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5 Proven Employee Wellness Programs to Improve Productivity

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5 Proven Employee Wellness Programs to Improve Productivity

We tend to put in more efforts to attain the best possible result out of our everyday work in the workplace. This is because we believe in working hard in order to earn our place in the organization. We spend up to 9 hours a day at our offices and needless to say, the corporate life is full of stress and mental pressure.

Sometimes, we feel like extending our shift to complete our work not only because we need to deliver it at the end of the day but also because we want to earn the faith of our seniors.

Despite the busy professional life of people like us, there are people, especially in the production line, who have mostly sedentary working hours. Since they need to oversee the work done by their inferiors, they either just sit in the chair looking around or keep an eye on individuals working around and guide them to improve their work standards. The rest of their waking hours elapse in taking care of other personal and social activities.

Health is Wealth

While working for hours in our respective workplaces, we fail to track our health and other physical activities like Morning/Evening Exercise or Yoga, and subsequently face various health problems. Cervical and Migraine are amongst the most common medical conditions, which arise out of busy corporate life.

Organizations voluntarily provide their employees with the best health insurance coverage, in order to conquer these and other fatal health hazards. Since prevention is better than cure, it’s prudent to participate in one or more of health & fitness programs to avoid the odds of health issues whatsoever.

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Organizations need to implement various health and fitness programs in their workplaces. In fact, these programs have already gained much popularity in the organizational culture globally. Various multinational organizations that have implemented employee wellness programs have stronger employee satisfaction and morale, resulting in high employee productivity and happier customers subsequently.

Employee Wellness Programs

Employee wellness programs primarily have two key approaches to be implemented in workplaces.

1. The primary workplace wellness program focuses on different workplace ethics and efforts in their support. This combines various improvements that need to be done with reference to the workplace environment, leadership style and feedback/assessment sessions, organization and assignment of different tasks, different practices related to management of work, lifestyle improvement, employee engagement programs, healthy habits, behavioral improvement etc. This also includes preparing personality development lectures and continuous feedbacks.

Well, changing one’s lifestyle in the workplace is a good practice and often results in strong morale and high productivity, which eventually is the goal of every organization.

2. This strategy combines both personal wellness and organizational productivity at the same time. Organizations, nowadays, have multiple options to improve the health of their employees.

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For example, they can organize various healthcare programs, aerobic sessions, yoga and fitness campaigns, and marathons at times and urge their employees to participate in these activities to improve their health significantly. Such activities mostly succeed when organized on a large scale. Naturally, taking part in physical activities improve one’s health and significantly helps them get a better physique.

Stages of Change

There are not more than two stages, i.e. pre-contemplation and contemplation, employees most likely are in, especially in terms of their health.

When we talk about pre-contemplation, we refer to employees that have an unhealthy lifestyle, behavioral issues, including those who are not ready to accept changes in their lifestyle at work and those who still need to realize that they need it. In contrast, those who are in the contemplation stage have a fair enough idea about this very need.

Such employees are always ready to accept changes in their lifestyle at work. All they need is guidelines or motivation to get started whenever necessary

And, when really necessary, they welcome the changes in their behavior in the workplace, provided they are offered the right incentive in terms of guidelines or coaching in the right direction.

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However, there are big hurdles on an employer’s way of guiding such employees, e.g. inspire and engage employees that are interested in lifestyle amendment at work, thereby making them aware of supporting activities that collectively lead to sustainable health and fitness.

Employee Wellness Programs

The following are some essential tips that help employees engage in health and fitness at work:

1. Listen to Health and Fitness Podcasts

People, already, are not interested in listening to health and fitness programs available online and being telecasted on T.V. Employers can take an idea from this, and therefore, they must plan something really interesting and equally engaging. Also, the program should be organized on a large scale to ensure that each employee is benefiting from the same. Create leaders across departments and let them select their volunteers to take care of the event.

2. Take Polls Of What Employees Want

Employers need to create one or more polls to see what exactly employees want in the event. The poll may include multiple activities and sports activities, based on the interest of employees in particular. This proves to be a great idea when it comes to knowing what individuals in the workplace wants to see in the event.

3. Organize a Corporate Health Event

Employees must be given the responsibility to organize the event, as they can implement their personal ideas to support the event. There is a possibility that the event turns out to be everyone’s favorite and the company can plan for similar events in the future.

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4. Explore Other Options For Event Venue

If not in the workplace, then the health and fitness events can be organized at places that are reachable and affordable (if chargeable) too. This will invite more and more employees to participate and the event can be even more admired.

5. Have Fun in the Workplace

Make sure to include the pleasure principle in workplace wellness initiatives, as people look forward to having fun while working and it helps them get refresh and continue with their work with sufficient energy. This is the reason why corporate challenges are the real challenges.

In the meanwhile, the performance of individual employees needs to be evaluated to ensure that there are continuous improvements in their productivity and work standards.

Featured photo credit: investinyourbody.com via investinyourbody.com

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

Reference

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