If there is one thing that we’ve learned from the global pandemic is that it is not only possible to work productively from home, it is preferred by many. Sure, virtual meetings get tiresome, and occasionally kids and cats pop in on meetings. But overall, employees have proven that they can in fact focus while working from the comforts of home. A recent survey from Prudential showed that 87% of employees who have worked remotely during the pandemic would prefer to continue doing so. Wow, that’s a bigger percentage than I was expecting!
If I’m being honest, 2020, the year of COVID, turned out to be a profitable year for FitPros. We took many previously onsite programs virtual and we were thrilled to create new programs for our employers to support their employees. With concerns about mental health, ergonomics, diversity awareness, and family engagement, employers knew that they had to take action to support their staff. Additionally, it was apparent that when these areas of a person’s personal life are negatively impacted that drives disengagement and lack of productivity at work.
While in conversation with several companies, we asked our customers about their future plans for supporting their employees who remain virtual and those who return to the office. As we assumed, 93% of companies agree that a hybrid of virtual and onsite is the future and we have to face it head-on.
Top 3 concerns from employers from our June 2021 survey:
- Employee Engagement
- WFH Ergonomics
- Work and Family Integration
Even before the pandemic, the lack of engagement could cost American companies up to $550 billion per year due to increased turnover, and lack of employee productivity. Disengaged employees make mistakes 60% more often than engaged employees do!
First and foremost, for employees to be engaged in their day-to-day work Middle Managers must own the responsibility to motivate their team with compassion and genuine interest. One global customer employed our one-on-one Executive Coaching program for their Middle Managers, and they offer monthly group Health Talks on the topics of leadership to all staff around the world. “Every employee is a leader in some way or another,” said the HR Manager. Companies need coaching and facilitators to maximize organizational effectiveness.
In addition to Manager training, another successful option that employers have used to engage their employees include fun activities such as Cooking Classes, Trivia Night, Comedy Show and more. With approximately 30% of the companies getting rid of their office entirely and going remote-first, and another 43% doing a hybrid of remote and onsite – most giving employees the option – there’s no doubt that virtual programs are here to stay. If you haven’t jumped on the virtual bandwagon to engage your staff then you’re in for a rough ride of disengagement and low morale.
Talk to one of FitPros Wellbeing Managers today to allow us to devise an inclusive program for both remote and onsite employees.
The second top concern that we heard from employers is the rising costs of personal injury claims due to improper home desk setup. For the first couple of months, we saw our teammates taking calls from their bed (c’mon you know you did it too) and the kitchen table. When the aches and pains started setting in we either got creative with our space or like half the people on my team we moved out of the San Francisco Bay Area to homes with more space. Yet, just having the desk and home office didn’t solve the problem.
FitPros turned to our Chiropractors to learn what their recommendations are for a home office chair, keyboard, and mouse products. And, we discussed what more we can offer companies to pass through to their staff. Read on for those ideas!
Here are several ergo-friendly product recommendations from our credentialed Chiropractors.
IHOO Office Chair Ergonomic Office Chair with breathable mesh, high back lumbar support, and adjustable headrest
And, not just because they are a FitPros customer, this Aeron Chair from Herman Miller is my favorite with adjustable PostureFit SL pads providing lumbar support and stabilizing the base of the spine, but if you seek a more affordable chair Sayl is also great!
Apple Magic Keyboard is wireless and rechargeable with optimized key travel and a low profile providing a remarkably comfortable and precise typing experience.
Perixx Periboard Split Keyboard with a natural ergonomic design that matches your natural arm and hand positions, plus an integrated palm rest to support your wrists.
I’ve been using the Kinesis brand for years and love it. Their Kinesis Gaming Freestyle Edge RGB Split Mechanical Keyboard is ranked the best of Wirecutter for 2021.
Anker 2.4G Wireless Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse has a scientific ergonomic design that encourages neutral wrist and arm positions for smoother movement and less overall strain.
Logitech MX Master 3 Advanced Wireless Mouse with a perfectly sculpted shape, ideally placed thumb wheel, and intuitive controls
Just a few ergonomic sessions led by Chiropractors that we offer, virtual or in-office are listed below, and check out this page for more.
Group Health Talk on Ergonomic Essentials For Remote Working
How to manage WFH life with smart solutions for your everyday make-shift home office. During this interactive talk, you’ll learn the importance of Movement & Ergonomics. Gain an understanding of how proper Ergonomics reduces Musculoskeletal disorders while working. You’ll learn how to relieve pain, improve posture, strengthen and restore function with soft tissue release techniques and simple chair yoga poses. Additionally, you will discover stress-relieving, self-care management tools through breathwork.
1:1 Mini Consultation
Did you know that most repetitive strain injuries can get fully resolved if the right care is taken as soon as symptoms appear? But it can take weeks to get to see your primary care. We are bringing expert care right to you. Schedule a 20 min consultation with our in-house Doctor of physical therapy and get your questions regarding nagging aches & pain answered
1:1 Physical Wellness Exam
This will be a 45 min assessment of your functional mobility, core strength and pain areas. This session will be performed by a Doctor of Physical Therapy. You will receive a comprehensive report with treatment guidelines to get you back to optimal physical health & wellbeing
To arrange a group talk to all of your staff about how to set up their home workstation, learn movements to avoid injury, and/ or offer one-on-one ergonomics assessments for your staff contact us today!
The third and final (from this survey) top concern that we heard from employers revolves around work-life harmony. “Balance” is no longer the best-fit term. Instead, we have to learn how to harmonize what’s going on in our personal lives with what needs to be accomplished at work. Now that we’re working from home, when we hear the kids scream or the dog needs a walk, the obligation is not avoidable and we leap to the rescue. Frankly, it’s good for the mind to step away from the desk and great for the body to move.
As noted earlier, FitPros was able to take many of our previously onsite programs virtual when Covid struck, such as Fitness Classes and Health Talks, even Cooking Classes and Vision Boarding. We even created a product of home-delivered Care Packages! It wasn’t until a client mentioned that their Parenting Group was getting comments from employees who never wanted to be in the group previously but they needed support now because they were home all the time with their kids and spouse.
Isn’t that interesting? I saw this as another positive from Covid. Parents now had to find activities to do with their kids since going to daycare wasn’t an option. For insight, here’s a blog we wrote with ideas. By no means am I saying that was easy, or even a first choice for many parents, but I definitely believe that it created a stronger bond between kids and their parents.
This need led FitPros to start several new programs for employees to invite their children to tune in with them. Among the most popular include Meditation, Puppet Shows, Family Fitness, and more. We even offer a number of kids-only classes, including Day Camp in our FitPros Kids programming.
In closing, after more than a year of working from home, many employees are just not willing to go back to the office full time. Wasting 2 hours traveling for in-office meetings is no longer a requirement to get work accomplished. The benefits of in-person are eroded by the benefits of not commuting and dressing to impress. Instead, conferences and quarterly networking events will become more important for cultivating in-person relationships. With the sudden shift to working from home, personal injury claims exploded in 2020. If your company didn’t move quickly it’s not too late to prevent back, neck, and repetitive strain injuries from becoming a huge problem. Provide education and ergonomic equipment to workers. Finally, with all of the pain that Covid inflicted, we do have some positive takeaways. One is that parents and children were able to spend more time together, and we found a way to harmonize work with friends and family while engaging in fun activities.
Contact a Wellbeing Manager today to schedule these activities and learn about other offerings available.
Visit FitPros.com to find additional activities available.