Each month we ask FitnessOnDemand customers about the biggest questions and challenges on their minds – and how we can help. This month we turn our attention to corporate wellness programs.
QUESTION OF THE MONTH:
Q: How can I make sure my hybrid and remote workers enjoy the same wellness opportunities, support and benefits as those employees on site?
A: All employees deserve the same level of benefits and wellness offerings regardless of how – and where – they work in the new hybrid American workplace. Use a thoughtful combination of on-demand, streaming and app based content and services to make them feel connected, seen and supported.
According to a February 2023 Gallup report, 54% of employees in the United States now work remotely and Gartner cites as many as 83% state they expect hybrid arrangements to continue. What started as a work around for the events of the past few years has now revolutionized the way corporations and employers model, finance and operate their businesses. But the headache for HR professionals has now become how to ensure employees who are remote or hybrid have access to the wellness, preventative health and fitness services; especially when many corporations are mandated to create employee parity or do so to retain the best health insurance premium rates among other things. As your business tackles this, consider these three strategies.
- Create on-demand fitness and wellness programming – On average office workers, wherever they work, spend 5 hours and 41 minutes sitting at their desk. For those at home, without a reason to get up and attend meetings, walk the hallways or stop by a colleague’s desk, that can be a problematic amount of sedentary activity that can take a toll on posture, spinal alignment and even mental health. Work with your virtual fitness content provider to curate fitness and wellness packages that all employees can participate in. This could include simple short form stretches that take ten minutes or less to keep the body loose and flexible or 30 minute lunchtime sessions with weights or cardio to help get the heart rate and the blood pumping. Your virtual fitness provider should be able to help you curate content in easy, convenient packages that can be promoted to employees via email, team communications and social channels.
- App-led services for all – Regardless of where employees work, it’s a fact that most people now engage with their company offerings, intranet and other services through company- or approved third party- apps versus their workstation desktops. As you review your remote worker support, make sure that your app is working hard for you. The most advanced now combine comprehensive on-demand fitness workouts and instructor-led sessions with things like nutrition advice, mindfulness and meditation exercises, stretch and relaxation, sleep improvement advice and stress reduction coaching. Integrating all support content, advice and services into one easy, always-on app can greatly increase employee engagement and daily use.
- Comprehensive virtual engagement – Consider an app that allows you to check-in on employees' fitness and health journey's virtually. Online check-ins can be highly personalized including your own uploaded content of trainers and coaches who engage with and motivate employees on a regular basis, or other resources. Consider things like online health assessments and screenings that cover things such as fitness levels, nutrition, stress and mental health. Regular ergonomics checks in via teams or zoom can be good too to ensure all workers are comfortable, supported and in good health at their desks. While on-site workers have the advantages of workplace gyms and fitness facilities, it may be a good idea to offer stipends for fitness equipment or specialty club memberships to keep remote workers motivated. And don’t forget special company-wide activities like monthly challenges in the shape of walks, runs or healthy weight management goals to keep every employee thinking about staying mobile, active and healthy whether they’re down the hall from your office or on the other side of the country.
Rose Minar is a highly driven and creative global branding leader, currently spearheading brand marketing and experience initiatives at Lift Brands. Her extensive experience in defining and executing brand strategies across diverse hotel brands showcases her exceptional ability in driving brand equity and profitability.