At the beginning of 2021, a third of office workers said they would prefer to never go back to the office, while 55 percent want to work remotely at least three days a week, a survey from PwC revealed. And while the general consensus across businesses and employees was that a flexible, hybrid or permanently remote working experience is here to stay, as 2022 approached, many offices had begun the transition to get employees back to work full-time. According to Jeanniey Walden, of DailyPay, as quoted in a recent Employee Benefit News article, “companies started to put their return-to-work plans on hold, but were expecting that post-holiday, we would all be back in the office in January.” So here we are, back to facing another COVID-19 variant that is threatening the safety of office re-openings everywhere.
To meet the ongoing needs of a diverse employee base, companies will need to continue prioritizing well-being, team-building and corporate events in a virtual realm. So as employees continue to experience virtual fatigue and burnout, how do you create fresh programs that people will actually engage in? When face-to-face interaction is not possible, how do you continue to build connection? Here are 7 ways to improve wellness and corporate culture anytime, anywhere…despite what the unforeseen future of Covid-19 brings.
1. Consistently refresh. Very few people want to take the same workout class every week or attend the same happy hour every Friday. To ensure success, you have to continually innovate and bring in fresh programming. In place of a yoga class try Tai Chi. Instead of a happy hour, experiment with an online escape room, terrarium building, or a pizza-making class.
2. Provide meaningful recognition. Sharing sincere appreciation is one of the most powerful ways to connect. First, establish a foundation of open communication and inclusion, and create a safe space for your team to feel seen and heard at all times. Reach out one-on-one to give acknowledgement and praise, and celebrate their accomplishments with the group. Consider writing a personal note to each team member to say thank you–it can be incredibly impactful.
3. Give the gift of relaxation. Host a virtual relaxation event filled with a variety of activities for employees to enjoy. These can include sound baths, meditation sessions, virtual spa and beauty consultations. To make it even more special, send a curated box of spa products or mini relaxation kits. AccessElite curates activities and custom kits to deliver straight to your employees’ door making it even less stressful on you and them!
4. Give the gift of time. Surprise your team with an afternoon off, accompanied by a gift card to do something nice for themselves or simply grab lunch. Time is often the ultimate luxury, so building this into people’s schedules will go a long way. To make it as easy as possible for everyone, share digital gift cards for experiences or products that can be redeemed wherever your team may be.
5. Host a virtual party. Everyone loves to be inspired and entertained. But with Zoom fatigue, how do you ensure your event brings real value and joy? Organize a fun dueling pianos event, interactive game series, comedy or magic show, offer access to a virtual concert, or facilitate a motivational speaker series. Quality and curation matters.
6. Launch a team challenge. Remember the four pillars of total well-being: physical, mental, emotional and social health, and develop a unique theme for each month. Create a shared goal and invite your team to track their progress. Some of our favorites are The Power of Sleep, Re-Hydrate and Re-Charge, Mind Your Mindfulness, and Fire Up Your Fitness with a Walking Challenge.
7. Make wellness available on-demand. Flexibility is vital, as people juggle demanding schedules and many teams work across different time zones. Employees should have a myriad of options available at their fingertips with the ability to access wellness and tele-health appointments instantly. Providing a well-rounded mix of classes is essential, because everyone has unique needs and preferences. Key areas to cover can include full-body fitness, food as medicine, stretching, stress reduction and mental well-being, along with workshops on the power of active listening, building confidence and self-esteem, finding purpose, and leading with inclusion.
AccessElite can help you build a truly unique and engaging wellness program in 2022, complete with tools and platforms to help strengthen and support a strong corporate culture and keep your employees engaged wherever they are working from. AccessElite creates comprehensive programs that include mental, emotional, physical and social well-being all in one solution! To learn more about AccessElite and receive personalized ideas for your organization, book a demo today!