NOTE: The opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of Shortlister
The workplace isn't what (or where) it used to be.
A recent Gallup poll found that 43 percent of employees work remotely at least some of the time—a trend that is increasing across industries. For many people, especially younger workers, flexible scheduling and remote opportunities aren’t just sought-after—they’re a must.
Although a small number of high-profile companies have scaled back their work-from-home benefits in the last few years, remote employees remain a significant part of the workforce. For wellness providers, this presents an important challenge—to find new and creative ways to engage the remote population.
Here are five approaches that we’ve found to be the most successful:
1) When possible, bring on-site activities online
Not every activity can be shared with remote employees in real time, but many can be. For example, when planning on-site seminars or lunch-and-learn events, give remote employees a dial-in option—or better yet, live video—so they can participate and ask questions along with everyone at the office. (If your workforce is scattered across time zones, schedule events accordingly.)
2) Promote off-site options for biometric screenings and flu vaccinations
Biometric screenings are a key wellness initiative, and many companies offer incentives for completion. To make life easier for remote employees, choose voucher options that cover the widest possible geographic area. Your vendor should be able to provide an access report based on zip code. Offer as many options as possible, and insist on clear, detailed communications. Speaking of which…
3) Create targeted communications
If you’re sending the same communications to all employees, you’re missing an important opportunity to engage the remote population. Remote staff can tell when something wasn’t written with them in mind, and no one enjoys being relegated to an asterisk at the bottom of the page. Insist on targeted pieces for all segments of the population. Include details that are specific to their experience as remote employees.
4) Recruit and engage remote wellness champions
Wellness champions are our boots on the ground—motivated employees who encourage others to participate, provide valuable feedback, and help augment traditional communications. Remote wellness champions let us know how the program is working from their perspective, and they also help us develop initiatives that are likely to engage other remote workers.
5) Design well-being campaigns that draw people together
If your organization offers wellness challenges, assign participants to teams that include both in-office and remote employees, across all departments. It’s a great way to promote camaraderie and encourage people to meet their peers. Because remote employees are most often read (in email) or heard (on conference calls), we also like campaigns that include photo-sharing. The point is to develop wellness programming that connects all employees—wherever they may be.
Looking for a wellness provider that fits your program goals?
Article By Matthew Benton, Director of Communications at Wellness Corporate Solutions
Wellness Corporate Solutions is a nationwide provider of biometric screenings, health coaching, and yearlong employee wellness services. Their mission is to help people live healthy and work well across America. Since 2004, they have worked with more than 700 public- and private-sector clients, including Fortune 100 companies with more than 150,000 employees.