer subscriptions to a wellness app of the employee’s choice. There are thousands of options covering exercise, meditation, biofeedback, diet, and so on. 

Letting the employee choose the app that works for them can actually be much more effective than sending them to a gym. The virtual world offers an explosion of options. Use this benefit. 

Another approach is to have regular remote-friendly week-long or thirty-day fitness challenges. Provide an array of different types of challenges to make it appealing to everyone in the company.

5. Make wellness a water cooler topic

Encourage communication and sharing not just about the job, but about health. Of course, people don’t usually want to share their health problems. But they do revel in sharing their health discoveries and triumphs. 

Create a space where people can share tips and tricks to stay healthy while being productive. And even statistics and information about wellness at work, distributing the point above regarding wellness education. This allows them to encourage one another and drives up engagement. You can do this on whatever platform you are working with. If, of course, it allows such interaction.

6. Let employees set their own individual wellness goals

As with anything, the more an employee is invested in their goal, the more likely they will achieve it. In the hybrid work world, people are designing a schedule that suits them. The same way you are learning to promote a variety of ways of working, promote and support different ways of keeping healthy that fits each person’s schedule and activity plan. 

7. Check in

Ask how your direct reports are feeling. Check in with their fitness goals if they are not sharing. Include them when adjusting work hours or needing overtime to ensure it does not intrude on their physical or mental health. Don’t assume silence means everything is fine. Just demonstrating that you see your team as human beings with wellness needs can go a long way toward building loyalty and passion. 

8. Actively reduce stress

Online communication. Video conferencing. Digital tools. It’s never been easier to share information. Also never easier to get exhausted. Make online interaction easy, efficient, and stress-free. Provide tools that empower your people, not hamper them.

As Sandra Saenz, Marketing Manager of The Spanish Group LLC, puts it: “Nothing stifles creativity or productivity like an unreliable delivery system.”

Innovation Minds is one great option. You might find others. If you do, let us know. Because we believe our system is unquestionably the best. Whatever you do, bring it all together in one location, and shoulder the burden of putting your tech in place, instead of putting it on your people’s backs.

Feel free to reach out if you would like to know more about how Innovation Minds can support your people’s wellness.

Michael Lee, SVP Strategy and Marketing, Innovation Minds