For many, COVID-19 brings about feelings of anxiety and fear, coupled with difficulty focusing on work due to constantly evolving information and uncertainty around the impact of a global pandemic on our personal and professional lives. Whether your employees are currently working remote, performing essential business functions, or furloughed altogether – there are many ways to support the health and wellbeing of your workforce during this unusual time:
- Remind employees of your benefit offerings: Whether you have an EAP, robust group health services, a formalized wellness program, child/eldercare support, telemedicine, or other concierge medical services – make it easy for employees to locate their plan information to access these services as needed
- Promote healthy habits & free resources: California and many other states are currently under a “stay at home” order, so it is likely employees are looking to create new routines during this time. Suggest they maintain a sense of normalcy (wake up on time, get dressed, take breaks, etc.) but also plan for fresh-air walks, or home-cooked meals to unwind and save money, and also take advantage of the many digital wellbeing apps that are offering free services during the pandemic, such as Nike Training Club for fitness and nutrition, along with Headspace for mental health.
- Provide proper equipment: For remote employees, this may simply be giving the necessary technology and equipment to work from home. However, if you have essential employees that are required in the field, be sure they are equipped with the appropriate PPE and sanitization products, along with proper distancing from colleagues and other people while at work.
- Allow flexibility where you can: It’s safe to say that employees may be required to take on additional responsibilities at home to support loved ones during this time, and that may require more flexible options to complete work. If your business allows, consider offering temporary and flexible work schedules to provide employees time to manage their home life and maintain a sense of job security.
- Clearly communicate and often: Finally, it is important to maintain a connection to your employees so they know how any business changes may affect their roles, daily tasks, and access to benefits during this time. When necessary, be sure to consult with your employment counsel for guidance. With the help of reliable public health sources such as the CDC and WHO, employers can effectively share with employees how the company is responding to the current public health outbreak and maintaining proper safety for all.
For additional workplace wellness tips, check out the following resources:
- Kaiser Permanente – https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/northern-california/health-wellness/coronavirus-information
- Headspace – https://get.headspace.com/employer-toolkit
- Virgin Pulse – https://community.virginpulse.com/coronavirus-covid-19-awareness-at-work?utm_campaign=ASSET-2020-03-COVID-19-Awareness&utm_source=website&utm_medium=resources
- Aduro Life COVID-19 Resources – https://adurolife.com/resilience-employee-wellbeing-during-covid19-resources/
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