Workplace Wellness in a Post Quarantine World

By: Megan Landean, M. Ed.

2020 will go down as a year we will always remember. No matter who you are, your daily life was uprooted in some way, shape or form. Parents became teachers, significant others became nervous barbers and the implementation of wellness became a top priority to many. With wellness taking the center stage, it is more important than ever to make sure your company and workplace are equipped to keep your employees happy and healthy.

The definition of wellness is continuing to evolve. In this post-quarantine world, fitness and wellness are no longer these black and white concepts. We are being forced to adapt, be creative and accept that our methods will need to evolve.

What is Workplace Wellness?

Harvard Business defines workplace wellness as an “organized, employer-sponsored program that is designed to support employees (and, sometimes, their families) as they adopt and sustain behaviors that reduce health risks, improve quality of life, enhance personal effectiveness, and benefit the organization’s bottom line.”

What does Post-Quarantine Wellness look like?

Even though we are slowly starting to come out of lock-down, we are nowhere near “back-to-normal”. For most of us, that means our stress (cortisone) levels are still much higher than before the shutdown. As a result, this can mean that even if you are eating right and exercising regularly, you still might be gaining weight or suffering other long-term health consequences. Learning how to manage your anxiety, not being too hard on yourself and being able to create your own “new normal” are the foundations for your Post-Quarantine Wellness success.

  • - Group exercises classes are now virtual classes done at your home. Milk jugs and books are now your weights. The stairs are now your cardio area.
  • - Date Nights include cooking Pinterest inspired meals with your significant other or family.
  • - Dining room tables have become office desks and living rooms have become classrooms.
  • - Instagram is now for fitness challenges, like putting a shirt on while doing a handstand.
  • - Learning how to manage our social outings is now filled with masks and safety protocols.

Workplace Wellness by the Numbers

Sure, all this information can seem like a good idea, but does it really work?

According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, employers who implemented wellness saw an average annual savings per employee of $565 (in 2009 dollars). Another study found that employees who participated in a health promotion program improved their health care or lifestyle and regained an average of 10.3 hours in additional productivity annually.

Not only does some form of wellness program save the employer money, but it also makes your company somewhere people want to be. 89% of workers at companies that support well-being initiatives are more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work (Forbes).

What can YOU do as an employer to promote wellness in the workplace?

  • Encourage your employees to have a solid understanding of what work/life balance means and how it can apply to them. With most of us continuing to work from home, it is difficult to know when is work time and when is life/relaxing time. Encourage your employees to set boundaries, such as not answering an email in the middle of dinner with the family.
  • Create a healthy cookbook for everyone to contribute to. Having a healthy cookbook for all your employees to utilize will not only keep them in contact with each other when they are out of the office, but it can also promote healthy habits.
  • Encourage your employees to by physically active. Whether they are an avid gym goer, or not sure what to do for exercise, encourage all your employees to get moving! Regular exercise not only improves your physical health, but also helps reduce stress and anxiety. A healthy start is to have them all hit at least 8,000-10,000 steps per day.
  • Lead by example. Set an internal out of office between 6-8 pm that let’s your employees know you are taking time to exercise or spend time with your family.

What is the difference between OFFERING wellness programs and BUILDING a culture of wellness?

Most companies in today’s corporate environment have some type of wellness program or initiative, but often it is an ancillary piece of the puzzle that gets forgotten or neglected. Making programs available is a great start, but so is leading the horse to water. Health is something that most of us take for granted until it is gone and finding ways to get people engaged and excited about wellness is where we come in.

At Trilogy, we recognize that your people are your most important asset. We empower you to care for your people’s well-being - mind and body – to improve their day to day life. We believe an effective wellness program begins with providing content that is relevant to your population, progresses with programs, engages your employees, and culminates with personalized touch points that can benefit employees on an individual level. Combining these three elements, content engagement and personalization, results in the most impactful wellness program possible.