With COVID-19 turning our world turtle, organizations have had to rally like never before. And as employees log in remotely, you have a vital role to play in their health and wellness. Here’s a roundup of things that should be on your checklist.
1. Stay Connected – Not Just For Work
Let employees know they’re not alone. Updates can go beyond to-do lists and deliverables. For instance:
- Some employees may live alone and it’s good to have someone check in on them via a short call.
- Assign each employee to either a member of the human resources team or create a buddy system where all employees are paired with someone else who stays in touch with them, checks that they have access to supplies, alerts the company if someone needs medical help, and helps them feel less isolated.
- You could also encourage virtual team lunches where no work is on the agenda. Just conversation or perhaps some fun games.
2. Offer COVID-19 Resources & Local Medical Help
Ensure all employees are well informed of the protocol if they develop COVID-19 symptoms. Have a dedicated number or person they can contact should this happen. If you can facilitate testing, let them know. At the very least, the telephonic support can guide them through the process.
All employees should be aware of:
- Contact details of a doctor on call, whether paid for by the company or employee
- Contact person/company helpline for COVID-19 related concerns
- Local COVID-19 testing centers
- Local COVID-19 quarantine facilities
- Local hospitals – private and government-run – for COVID-19 treatment
- Their company health insurance plan, their policy details, and documents
Your health & wellness partner can liaise with your teams for all of these. For instance, healthi has a dedicated COVID-19 Action Center to support all our clients.
3. Support Good Nutrition
Try and tie-up with grocers and online delivery companies to service the needs of your employees if most of them live in one neighborhood. Or collate resources on local grocers and vendors who can provide essentials across the city and share them regularly.
You could also have a company-wide recipe sharing message board or mailers with easy healthy cooking ideas. Many people may be cooking for the first time without easy access to restaurants and house help.
You could also offer access to nutritionists to help them plan their meals better. For instance, if your company has partnered with healthi, your employees can reach out to our empaneled nutritionists for customized meal plans based on their medical history and dietary restrictions.
4. Keep Up Activity!
Besides household chores, employees need to stay fit and active even if they can’t step out of their homes. Organize virtual yoga and meditation sessions or rope in Zumba instructors or dance teachers remotely. Health & wellness partners like healthi can also offer customized fitness plans with built-in trackers and personalized AI driven schedules.
5. Get In Step About Remote Working
While working from home, it is easy to get carried away and spend long hours seated at the laptop. For this you could:
- Suggest fixed working hours and fixed lunch and tea breaks that everyone has to abide by so no meals are missed/eaten at odd times. You could even add time for nap breaks (experts recommend it, we promise!).
- Factor in time for housework breaks so they can go about their chores as well.
- Discourage any emails or messages or calls beyond these hours. Ensure this is communicated to the managers/supervisors/team leaders.
- Avoid any overly challenging assignments during the lockdown. As clinical psychologists explain, it is already stressful without stretch goals making it hard to stay motivated.
- Share links to apps that remind them to drink water, get up and stretch/walk every hour or half-hour – the timing can be set by them.
- Share at-desk stretches that can be done by anyone.
6. Look After Mental Health
Living in isolation is difficult for the best of us. But when you layer that with a pandemic, it only makes it harder.
- Ensure those who have anxiety issues, problems with stress, or any mental health issues are supported remotely by colleagues and supervisors. But more importantly, they should have access to online or telephone counseling.
- Make telephonic/virtual counseling available to all employees – regardless of whether or not they have a history of mental health challenges. Such times are stressful for everyone.
- Set up a support group of peers who can help each other through this time.
- Share stories via e-newsletters of how people are coping with the lockdown, dealing with challenges. It can go a long way in reassuring employees that they aren’t in this alone.
While it is challenging to look after the health and wellness of all your employees remotely, they do need your support at this time. What may seem like small gestures can be a big help for someone who is struggling. And when this has passed, you will know you did your best at this trying time.
Get easy access to COVID-19 precautions, tools, and updates from health authorities at the HEALTHI COVID-19 ACTION CENTER