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💆🏻‍♀️ 15 Effective Wellness Activities for Remote Employees [2024]

By June 30, 2024 July 15th, 2024

Article Overview: Maintaining a healthy mental and emotional balance is a very real struggle for many remote employees. The great news is, by implementing some of these effective wellness activities, you can help your remote teams fight off burnout and keep their wellness tanks full.

It’s been four long years since working remotely became the new norm for many Americans. As of Q124, 38% of full-time American employees were either working remotely or in a hybrid arrangement.

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And while some folks absolutely love the freedom and flexibility that come with the remote life, the work-from-home movement has also highlighted some unfortunate emotional, mental, and physical health challenges as well.

Many employees have struggled with issues like loneliness, inefficiency, setting personal and professional boundaries, and probably the most common – burnout.

“12 billion working days are lost to depression & anxiety yearly – or $1 trillion in lost productivity. In the US, mental health problems are estimated to cost $47.5 billion in lost productivity due to unplanned absences alone.” Share on X Each of your employees brings their own unique set of strengths to the organization but dodging these stressors often takes some strategy and reinforcement. How can you better support remote employees and parkour around the pitfalls of burnout?

👇 Take the first step towards a holistically healthier workforce by checking out these fabulous virtual wellness activities and support your employees’ positive mindsets and individual remote work environments.

🧐 Curious about my top wellness activity picks?

Trust me, it was tough to choose just a few, but here you go!

  1   Promote Hobbies

👉 Empower your remote teams and encourage a healthy work-life balance by supporting your employees’ extracurricular activities.

Supporting your employees’ hobbies isn’t just a nice gesture – it’s a game-changer for workplace happiness and creativity. When you encourage employees to pursue their passions, you’re investing in a more engaged, innovative, and balanced workforce.

It’s a great way to build stronger connections, elevate the remote work culture, and make collaborations more colorful and creative.

✅ How to implement this wellness activity for remote employees: Supporting your remote employees’ hobbies is easier than you may think! Start by setting up a hobby-sharing platform where remote team members can connect over common interests.

You can also organize regular hobby-themed events or workshops, and give other employees an opportunity to learn a new hobby or skill they may not have otherwise been exposed to.

  🔦 Resource Spotlight: Whole Therapy

Source: Wealth of Geeks


  2   Create a Corporate Wellness Program

👉 Get fit, feel great, and work better together with an inclusive corporate wellness program!

Employee Wellness

A corporate wellness program is all about making employee health and happiness a priority at work. This can include mental and physical health programs, as well as financial health literacy objectives, and tips for creating healthy habits all around.

Send out a survey to see what your employees want, then design your program to fit their needs, ensuring there’s something for everyone to participate in.

✅ How to implement this wellness activity for remote employees: Kick things off by offering weekly fitness classes or group life coaching sessions. Set up a virtual wellness hub with nutritional and dietary resources, and encourage employees to get involved by organizing a virtual fitness challenge and incentivizing their wellness goals.

🔦 LinkedIn Member Spotlight: How does this virtual wellness activity benefit remote employees? Mobile Gym Flow laid out the top 5 benefits of investing in a corporate wellness program:


  3   Use a Step Challenge App

👉 Your remote teams can walk their way to wellness, one step at a time!

Help take your team’s fitness goals to the next level! A step challenge is a fun and easy way to boost employee wellness no matter where they’re working from. Employees can track their progress, compete with colleagues, and stay active no matter where they are.

✅ How to implement this wellness activity for remote employees: Choose a step-tracking app that everyone can use, and set a timeframe for the challenge. Employees can log their steps daily and share their progress updates with the rest of the team.

Add a little excitement with weekly mini-challenges and prizes to keep everyone motivated and moving.

🔦 Company Spotlight: The American Correctional Association (ACA) implemented a step challenge at one of their conferences to encourage its attendees to walk more. The ACA used YuMuuv to set up, monitor, and reward participants with cash and gift cards as incentives. One of their biggest takeaways from this challenge was how participation actually increased at each conference – it was catching on!

“The step challenge has proven to be an invaluable tool for promoting wellness and engagement among our conference attendees. It not only encouraged physical activity but also brought an element of fun and competition to the professional setting, enhancing the overall conference experience.” – Terri Lynn Catlett, Director of the Office of Correctional Health, ACA.


  4   Meditation and Mindfulness Workshops

👉 Help your employees stay centered and stress-free with remote mindfulness sessions. 

Virtual meditation and mindfulness workshops are the perfect way to help employees find some calm and focus while working remotely. They’ll learn techniques that help reduce stress, boost energy and productivity, and find their inner peace (even if for only an hour).

✅ How to implement this wellness activity for remote employees: Schedule regular online sessions with a qualified instructor who can carefully guide everyone through relaxation techniques and mindfulness exercises.

You can also share simple tips and resources for daily practice, and encourage them to participate by highlighting the benefits of reducing stress and increasing focus.

🔦 Company Spotlight: Don’t have a qualified yoga instructor on deck? Enter, Elevent – the one-stop-shop of mindfulness and mental health workshops for your entire workforce. Elevent offers a wide variety of group meditation classes and virtual wellness workshops, as well as burnout-beating strategies, nutritional support, and self-care games.


  5   Appreciate Employees for National Wellness Month (August)

👉 August is National Wellness Month – show some appreciation for your remote workforce’s commitment to health and wellness!

This August, celebrate National Wellness Month by showing extra appreciation for your fantastic remote workers. It’s the perfect time to recognize all their hard work and dedication, and to remind them of how much their well-being means to you.

Take this month to focus on health, happiness, and gratitude!

✅ How to implement this wellness activity for remote employees: You could send personalized thank-you notes or shoutouts to your team members. And while you’re at it, why not some wellness care packages, loaded with thoughtful products that support their ongoing wellness journey?

🔦 Company Spotlight: Goody is a super user-friendly corporate gifting platform that makes it easy to find, customize, and ship appreciation gifts to all your employees, near and far. And they’re not just churning out the usual tumblers and keychains – who knew a weighted blanket made such a great employee wellness gift?!


  6   “Movement Money” Stipend

👉 Earn while they burn! Motivate employees to stay active with the universal language of money.

woman joggingImagine getting paid to stay active! A “movement money” stipend for remote employees rewards them for every step they take and encourages an overall healthier lifestyle. It’s a fun way to boost wellness while working from anywhere and makes moving easy for everyone.

✅ How to implement this wellness activity for remote employees: Start by setting clear guidelines on eligible activities like walking, jogging, and fitness classes. Then, decide on how everyone will track their progress (i.e. apps or wearable devices), and reward employees accordingly.

It’s a win-win for boosting motivation and employee morale across your remote teams.

🔦 LinkedIn Member Spotlight: An employee of Health Equity raved about the company-sponsored “movement money” stipend and shared the different ways she’s working to earn hers. Based on her photos, it’s clear to see that her stipend is motivating more than just her – she’s got her whole family involved, proving that this wellness activity can have a positive effect that ripples far beyond just your team members.

employee wellness


  7   Buddy System

👉 Pair up and power through – teaming up to conquer remote work together!

A buddy system is all about keeping your employees connected and motivated. By pairing up with a coworker, they’ll have someone to share ideas, tackle challenges, and celebrate wins with. It’s the perfect way to improve production and build stronger team bonds from afar, and it makes remote work more fun and engaging in the process.

✅ How to implement this wellness activity for remote employees: Simply pair employees based on their roles or interests and encourage regular check-ins, whether it’s a quick chat or a virtual coffee break. It’s an easy way to keep everyone connected and motivated from their own little corners of the internet.

🔦 LinkedIn Member Spotlight: Lindsay is a busy CEO, mom, and motivational speaker, and she had some interesting tips to share on remote wellness activities (note #3).

 


  8   Sleep & Rest Incentives

👉 Support your remote team members’ sleep habits for a happier, healthier workforce.

Help your remote workers thrive with sleep and rest incentives that prioritize their well-being and performance.

By encouraging healthy habits and offering incentives like flexible schedules or virtual wellness programs, you can boost employee morale, creativity, and overall productivity – all while supporting a balanced work-life blend that keeps everyone on top of their game.

✅ How to implement this wellness activity for remote employees: It’s all about flexibility and support. Start by encouraging realistic work hours and emphasizing the importance of embracing downtime.

Consider offering wellness benefits like mindfulness apps or fitness memberships to encourage a balanced mindset. Your team will appreciate the focus on their well-being and you’ll see the difference in their energy levels and productivity.

🔦 Company Spotlight: Crothall Healthcare in Wayne, PA wanted to launch a Well-Rested Challenge in their office, but how to make it fun and engaging? 🤔 BINGO! That’s right, they gamified their downtime by creating Bingo cards with boxes that tie back to restful practices!


  9   Organize a Wellness Week

👉 Wellness Week: Where self-care meets workplace fun!

Wellness Week is all about taking a breather and focusing on feeling good. From virtual yoga classes to nutrition workshops (and maybe even a few surprise treats), it’s a chance for everyone to recharge and find their balance. They can boost their energy, clear their minds, and have some fun along the way!

✅ How to implement this wellness activity for remote employees: Create a schedule with a variety of activities like yoga, healthy cooking demos, and mindfulness sessions. Encourage employees to participate, and don’t forget to add some personal touches to make it enjoyable and beneficial for everyone involved.

🔦 Company Spotlight: Architecture firm Perkins&Will (not a typo – their brand requires no spacebar😎) implemented an annual “Wellness Week” for its hybrid workforce to offer employees new wellness ideas, tips, and strategies for creating and maintaining healthy habits throughout the year. Each day has a theme, and the results are posted on the firm’s Instagram page for reach and accountability.


  10    Walking Meetings

👉 Fresh air and fresh ideas – don’t sleep on the magic of walking meetings.

Walking meetings are a fantastic way to blend productivity with wellness for remote workers. By taking calls and meetings on the go, they can get some fresh air, stay active, and boost their creativity all at once. It’s a simple change that makes workdays healthier and more dynamic!

✅ How to implement this wellness activity for remote employees: Encourage your team members to take some of their calls and virtual meetings while strolling through their neighborhood.

You’ll need some guidelines on staying connected, like using wireless headphones and a stable internet connection, but it’s a refreshing way for them to stay active, enjoy a little nature and fresh air, and make the workday feel a bit less confined.

🔦 LinkedIn Member Spotlight: Caitlin Garrity chimed in on Lindsay Johnson’s LinkedIn post from #6 with her 2¢ in support of walking meetings:

“I love this list! I’d add encouraging & scheduling walking meetings – whenever I have a one-on-one with a coworker where we don’t need a screen, we always do a phone call instead of a Zoom meeting so we can “walk and talk”!

  11   Virtual Yoga Sessions

👉 Finally, a great reason to wear yoga pants at work!

Virtual yoga sessions bring relaxation and rejuvenation right to your employees’ home office. Whether they’re beginners or seasoned yogis, spending a few minutes each week online to stretch, breathe deep, and find their zen can be the perfect stress reliever.

Virtual yoga sessions add a little balance to the day and help keep employees centered while working remotely.

✅ How to implement this wellness activity for remote employees: Set up a schedule of recurring sessions to accommodate your employees’ varying time zones. Share simple instructions for joining online and consider offering pre-recorded sessions for flexibility.

Provide a supportive atmosphere where everyone can unwind and recharge from the comfort of their own space so that employees are encouraged to participate and take advantage of these mid-day resets.

🔦 Community Member Spotlight: Aavenir is a software development company with employees scattered across the globe. But geography didn’t stop them from offering a mindfulness break via virtual yoga for the whole organization.


  12   Start a Summer Book Club

👉 Escape into some best sellers this summer and discover new connections and fun conversations with colleagues between the pages.

A summer book club is a great way for your employees to relax, discover new stories, and enjoy lively discussions with their coworkers.

Whether you have a team of bookworms or you’re just looking for a new way for your employees to bond over something totally unrelated to work, everyone can benefit from some quiet, page-turning time.

✅ How to implement this wellness activity for remote employees: Select a few book options and let the team vote on their favorites. Set up recurring virtual meet-ups to discuss each book, share insights, and engage in some candid conversations.

Make it fun with themed meetings based on the book or BYO cocktails that correlate to the latest chapters, and watch everyone bond over a great read.

🔦 Real-World Example: Several British coworkers (who also happen to be neighbors) decided to start the “Don’t Kill the Book Club” book club for themselves and other colleagues living on the same estate grounds. What a fun way to connect with their fellow remote associates and their immediate community!


  13   Digital Detox

👉 Escape the digital deluge by unplugging and stepping away from the screens.

A digital detox is all about helping your employees unplug and recharge. Taking regular breaks from screens reduces stress, boosts creativity, and improves our overall well-being. It’s a simple way to find balance and feel more recharged every day.

✅ How to implement this wellness activity for remote employees: Encourage your team members to take regular breaks from their screens by setting aside specific times for tech-free activities like reading, walking, or meditating.

Offer tips and suggestions on how to fully disconnect and you could even consider organizing screen-free challenges to gamify your detox.

🔦 Real-World Example: We often associate the word “detox” with the act of completely removing something from our lives. But a digital detox isn’t a cold turkey, never again, kind of situation. VeryWell Mind published a fantastic article all about the digital detox and I love this particular section that talks about tailoring the detox to our individual needs:

“In a study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life, researchers found that technology use played a role in determining an individual’s work-life balance. The study suggested that the use of internet and mobile technologies influenced overall job satisfaction, job stress, and feelings of overwork.”


  14   Mental Health Friday

👉 Prioritize employees’ mental health and wellness with Mental Health Fridays.

Mental Health Fridays are dedicated to taking breaks, prioritizing well-being, and offering balance to your remote workers. Designed to encourage relaxation and stress relief, these Fridays (typically one per month) provide opportunities for self-care activities like massages, personal errands and appointments, or simply unplugging from work to recharge.

✅ How to implement this wellness activity for remote employees: The uber-beautiful part of Mental Health Friday is it doesn’t actually have to be on a Friday. Let’s be honest – sometimes we really need a ‘Mental Health Wednesday!” Make them floaters and let your employees choose when they need to use their Mental Health Fridays so they get the most value from them.

🔦 Company Spotlight: Vinovest

Anthony Zhang, the CEO of Vinovest, is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and firm believer in unlimited PTO, yet he still dubs the first Friday of each month ‘Mental Health Friday.’ This offers his employees an opportunity to prioritize self-care, handle personal business, spend a long weekend with their families, or do whatever they need to maintain a healthy work-life balance.


  15   Work-From-Home Survival Kit

👉 Help your employees “keep calm and carry on” with home office survival kits!

work-from-home-survival-kitWork-from-home survival kits are designed to make remote work a cinch. Packed with essentials like comfy gear, productivity tools, and wellness products, these kits help your employees stay comfortable, focused, and happy while working from home.

✅ How to implement this wellness activity for remote employees: Start by curating a mix of items that offer comfort and promote productivity, like ergonomic workspace accessories, healthy snacks, and stress-relief tools. Personalize their kits with a few fun extras or company swag, and send them out to your remote employees.

🔦 Real-World Example: Pinterest offers some fabulous ideas for how to build work-from-home survival kits but ultimately, you need to understand your employees and what each of them truly needs in order to feel more motivated and productive in their WFH environment. A simple conversation with them or an employee survey can give you the clarity you need to best support your remote workers.

SnackMagic LinkedIn Post


Conclusion

Employee wellness programs don’t have to be complicated. By incorporating some of the virtual wellness activities above, you can seriously improve employee engagement, as well as the well-being, morale, and productivity of your remote workers. It also fosters a happier, healthier, and more connected remote workforce, and those are some great side effects to endure!


People Also Ask These Questions About Wellness Activities for Remote Employees

Q: What are some mental health activities for remote employees?

  • A: Remote employees can benefit from activities like virtual meditation sessions, stress management webinars, and regular check-ins with mental health professionals through employee wellness programs.

Q: How can employee health be improved in remote settings?

  • A: Employee health in remote settings can be improved by promoting regular exercise through virtual fitness challenges, encouraging ergonomic workspace setups, and providing access to mental health resources.

Q: What should be included in an employee wellness program for remote workers?

  • A: An effective employee wellness program for remote workers should include virtual fitness classes, mental health resources, healthy eating tips, and incentives for participation in wellness activities.

Q: How can employers encourage remote employees to stay healthy?

  • A: Employers can encourage remote employees to stay healthy by offering flexible wellness hours, organizing virtual team fitness challenges, providing healthy snacks, and promoting work-life balance initiatives.

Q: What are some tips for promoting healthy snacks for remote workers?

  • A: Employers can promote healthy snacks for remote workers by offering reimbursement or delivery services for nutritious snacks, sharing recipes for quick and healthy meals, and organizing virtual cooking classes.

Q: How can employers encourage healthy eating habits among remote employees?

  • A: Employers can encourage healthy eating habits among remote employees by providing nutritional guidance, promoting hydration reminders, and offering virtual wellness workshops focused on healthy eating.

Q: What are virtual fitness challenges and how do they benefit remote employees?

  • A: Virtual fitness challenges are online competitions or group activities that encourage remote employees to stay active and fit through friendly competition. They promote team bonding, improve physical health, and boost morale in remote work environments.

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