Last week we discussed the benefits of hybrid and flexible work schedules. Employers may enjoy the flexibility of recruiting from a larger talent pool and decreased overhead costs while employees save on transportation-related expenses and can cut down on hours spent commuting. With fewer people on the road, communities enjoy improved air quality and decreased traffic congestion.
This week we also wanted to discuss some ways to keep employees well and connected while away from the office. Working remote and hybrid work can increase the risk of burnout, it can be harder to keep employees connected, and there is a need to adapt wellness programs that were designed for workers that were physically present. By offering flexible/hybrid schedules and alternatives to in-office wellness programs you can help employees avoid burnout and improve retention.
One of the perks offered by employers, the on-site gym, is one of the benefits that will need to adapt to hybrid/flexible work schedules. To keep employees healthy, the fitness benefit can include discounts to gyms, discounts/refunds to buy a bicycle or fitness tracker subscriptions. Fitness trackers could also be used for company events that can replace 5Ks or other team events. Instead (or in addition) of organizing a marathon, companies can organize a monthly exercise challenge or challenges. By including walking, running, and cycling categories in the challenge, you can include more employees.
Another popular offering is wellness seminars. With hybrid/flexible work schedules, many employees may not be able to attend. You can adapt these by including a live-streaming option where remote employees can participate with their in-person colleagues and have the chance to ask questions. Some wellness topics include sleep hygiene, eating healthy, mindfulness, spirituality, stress management, how to avoid burnout, and financial planning.
Lastly, one of the most talked about aspects of employee wellness in the last couple of years is mental health. Employees are increasingly interested in being able to take mental health days and improve access to mental health services. To support employee mental health, you can create a mental health kit to include resources available in the area where they live, websites for employee assistance programs, telehealth access, family leave, health benefits covering mental health services, helplines, and links to meditation and yoga sessions.
These are just a few ideas, and we know every employer and workforce differs. A good way to assess how your employees are doing, learn more about their work preferences, and the type of in-office alternative perks they would like is to send an anonymous survey. We would be happy to help, let us know if you would like our assistance with an employee survey.
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