How Virtual Wellness Classes can Help your Employees

 In Employee Engagement

The global pandemic has forced many employees to work remotely, limiting their access to social interaction and previously offered on-site classes, which makes wellness more important than ever. Research from a Willis Towers Watson survey found that 60% of employers are offering new easy-to-implement virtual solutions, such as online workouts, to support employees who work from home. At some workplaces, employees looked forward to getting together for a workout, and now they’re having trouble staying motivated.

Some companies like  Pinterest built their culture around their on-site offerings.

“That’s one part of our benefits offering (that) employees really relied on and really enjoyed. We didn’t want to take that away because we couldn’t be in a physical office,” says Alice Vichaita, head of global benefits at Pinterest.

There are a variety of virtual wellness classes you can offer your employees to help improve their wellbeing, which may also help to reduce your healthcare costs, and improve employee retention rates.

How it Benefits Employees

Since the pandemic changed the “normal” workplace dynamic, employees are going to appreciate new ways to socialize, get active, and engage with their peers.

Available On-Demand

Since daily schedules are somewhat disrupted, due to work and homeschooling, even making time to attend a class at the gym has become almost impossible. Virtual wellness classes are available 24/7 on any computer or smartphone, allowing people to do them as time allows. If an employee only has time to do a workout at 11pm, they just need to choose a class and get started.

Improves Mental Outlook

Being home and isolated may not benefit all employees, especially those who looked forward to seeing their coworkers on a normal basis. Social interactions, even if held over Zoom, can go a long way towards combating the loneliness and depression that might come from being socially distanced.

Employees are also realizing how important workplace wellness programs for their overall well-being.

According to Corporate Wellness Magazine, “more and more employees now consider their workplace benefits as an important component of their employment contract.”

When a company invests in their employees’ health, morale and productivity usually increases as well. Nobody likes going to work, virtually or in-person, when they’re feeling down. Virtual wellness classes can improve the emotional health of employees by giving them something new to look forward to.

Virtual Wellness Class Ideas

If you’re going to get the maximum benefit of the classes being offered, its recommended to survey your employees to find out what they may be interested in. You don’t want to make assumptions and offer classes strictly based on your personal interests.

Here’s a few popular wellness classes that your employees may enjoy:

  • Cooking with a Chef — with more time at home, people are trying out meal delivery services to cook healthier. By offering cooking classes with a chef – live or on-demand, your employees will learn basic cooking skills and how to prepare delicious recipes in under 30 minutes. The best thing about this is that your employees can do this alone with their families, or even in small groups with their co-workers!
  • Basics of Mindful Eating — it is easier than ever to snack on junk food throughout the day. By learning the basics of mindful eating with a nutritionist, your employees will better understand their hunger signals. They’ll know the difference between being hungry and bored. The more mindful they become with their meals, they’ll notice improvements to their energy, productivity, and mood.
  • Yoga & Breathwork — help your employees learn the right ways to stretch and learn breathing techniques that can help them in their day-to-day lives when things get stressful. Yoga can be intimidating for beginners, but a good instructor can offer tips and modifications that will work for anyone, regardless of their experience or skill level.
  • 15 Minute Bodyweight Circuit — allow employees to participate in a high energy workout that can be done during a break and won’t disrupt their day, while burning calories and improving focus.

Improve the Experience for your Employees

Some business leaders think virtual courses don’t have much of an impact because it seems hard to track engagement and keep employees motivated. However there’s many ways to improve this experience and encourage employees to take advantage of these classes.

Here’s some tips to help your workforce appreciate the virtual class offerings:

  • Incentivize exercise goals — give your employees a reason to take their dogs for a walk. Build in time during the workday for employees to go for a walk or run. With corporate wellness platforms and fitness apps you can offer rewards for engagement and results.
  • Use video to socialize — don’t underestimate the value of adding video to the classes. Having video in live events helps to make it feel more like an in-person class.
  • Create a calendar — if classes are offered on specific days, provide your employees with a calendar so they can plan out their week. Allowing them the opportunity to schedule their classes ahead of time may build excitement and also boost engagement.

How your Company can Benefit

You could save money on health insurance premiums if your employees take action to improve their health. By encouraging your staff to take preventative measures and become better healthcare consumers, you may avoid larger, more expensive claims.

According to The Seattle Times, “some employers are funding new benefits through a slight decrease in their expected health-care costs this year.”

Not only will you attract more top talent if prospective employees know your company’s reputation for treating its employees well, but your company will also remain productive throughout the year as employees will take less sick days.

For more Information

If you’re interested in implementing virtual wellness classes, please contact us today to learn about our virtual wellness library and how we can help your workforce.

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