Workplace wellbeing initiatives have quickly moved up the ladder of prioritisation in workplaces globally since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. As workplaces continue to adjust to ongoing flexible work practices and rolling lockdowns, a proactive focus on both mental and physical employee wellbeing is essential for long-term success.
There are plenty of organisations stepping up in this space, and today we’re keen to share some of the real gems we’ve come across in the workplace wellbeing space. Keep on reading for some inspiration on how workplace wellness can be designed and delivered.
Workplace wellbeing initiatives to inspire you
Dedicated fortnightly “wellness” days for employees in lockdown.
There is no denying the mental and emotional toll of extended lockdowns on our people. The juggle of home-schooling and the seemingly never-ending news cycle can leave people feeling exhausted and demotivated. By way of improving workplace wellbeing, the leaders at Australian accounting firm CharterNet Advisers are giving their 40-strong staff an extra “wellness” day off every fortnight to help them recuperate from the mental stress and overwhelm of the Sydney lockdown.
Energy management tools and goal-setting apps.
It makes sense that a global health insurance organisation like Bupa would prioritise and localise workplace wellbeing initiatives. In their case, they’ve enlisted the support of a clinical psychologist to develop their own energy management tools to help Bupa employees take charge of their wellbeing at work and be better able to deal with daily pressures. Their wellness program is aptly named ‘Smile’, and you can learn more about it here.
In the UK they’ve also released an app called ‘BupaBoost’ where their employees can set up and track nutrition, personal fitness, mindfulness, and relaxation goals. It also gathers anonymised health data so Bupa can better pinpoint the health concerns of their employees.
Going remote-first and introducing ‘Recharge days’.
Vistaprint Australia decided to become a remote-first company in 2020, and this has meant revisiting every aspect of their employee experience – from onboarding to how to collaborate in a virtual environment.
With exhaustion and burnout making headlines as a result of the pandemic, this year Vistaprint decided to introduce weekly Recharge Days each Friday throughout July and August. Employees at the company are encouraged to take a half-day off to relax, recharge and enjoy something that isn’t work-related. Whether they’re taking up a hobby or spending more time with their children. In the words of their CEO, Marcus Marchant, “We said to our people after midday on Friday we don’t want to see you online or with your little green button on Slack. You really need to be enjoying that time and doing what you want with it”.
An online wellness hub targeting all areas of wellbeing.
Cotton On Group recently announced the launch of their new workplace wellbeing initiative, Healthiest YOU. It’s an online wellness hub filled with everything their people need to develop and support their wellness, all in one place.
The platform features everything from live and on-demand fitness classes to mindfulness content, nutrition tips from health professionals as well as 1:1 support through the company’s Employee Assistance Program. There’s a commitment to continuing to build and evolve the platform over time, but it’s a strong start and a great indicator of the prioritisation that workplace wellbeing has in the organisation.
Generous wellness allowances to enable employee wellbeing.
Supporting proactive, wellness-focused behaviour in the workplace can often be helped by a nudge in the right direction. At Expedia, they offer a generous wellness allowance to employees to enable regular commitment to wellbeing practices. According to their company blog, employees have used their benefits to participate in exercise classes, races and even flying trapeze classes! Others have chosen to upgrade their running shoes, invest in a fitness tracker or even a gym membership.
We hope you found these workplace wellbeing initiatives as interesting and inspiring as we did. If you’ve been thinking about ways to engage and uplift your people during these times get in touch today and about our virtual masterclass sessions. Or if you’re looking for something more specific, take a look at our Boss of Busy and Science of Recovery programs.