The reason why any company would want to keep their employees healthy is multifold which includes better work performance and improved efficiency, among other things. This holds for both on-site employees and remote employees.
And especially during times of crisis like a global pandemic outbreak, ensuring the mental and physical wellbeing of the remote workforce becomes one of the top priorities for business continuity. From providing reimbursements for online eye checkups to conducting workshops for keeping the mind healthy, employers have adopted various steps for the all-round welfare of their remote employees.
Moreover, the Federal Law now includes the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that qualifies various new healthcare items for purchase using FSA, HSA funds. For instance, employees can benefit from FSA, HRA, and HSA reimbursements when they purchase prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses & progressive lenses from various online shops.
So, if you are also the owner of a startup, eager to look after the health of your remote workforce, then here are 5 ways to go about it.
- Encourage a proper sleep pattern – If your teammates typically do not follow a fixed work schedule, they might be prone to neglecting their sleep and follow erratic work schedules. In the long term, this can have a very bad impact on the health of the employees and might even result in overall poor productivity. You should encourage people to get enough sleep and develop a work schedule that enables them to balance their sleep pattern along with their work.
- Encourage timed breaks – Remote employees also tend to work extended hours at a time without taking any breaks or very limited breaks. This again has a very bad effect on health, in fact, it has been noted that such sedentary work behavior is considered worse for health compared to obesity or smoking. You can plan some reward schemes like incentives for those who successfully balance both breaks and work.
- Send emails on health tips – Lack of knowledge among employees regarding health and wellness also results in poor health. So you can try to develop their awareness by sending them regular health tips that they can follow and incorporate in their daily lives.
- Offer fitness stipends and reimbursements – One of the ways to ensure that your remote employees are healthy is by offering them health and fitness stipends. It can be stipends for membership for online yoga or aerobics classes. This will ensure that the insurance costs for the employees are also low because they will be overall healthy. You can offer a fixed stipend every month or reimburse bills that they submit. The second option is generally better.
- Allow adequate time for doctor appointments – Work pressure or rather the feeling of work pressure generally makes employees mismanage their time. Consequently, they avoid taking out time for doctor or dentist appointments unless it becomes an emergency. You can provide ample time for these appointments to strike the right balance of work and health. However, do make sure that they don’t take advantage of this time.
There are many more ways to ensure the general wellness of your remote employees during these trying times. But these are some of the easiest ways, to begin with.