Employers are changing the way they approach wellbeing for their flexible working teams. With 20 percent of people saying 'loneliness' is the biggest challenge of working from home, workplace wellness trends have seen a massive revival within remote and hybrid office environments.
Here are three recommendations to help you join the workplace wellness renaissance.
But First... What Is the 'Hybrid Office'?
The hybrid office is where people work either remotely or at the office, or part-time in both locations. This could be on an at-will, split week, alternating, or even shift-work basis. It's widely recognized as the future of work for many businesses. In fact, 99 percent of employees say they'd want to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their careers.
Additionally, a hybrid model could be considered a 'wellness trend' in itself. 77 percent of respondents to an Owl Labs survey agree that after COVID-19, having the option to work from home would make them happier.
OK, now onto the trends:
1) Increased Flexibility in Working Hours
For many people, the number one benefit of remote working is flexibility. Everyone likes to have the freedom to manage their own time, work around their other commitments and take breaks when they need them. Remote working has reminded us all that a rigid schedule doesn't have to be the only way to get good work done.
Managers are embracing a culture of trust and setting the example of a healthy work-life balance. For example, Buffer's CEO tested a four-day workweek for a month in 2020. The company saw such success they'll be sticking with it for the foreseeable future. Employees cited improved productivity, lower stress levels and a greater sense of autonomy.
You don't have to make as radical a change as they did. You should take action to make your hybrid office a dynamic and accommodating space, though. The results might surprise you.
2) Cross-Platform Social Events
Building a sense of belonging is a fundamental part of any wellness culture. One of the best ways to create that community spirit is by holding events like office parties and nights out.
With so many businesses having to go fully remote in 2020, many found this part of work-life was the hardest to replicate online, leaving people isolated and disconnected from their teams. Creative companies have found plenty of ways to help employees socialize. Here are just a few ideas for inclusive events that work for any combination of at-office or at-home teams:
- Start a fitness program where one person suggests a five-minute exercise every morning - and films a demo! Here's a list of desk exercises to try out.
- Host a quiz night, talent show, or even a murder mystery evening. Costumes encouraged.
- Play a fun online game together. Among Us has proven popular for people to play using video conferencing chat like Teams or Zoom. (If you prefer something a bit more relaxed, try this free web app for the Codenames board game.)
3) Peer Support and Reintegration Programs
Events don't have to be a big, company-wide affair. Schedule in optional 'watercooler' style get-togethers to bolster the day-to-day mental health of your team. Plenty of organizations are learning the value of lunchtime meet-ups, coffee mornings or after-work drinks (BYOB and BYOD: the ultimate combination).
These types of meetings can be one-to-one, organized around discussion points like book clubs, or even framed as support groups. Indeed recommends having some kind of buddy system during employee onboarding to improve retention, but we have another suggestion. If you're welcoming back furloughed colleagues during this time, then this 'reintegration' period can be treated in the same way, giving returning employees the same support that new team members receive. It'll make all the difference during a stressful time.
What Workplace Wellness Trends Will You Try Next?
Leaders recognize the need for a holistic approach to workplace wellness — which includes physical, mental and emotional support — in order to maintain a flexible and inclusive culture. If you're looking for more ideas, check out these home office essentials to boost your remote team’s wellbeing and productivity.
Ready to inspire the next trend? See how JazzHR and Sapling can digitize your candidate-to-employee experience.
Guest blog submission by JazzHR