Students, Employers And Employees In The COVID-Era… Remote, On Site… How Do We Re-Engage?
By Lauren Huebner, Whole Health Co, National Account Manager
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our way of life. We know little about the lasting effects and what our future normal will be. What we do know is working remotely represents one of the biggest changes for everyone: students, employers, employees and families.
Many employees now work from home, or in socially distanced workspaces. Students may work from home or if living on campus, in environments where limited fraternizing is encouraged and monitored. Everyone’s daily routine has changed dramatically. Working parents with demanding jobs must now complete tasks and projects in a remote work space in addition to being responsible for the oversight and wellbeing of their children. In April 2020, a Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that nearly half of people in the United States felt the coronavirus was harming their mental health. This can be overwhelming.
Current health concerns combined with these new challenges makes it more important than ever for corporate wellness programs to be accessible. To do so requires a change in the way programs and initiatives are delivered.
How Can Wellness Programs Adapt to Meet These New Needs?
The option of webinar and video-based formats can be added to programming that previously only offered seminars on site.
New programing to include COVID – 19 prevention with new options and topics for wellness support can offer a refreshing and positive venue for employees to re-engage and productively work in a healthy and safe environment.
Technology and virtual programming will play a key role in the future of corporate wellness.
Health portals that allow employees to enter health data such as weight, activity, and food choices, as well as virtual sessions with dietitians and other health professionals, will provide accountability and support that used to only be available face-to-face.
Wellness challenges that cultivate communication within teams and allow for socialization, whether they’re in the office or remote, will foster a sense of community while improving the health of employees.
Webinars, virtual grocery store tours, exercise classes, and cooking demos are all initiatives that can be used to engage remote employees.
Telehealth sessions with dietitians, mental health professionals, or health coaches will ensure that employees have access to support on-site or from home.
Virtual initiatives, whether they include wellness coaching to improve fitness or bringing employees together socially, will help employees feel more connected, engaged, and productive.
Employers will focus on mental health offerings. While the importance of mental and emotional health has received attention in the past couple of years, the pandemic highlights how critical these initiatives are to employee well-being. The future of corporate wellness must address mental health in the same manner it handles nutrition, fitness, and chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. One of the first steps is to encourage open and honest communication around mental health and provide training to managers so they can spot issues and respond appropriately.
Employers can take a number of other steps, including educating employees on the benefits available through their employee assistance program (EAP) and health plan and developing programs that focus on mental and emotional wellness. Providing resources and counseling to all employees will increase productivity and create happier, healthier employees.
The Wellness Solution to Help Employers Engage Employees and to Thrive in a Healthy Environment.
As the country continues to re-open, we are likely to see some increases in COVID-19 cases in certain states. As corporate wellness providers, we are responding to these changes by expanding our offerings to include more programming options to attract and re-engage remote employees.
Many organizations are incorporating the re-opening of offices with work-from-home options in order to reduce the potential spread of the coronavirus and our goal is to meet or exceed levels of participation and engagement as before the pandemic. Innovative programs that effectively utilize interactive technology will be the key to maintaining and building a satisfying and healthy workplace. Whole Health Co can help!
Whole Health Co has been busy providing Covid-19 solutions for getting private colleges/schools and small businesses open in a safe and healthy environment. Our True Vitality Wellness program is customizable and delivered with a personal touch – targeted to prevent spread of Covid-19, preserve employee health, and meet the need and budget of the employer.
Our 3-Phased approach to Covid-19 prevention includes:
1. Rapid response onsite Covid-19 testing
2. Covid-19 Surveillance with At-Home Covid-19 testing kits and daily Wellness CheckIn App
3. Ongoing Employee wellness support with:
a. Education, motivation and habit change through onsite and offsite wellness, fitness and disease prevention activities.
b. Enhanced EAP for nutritional and mental health counseling, and enhanced stand-alone TeleHealth services
Are there Insurance Resources and Coverage Wrap-Arounds?
We can evaluate your current health plan and identify ways to implement covered wellness services and resources into our True Vitality program to help keep your costs down.
Most national insurance carriers offer a wide variety of support and resources to their members.
Most carriers provide “wellness credit” reimbursement to cover the cost of wellness programs of which our services qualify. For instance, for up to 100 employees, the employer earns $5,000 per year for wellness programing.
We hope this is helpful. The opportunity to expand and enhance corporate wellness offerings to meet the needs of employees during these unprecedented times is exciting. This is a good time for leadership to work with their wellness provider to assess their current wellness program to determine the current needs of their workforce and customize a program to engage remote employees in wellness.
A well-designed program can positively impact productivity and engagement.
We continue to add technology and virtual programming to promote on- and off-site engagement, with additional focus on mental health support, and promoting healthy lifestyles to those with chronic health conditions. This helps keep your employees engaged and empowers them to improve upon their own well-being while working remotely.
We are experienced and ready to assist you in prioritizing your employee wellness initiatives to encourage mental and physical well-being and develop a healthy workforce.
We look forward to your thoughts on our recommendations regarding how to safely and successfully evolve with these changing times.
Best wishes for continued safety, good health and happiness,……..
Credits: HR Daily Advisor