Caring for Remote Employees’ Wellbeing: Part 2 Physical Health

Improve Remote Workers Physical Health

This blog post is a part of a series on caring for your remote employees’ wellbeing. We think this is especially important with the rise in remote working due to COVID-19.

To read part 1 of this series focusing on social connection, click here.

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Discussing the benefits of good physical health seems pretty unnecessary. Having good health is pivotal to having good overall wellbeing and, just like all the elements of employee wellbeing, has a direct impact on employee happiness, efficiency and productivity at work. So although it may not seem like your place as an employer to encourage a healthier lifestyle for your employees, it does make an impact on your business. Also, many of the most forward thinking company’s today such as Asana, Facebook, and Google (just to name a few) make their employee health a priority. So you probably don’t want to be lagging behind in this area. Even if you don’t have the budget to sponsor gym memberships or provide nap rooms for your workers, there are many other ways you can help them become healthier individuals.

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Encourage walking meetings. If you only need to meet with one person to discuss something, ditch the meeting room and opt-in for a walking meeting. Get your blood pumping, change the scenery and increase your step count for your company challenge! This works for employees working from home as well. Suggest they take walking meetings while still dialed in on their phones if possible. Or even encourage a few short walks a day to break up the workday. 

Another easy activity to encourage is simple stretching. Everyone gets stiff from sitting and looking at their computers all day. Send a 10 minute calendar reminder daily to your team members, reminding your team to stretch. It’s simple and they can do it on their own. Walking and stretching are easy physical activities to incorporate into the workday. Here are a few more you can encourage:

  • Water breaks – hydration is pivotal to being physically fit
  • Doing 10 pushups – switch out your walk with a new activity every once in a while
  • Posture check – a simple reminder to sit up straight and aligned
  • Not working through lunch – especially when working from home it’s easy to skip lunch or opt into a quicker, less healthy lunch in order to work more.

The key here is starting small. Encouraging simple healthy habits is a great strategy for promoting a long term healthy lifestyle for your team. You can go the simple route of sending out reminders for these habits, or you can come up with a system for team members to track their success and offer rewards or bragging rights.

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Maybe you can’t afford to sponsor gym memberships or have a gym connected to your office building. But you can still offer virtual workouts that team members can opt into, which is perfect for your team members working from home. You can send out a “workout of the week” video from Youtube to your employees and incentivize them to take part. Or you can have a fitness instructor lead a workout routine virtually for your employees (of course they can have their cameras off when they’re following along if they are more comfortable with that). We make it easy for teams to set up weekly workouts on the PUML app, which is another option. Teams can choose which content they would like and a time that works for them. These workouts can be pre-recorded videos or live streamed workouts. However you’d like to do it, promoting one longer physical activity a week along with daily habits is a great way to incorporate a healthy lifestyle into your employees’ workday.

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Just remember that employee wellbeing impacts every facet of your business and it is something you should take seriously as an employer. As you improve one element of wellbeing, you will improve the others, so continue to take small steps towards helping your employees gain better social, physical and mental health.

Promoting better physical health doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. Setting up a team culture that praises people who take breaks throughout the day and setting up group activities, even via video, that employees can take part in are inexpensive ways to increase employee wellbeing. 

We may be biased, but we think PUML is the best platform on the market for promoting company wellness. To learn more about our corporate wellness platform and request a demo for your company, visit our corporate wellness page.