Workplace wellbeing has never been more important. Particularly given – for many of us – our workplace has shifted from the office to home.
Thanks to COVID-19 restrictions and changes to the way we work, many of us have now set up makeshift “offices” in spare bedrooms and in corners of busy, small apartments.
We’ve had a crash course in working from home. And when you’re juggling so many competing priorities in the one place – work, home, family, pets – we definitely need to reframe our thinking about workplace wellbeing and employee wellness.
Employee wellness still matters
Even if you’re no longer working in the office, employee wellness still matters to your boss.
After all, happy and healthy workers are more productive, have better morale, and are less likely to take sick leave.
A workplace that promotes a healthy lifestyle – even while working from home – encourages employees to make healthy choices while at work and in your leisure time too.
Your physical health is key to good mental health
It’s perfectly understandable if COVID-19 has made you concerned or anxious – after all, our brains are hard-wired to be on the lookout for threats that might hurt us.
Even if you have started working in the office again, you might work for part of the week at home.
It’s important to manage any anxiety you have to function well each day. Getting enough exercise, sleep, and maintaining a good diet are all important to your good physical and mental health.
Keep work separate from home
It can be hard to adjust to working from home if you’re used to working in the office. Suddenly the boundaries between work and home life are blurred, and you might find yourself working at all hours of the day and night.
With your workspace so close, and work emails and calls coming through at home potentially at all hours, it can be hard to “switch off” from work. But you don’t want to set up the habit of checking work emails at all hours of the day and night.
Overworking can hurt your physical and mental health and lead to burnout. If you have children who are schooling at home as well, it can make the juggle even harder.
Recruitment agency Hays suggests setting clear boundaries between work and home life.
- Try setting up a separate space for work, set up with a desk and office chair, which is clear and uncluttered, letting you focus only on work tasks.
- Wearing “smart casual” work clothes can help you psychologically get into a work mindset.
- Let everyone in your household know that you need space and time to work. If you have kids at home this will be a challenge, but try setting up their workspace where they can do school work close by.
- Take regular breaks by standing up and moving around every hour. Make sure you eat a healthy lunch away from your desk and take a step outside for some fresh air.
- At the end of each workday, walk away from your workspace. It’s even better if your desk is in a separate room, and you can shut the door to your office for the evening. Once you’ve finished work, do something you enjoy, like calling a friend, going for a walk or playing music.
Telehealth is a smart addition to employee wellness programs
If you have any mental or physical concerns you’d like to discuss with a healthcare provider, don’t hesitate to make an appointment.
If you don’t want to visit a health service, you can still access health professionals through video appointments – known as telehealth.
This is an easy and convenient way to access health services while working from home.
As well as seeing a GP or specialist through a telehealth link, you can even see a physiotherapist, optometrist, personal trainer, or yoga teacher via video.
Workplace wellbeing (and health screenings) in the privacy of your home
Lots of workplaces are getting better at helping employees manage their physical and mental health, and workplace wellbeing programs are becoming more important to staff.
Some companies are also starting to offer virtual wellbeing programs and testing as part of their employee wellness programs.
MonitorYou offers at-home monitoring services to monitor heart health and other aspects of your lifestyle. As part of a workplace wellbeing program, you can now track your health at home by ordering a MonitorYou service.
If you’re not sure if your company has an employee wellness program, check with your human resources department. Alternatively, you can talk to your manager and see if they offer health assessments through your workplace.
If your company doesn’t have a health and wellness program, you might like to suggest it.
How at-home employee health monitoring works
Dried blood spot sample collection kits are simple to use.
Whether in a traditional workplace environment or for those with remote staff working from home, MonitorYou sample collection kits can be delivered directly to your home, offering convenience and less disruption to the workplace.
Testing kits can also be sent directly to your home – and with many of us working from home, that’s far more convenient!
Each monitoring service requires just a few drops of blood onto a special collection card, which is then posted back to the MonitorYou laboratory in a reply-paid envelope for analysis. The blood drops are easy to collect – a small finger prick device is included in every kit.
Your results will be sent to you directly through a secure website, where you can track improvements to your health. Your results won’t be shared with your employer.
If your workplace has more than 50 employees, your employer will receive a de-identified, collated results report. This will give your employer an idea of how many employees might be at risk of heart disease or diabetes.