Corporate wellness programs have been key tools in improving productivity, employee retention, and creating a more desirable corporate culture. While many companies have put a strong focus on physical wellness plans, many are just touching on the surfaces of other vital components of a wellness program, such as emotional, financial, and social wellness. By including social wellness as part of the corporate wellness policy, you can better improve the things that help bring happiness and stability to your employee's lives.
Traditional Social Wellness Programs
Loneliness in the workplace is commonly overlooked with employees and can result in a feeling of disconnection with the workplace and work tasks, lowered productivity, and a generalized dissatisfaction with the job. To combat this, some corporations have begun to include social wellness as part of their corporate wellness program to promote strong work relationships, improve employee satisfaction and overall well-being. Traditionally social wellness was fostered in the workplace through team outings and activities, work parties and celebrations, luncheons, retreats, wellness challenges, and social areas in the office.
The Need to Rethink Social Wellness
With the number of remote workers increasing, promoting social wellness in a company is becoming more difficult considering remote work environments can lead to greater disconnection, isolation, and loneliness. Even though co-workers can communicate through virtual channels when working, the social aspect that occurs in the workplace is lost. This does not mean that corporations should give up on employee social wellness opportunities but may need to think outside the box.
Setup Virtual Groups
One way to foster social interaction is by creating virtual social groups that employees can join during breaks or after hours to virtually interact with their co-workers. You can have a virtual water cooler group for lunch and break time or create virtual clubs for after-hours, such as book clubs.
Create Community Social Channels
Start social channels on Slack or other programs where co-workers can socialize with each other throughout the day, the same way they would if they were in the office. Employees should be encouraged to sign up and assured that it is safe to talk without management oversight.
Encourage Days Off
With remote work, sometimes work days and hours can become blurred, especially if the worker has other responsibilities throughout the day. The stress of constantly having work to do may push them to work after-hours and weekends to stay caught up. Management can encourage workers to take days off to engage in social activities.
While the recent shift to remote work for many corporations has changed the look of social wellness, it does not mean that corporations should abandon it. By being creative and finding virtual ways for coworkers to interact and socialize, they can help to reduce loneliness in their employees and improve overall employee happiness and job satisfaction.
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