If there’s anything 2020 taught us, it’s that our health should be a top priority—in and out of the office. From stress management to handling uncertainty, how can you help people feel supported in their wellness journeys as they return to the office? Here are a few simple strategies to consider when returning.
1. Give rewards for healthy lifestyle choices
Most people want to take care of their health but may be overwhelmed, unmotivated or without the proper resources. By offering wellness incentives at work, you can encourage positive behaviors that improve health for the long term. Already have a wellness program? Great! This is the perfect time to review engagement and see if you can make room for specific, pandemic-influenced incentives.
Consider trying these basic approaches:
- Incentivize COVID-19 vaccine uptake with gift cards, merchandise or a raffle
- Make healthy habits fun with friendly competitions, such as tracking the most steps
- Offer a gym reimbursement or bike-to-work incentive
- Install an in-office gym, outdoor basketball court or other wellness activity areas
- Stock healthy snacks and fresh fruit in break rooms
- Set out hand sanitizer and wipes for employees to use as needed
2. Provide resources to improve mental health
More than half of adults struggling with mental illness currently do not receive treatment. To make things even more difficult, society often stigmatizes mental illness, which prevents those who are suffering from seeking help. While improving and nurturing mental health is ultimately a personal decision, employers can make the choice easier with positive reinforcement.
Think about adding or enhancing programs with these ideas:
- Offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for free, short-term counseling
- Support continuing education through tuition reimbursement
- Encourage a culture that allows mental health days to reduce stress with time away from work
- Provide in-office meditation or yoga sessions
3. Promote social communities centered around wellness
There’s something to be said about being surrounded by people who encourage a focus on healthy activities. Whether it’s a weekly yoga class or a running club, there are easy ways to prioritize physical health when it's part of a social circle at work.
Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Bring in a fitness instructor for regular in-office workout classes
- Encourage wellness-related team-building activities like hiking or a cooking class
- Participate in a local health challenge, such as a 5K running race or charity walk
- Host health and wellness lunch and learn sessions
Put it all together
Not sure where to start on your back-to-office health incentives? A good place to begin is an area that may offer the biggest impact in the long run. Pick a program or activity that will make your people the most excited to return to work. The more ways you support individuals in their journey back to the office, the happier and more productive they will be when they share common spaces again.
HealthEquity does not provide legal, tax or financial advice. Always consult a professional when making life-changing decisions.