Virtual Employee Wellness Program Tools: Ideas and Activities to Keep Your Remote Team Healthy and Engaged
In today’s digital age, more and more companies are opting for remote work environments. While this can provide a lot of benefits, it can also pose some challenges, particularly when it comes to employee wellness. With remote employees working from their home offices, there is a risk of them feeling isolated, disconnected, and struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance. That’s where employee wellness programs come in.
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In this blog, we’ll break down what a wellness program really is, as well as the benefits of employee wellness programs. We’ll also get into a large list of employee wellness program ideas that you can implement at your organization.
What is an employee wellness program?
An employee wellness program is a company-sponsored initiative designed to improve the overall health and well-being of employees—even remote workers. These programs can take many forms, including physical fitness challenges, mental health resources, nutrition education, and more. The goal of these programs is to help employees lead healthier, happier lives, both in and out of the office.
Employee wellness program benefits
Implementing an employee wellness program can bring a range of benefits to your company and your employees, including:
- Improved employee morale and job satisfaction
- Reduced absenteeism and presenteeism
- Increased productivity and engagement
- Improved physical health and reduced healthcare costs
- Reduced stress and improved mental health
- Enhanced company culture and brand reputation
Wellness program ideas
1. Gratitude journaling
Encourage employees to keep a gratitude journal, where they write down things they are grateful for each day. Gratitude journaling has been shown to improve mood and reduce stress levels.
Start by providing employees with a blank journal or notebook and some prompts to get them started. Encourage them to write down three things they are grateful for each day, no matter how small. Over time, employees may find that gratitude journaling helps them cultivate a more positive outlook on life.
2. Virtual healthy cooking classes
Host virtual cooking classes where employees can learn how to cook healthy meals. Provide recipes and ingredient lists in advance so employees can follow along during the class. Make sure to choose recipes that are easy to follow and use common ingredients.
Encourage employees to share photos of their finished dishes on social media or in a company chat group. Not only will this activity promote healthy eating habits, but it will also provide a fun and engaging way for employees to connect with each other.
3. Virtual nature walks
Encourage employees to take virtual nature walks by sharing videos of scenic nature spots or using virtual reality technology. Spending time in nature can reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being. Consider creating a virtual nature scavenger hunt where employees have to find and photograph certain items in nature, such as a flower, a bird, or a rock formation. This activity promotes mindfulness and encourages employees to take a break from their screens.
4. Virtual meditation groups
Create virtual meditation groups where employees can meditate together or share their experiences with mindfulness practices. This activity can help employees reduce stress and anxiety, improve focus and concentration, and promote overall well-being. Consider providing employees with guided meditations or mindfulness exercises that they can use on their own time. Encourage employees to share their own tips and techniques for incorporating mindfulness into their daily routines.
Pro-tip: Remote teams need wellness programs, too. Unboxed Experiences has specifically designed the Tea & Mindfulness Experience with the modern workplace in mind, with professionally designed group meditation exercises baked into the virtual event.
5. Fitness challenges
Host fitness challenges that employees can participate in from home. Consider challenges that involve tracking steps or workouts, such as a virtual 5K or a month-long fitness challenge. Encourage employees to share their progress and motivate each other through a company chat group or on social media. This activity promotes healthy habits and encourages employees to take care of their physical health.
6. Virtual pet therapy
Bring some virtual furry friends to the office by hosting a virtual pet therapy session. Partner with a local animal shelter or therapy pet organization to provide employees with the opportunity to virtually interact with animals. Pet therapy has been shown to reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being. This activity is a fun and engaging way for employees to take a break and destress during the workday.
7. Art classes
Host virtual art classes where employees can learn how to paint or draw. Provide supplies in advance so employees can follow along during the class. Encourage employees to share their finished pieces on social media or in a company chat group. This activity promotes creativity and can help employees reduce stress and anxiety.
8. Book clubs
Start a book club where employees can read and discuss books related to wellness, mindfulness, or personal development. Provide employees with a list of recommended books to choose from, and encourage them to share their thoughts and insights in a company chat group or during a virtual meeting. This activity promotes intellectual stimulation and encourages employees to engage in meaningful discussions.
9. Virtual crafting workshops
Host virtual crafting workshops where employees can learn how to make different crafts or DIY projects. Provide employees with supplies and tools in advance so they can follow along during the workshop. Encourage employees to share their finished projects on social media or in a company chat group. This activity promotes creativity and can help employees reduce stress levels.
10. Nutrition coaching
Offer virtual nutrition coaching sessions where employees can learn about healthy eating habits and receive personalized nutrition advice. Consider partnering with a registered dietitian or nutritionist to provide employees with expert guidance. This activity promotes healthy eating habits and can help employees improve their overall health.
11. Virtual Self-Care workshops
Host virtual self-care workshops where employees can learn about self-care practices and techniques. Provide employees with resources and tools to help them incorporate self-care into their daily routines. Encourage employees to share their own self-care tips and techniques with each other. This activity promotes mental health and well-being.
12. Language classes
Offer language classes where employees can learn a new language or practice their language skills. Provide employees with language learning resources and tools, such as online language learning platforms or language exchange programs. Encourage employees to practice speaking with each other during virtual language exchanges. This activity promotes intellectual stimulation and cultural awareness.
13. Virtual mindfulness sessions
Host virtual mindfulness sessions where employees can practice meditation, deep breathing, and other relaxation techniques. Consider hiring a mindfulness coach or providing employees with pre-recorded sessions that they can access on their own time. This activity can help employees reduce stress levels, improve focus, and promote overall well-being.
Pro-tip: The Tea & Mindfulness Experience features unique mindfulness exercises based around brewing and tasting globally-sourced teas.
Virtual corporate wellness programs
14. Mindfulness and stress reduction
Provide employees with access to virtual mindfulness and stress reduction programs, such as guided meditations, breathing exercises, and yoga classes. Encourage employees to take breaks throughout the day to practice mindfulness techniques, which can help improve focus and concentration.
15. Mental Health support
Offer virtual mental health support services, such as counseling or therapy sessions. This can help employees cope with the stresses of work and personal life, and improve overall well-being.
16. Ergonomic assessments
Provide virtual ergonomic assessments to ensure that employees have the proper equipment and set up for their home workstations. This can help reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries and improve overall comfort during the workday.
17. Sleep education
Offer employees with virtual sleep education programs that offer tips for improving sleep quality and quantity. This can help employees feel more rested and energized throughout the day.
18. Financial wellness
Establish company-wide virtual financial wellness programs that provide employees with education and resources for managing their finances. Financial stress can have a significant impact on overall well-being, so providing resources for managing finances can help reduce stress and improve overall mental health.
19. Mental health webinars
Host virtual webinars focused on mental health topics, such as stress management, coping mechanisms, and mindfulness practices. These webinars can be led by mental health professionals or experts in the field. By offering these resources, employees can learn strategies to help them maintain their mental health and improve their overall well-being.
20. Virtual team building activities
Host virtual team building activities that promote wellness and well-being, such as virtual yoga classes or guided meditation sessions. These activities can be a fun way for employees to connect with each other and improve their overall health and well-being.
21. Virtual health screenings
Offer virtual health screenings to employees to help them monitor their health and well-being. These screenings can be conducted by healthcare professionals and can include measurements such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and body mass index (BMI).
Pro-tip: Unboxed Experiences is the premier provider of team building activities for virtual teams and hybrid work environments. From Wine & Cheese Pairings to online cooking classes to wellness programs, Unboxed Experiences offers virtual team building activities that fit any organization. Learn more about their services here.
Virtual wellness activities for employees
22. Virtual dance party
Host a virtual dance party where employees can let loose and have fun. Create a playlist of upbeat and energizing songs and encourage employees to dance along. Consider hiring a virtual DJ or dance instructor to lead the party and provide some entertainment. This activity promotes physical activity and helps employees relieve stress and boost their mood.
23. Virtual gardening
Encourage employees to start their own virtual garden by sharing tips and resources on indoor gardening. Consider hosting virtual gardening workshops where employees can learn how to start their own herb or vegetable garden from home. Provide employees with starter kits that include seeds, soil, and pots. This activity promotes relaxation and can help employees connect with nature.
24. Virtual journaling prompts
Provide employees with daily journaling prompts to help them reflect and process their emotions. Encourage employees to share their thoughts and insights in a company chat group or during a virtual meeting. This activity promotes self-reflection and can help employees develop a deeper understanding of themselves.
25. Virtual guided breathing exercises
Provide employees with guided breathing exercises that they can use to calm their mind and reduce stress levels. Consider hiring a mindfulness coach or instructor to lead the exercises and provide some guidance. Encourage employees to practice these exercises regularly and incorporate them into their daily routine. This activity promotes relaxation and can help employees manage stress and anxiety.
26. Virtual laughter yoga
Host a virtual laughter yoga session where employees can laugh and practice breathing exercises together. Laughter yoga has been shown to reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being. Consider hiring a laughter yoga instructor to lead the session and provide some entertainment. This activity promotes physical activity and helps employees relieve stress and boost their mood.
27. Virtual sleep workshop
Host a virtual sleep workshop where employees can learn about the importance of sleep and how to improve their sleep habits. Provide employees with tips and resources on how to create a relaxing sleep environment, develop a bedtime routine, and improve sleep quality. This activity promotes self-care and can help employees improve their overall well-being.
28. Virtual nature soundscape
Create a virtual nature soundscape by sharing videos or recordings of nature sounds, such as birds chirping or waves crashing. Encourage employees to listen to these sounds during breaks or while working to promote relaxation and reduce stress levels. Consider hosting a virtual nature sound meditation session where employees can listen to these sounds and practice mindfulness.
29. Virtual dance fitness classes
Host virtual dance fitness classes where employees can learn new dance moves and get a workout. Provide employees with a playlist of upbeat and energizing songs and hire a virtual dance fitness instructor to lead the class. Encourage employees to share their progress and motivate each other through a company chat group or on social media. This activity promotes physical activity and helps employees take care of their physical health.
30. Virtual DIY skincare workshop
Host a virtual DIY skincare workshop where employees can learn how to make their own natural skincare products. Provide employees with recipes and ingredient lists in advance so they can follow along during the workshop.
Encourage employees to share their finished products on social media or in a company chat group. This activity promotes self-care and can help employees develop a deeper understanding of their skin.
31. Virtual motivational speaker session
Host a virtual motivational speaker session where employees can listen to inspiring and uplifting stories. Consider inviting a motivational speaker to share their personal story or provide some guidance on how to overcome challenges and achieve personal growth. This activity promotes intellectual stimulation and can help employees develop a positive outlook on life.
32. Virtual mindful movement classes
Host virtual mindful movement classes where employees can practice gentle movement and mindfulness exercises. Provide employees with guided exercises that focus on breathing, stretching, and body awareness. Encourage employees to practice these exercises regularly and incorporate them into their daily routine. This activity promotes relaxation and can help employees manage stress and anxiety.
33. Virtual Gratitude Circles
Host virtual gratitude circles where employees can share things they are grateful for with each other. Provide employees with resources and tools to help them cultivate a gratitude practice, such as gratitude journals or prompts. Encourage employees to share their own tips and techniques for practicing gratitude. This activity promotes positive thinking and can help employees improve their overall well-being.
34. Virtual Deskercise
Encourage employees to take short exercise breaks throughout the workday with virtual deskercise sessions. Provide employees with resources and tools to help them stretch and exercise at their desks, such as instructional videos or guides. Encourage employees to share their favorite deskercise moves with each other. This activity promotes physical activity and can help employees reduce stress levels.
Employee wellness programs and activities are essential for promoting employee health and well-being, particularly in remote work environments. By providing virtual resources, coaching, and activities, employers can help their employees stay healthy, happy, and engaged. Whether it’s virtual fitness classes, virtual wellness challenges, or virtual team-building activities, there are many creative ways to promote employee wellness in a remote work environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a virtual wellness program?
A: A virtual wellness program is a program designed to promote employee health and well-being that can be accessed and participated in remotely.
Q: What are the benefits of employee wellness programs?
A: Employee wellness programs can have a range of benefits, including improved employee health, increased employee morale and productivity, and reduced healthcare costs.
Q: What are some virtual wellness program ideas?
A: Virtual wellness program ideas include virtual fitness classes, virtual wellness challenges, virtual mindfulness sessions, virtual health assessments, and virtual wellness coaching.
Q: What are some virtual wellness activities for employees?
A: Virtual wellness activities for employees include virtual book clubs, virtual happy hours, virtual coffee breaks, virtual team-building activities, and virtual lunch and learn sessions.
Q: Why are virtual wellness programs important for remote employees?
A: Virtual wellness programs are important for remote employees because they can help employees stay connected, improve their health and well-being, and reduce the negative impact of remote work on mental health.