How to encourage active employees
Research suggests that employee wellness programmes can be effective for reducing sedentary behaviours and helping team members figure out how to stay active at work. Some surveys suggest these programmes are much more important to remote workers than to those who work in an office. Benefits include enhanced work performance and greater physical and emotional health.
If you’re an employer, here are some ideas for motivating team members to stay active while working at home. (Just note that it’s not the right of an employer to tell team members what to do with their bodies. Let these activities be optional!)
Host a step challenge
Team members can post daily or weekly challenges to one another. The Strava app’s group feature allows coworkers to sync their data.
Allow team members to earn “walking bucks”
They can redeem these rewards for a healthy to-go meal, home gym equipment, or a pair of sweat-wicking sports socks.
Reimburse employees for membership to a workout streaming service
Check in with them about their progress on a site like Slack. (Again, make sure checking in is optional. No team member should have to tell their employer what they did with their body that week.)
Start a fitness channel
Use Slack or Microsoft Teams to build camaraderie among team members, discuss workouts and training tips, and share support.
Create a sports team(s)
The benefits of group sports teams include increased work performance and a greater sense of solidarity between coworkers. Golf could lend itself to social distancing guidelines, as does tennis (as long as employees maintain distance, keep their hands away from their faces, and wash or sanitise their hands often). Of course, let team members choose whether they feel comfortable meeting in person.
Regardless of whether you’re an individual who’s decided to commit to daily physical activity while working at home or an employer devoted to supporting their employees in moving more during the workday, you’ll reap the benefits of increased exercise.
After just a few weeks of increased activity, team members should begin to notice increased strength and endurance along with improved sleep, enhanced job performance, and a greater sense of wellbeing. Set that timer, jump up, and move!
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