Remote work is at an all-time high, in large part due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 16% of global companies are fully remote, and 62% of employees between the ages of 22-65 say they have some sort of hybrid schedule. If your company doesn’t offer remote work, it’s likely just a matter of time before it becomes an option. Working from home offers several benefits; in fact, 77% of people say it makes them more productive, and 75% of people list fewer distractions as an advantage.
Offering a flexible work setting proves to be valuable in boosting employee morale and overall productivity, but makes it a little more challenging to support workplace wellness. We’ve got the scoop on the latest remote work offerings, as well as how to support employee health and wellness when your staff is working from home.
Who’s working remotely these days?
There is no shortage of remote work options available, and many job seekers have started negotiating a hybrid schedule during the interview process. According to a recent study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some of the top jobs with the most remote work opportunities are—
- Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, technical and scientific products
- Software developers
- Computer programmers
- Sales managers
If you’re curious about specific companies that offer remote work positions, some of these names might sound familiar—
- Adobe offers a 50/50 hybrid schedule
- Dropbox is allowing all employees to work from home permanently
- Shopify offers completely remote work
- Spotify lets employees choose to work at home, in office, or in a company-funded co-working space
- Walker Tracker offered a hybrid working environment from 2006 until 2020 when the whole team switched to 100% remote.
Workplace wellness in a remote setting
With employees working at home, in collaborative office spaces, or while they travel with their family, it’s trickier than ever to provide dedicated health and wellness support.
That is, if you’re looking to replicate past initiatives and employee wellness programs that rely on being together in the same shared location.
But you’re wise. You know that remote work requires remote wellness support.
With the digital world we live in, it’s 100% necessary to support employee wellness through digital means. It’s also 100% necessary to provide an escape from the digital aspects of work.
Whew. That’s a lot to take in. But at Walker Tracker, we believe you’re up for the challenge.
Here are a few steps you can take to help employees stay healthy as they work remotely.
1. Utilize team-based challenges
Mental health and physical health both play vital roles in overall wellness. Team-based challenges give employees the chance to interact and collaborate as they work towards goals.
We (of course!) recommend utilizing the Walker Tracker step challenges to make your group happy, healthy, and active. You can choose from the three plans we offer that are available for both short-term and long-term challenges.
2. Encourage breaks
Most remote work involves computer screens and lots of sitting at said computer. Extended periods of sitting at a screen can lead to eye fatigue and muscle soreness. On top of that, employee exhaustion and burnout will decrease productivity levels.
Make breaks a regular part of the workday. Promote realistic schedule expectations that include periods of work and periods of rest. One study found that the most productive people work for 52 minutes before taking a 17-minute break. (And if you’re thinking, “Ouch, that’s a lot of downtime,” remember that a shorter period of hyper-focused work is more ideal than a longer period of distracted work.)
3. Supply home office necessities
What better way to support workplace wellness at home than to help employees create their dream home office? This fun idea comes from TeamBuilding.com, which suggests employing this approach as a sign-on bonus, one-year anniversary celebration, or other significant milestones. You can invest as much or as little as your revenue allows.
If you’re unable to spend much on this venture, even providing one or two home office essentials could go a long way in creating a healthier workspace. Some ideal pieces include blue light glasses, an ergonomic desk chair, or a sit/stand desk.
4. Limit video meetings
“I love spending hours in video meetings every day!” said no employee ever.
Video meetings are a necessary part of remote work, but they shouldn’t be the bulk of your employees’ schedules. When video meetings are necessary, come prepared with an agenda and time limit. Use the first five minutes to lead participants in stretches, chair exercises, and in-place movement activities.
If it’s possible, host meetings with no video, or use conference calls. If a discussion doesn’t warrant looking at specific paperwork or a screen, encourage employees to use that time for movement. Champion a ‘walk-and-talk’ approach to meetings and you’ll have happier, healthier employees.