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Posted by Valérie Savoie - Kinesiologist - Provincial Coordinator, March 15 2021
Workplace Wellness
Health & Wellness When Working From Home: Count Me In!


During the past year, most businesses were suddenly confronted with the massive retreat of their employees to their homes. A new routine slowly set in, probably quite different from before, for better or for worse. Less transportation, more work hours, less breaks, more flexibility, less movement, more family time, less contacts with colleagues, more visits to the fridge, etc. Somehow, creating a healthy work environment may have appeared more evident when the whole team was together, but the fact remains that employees need more support than ever to stay focused on their physical health and mental wellness. 

Knowing that there are as many different work environments as there are teleworkers, how can businesses provide such support? This issue is worth reflecting on. Knowing that the current context will probably change again within a few months time (we hope so!), some businesses unfortunately decided to remain on the sidelines until the situation gets back to normal. Even though a health and wellness strategy normally requires a long-term vision, it would be advisable to implement a short-term action plan to promptly address the new issues on the table. We recommend the 4 actions below to help businesses quickly launch such an initiative:

1. Appoint a Health & Wellness Leader

It is important to identify a leader and give him/her time to steer the deployment of your strategy. To ensure a successful process, seek a positive leader who will energize your workforce. This person will align employee and business needs, to propose and ensure the implementation of win-win solutions for both sides.

2. Assistance of a Health & Wellness Professional to guide you

Your health and wellness leader will most certainly need the advice and support of a professional. This useful ally will help you develop your strategy while taking into account all the essential aspects of a successful health and wellness initiative. Engaged in this field on a daily basis, this partner will help you find innovative ideas to reach your employees and provide you with practical tools.

3. Survey your Employees to Understand Their Needs

The past year’s changes most likely generated new health issues for your employees. To better understand their situation, you would be well advised to get feedback from your team. Your employees will be more than happy to contribute to the development of your action plan, and you will be able to strike the right chord by proposing activities tailored to their needs!

4. Prioritize 1 or 2 Actions Every Month

Subsequently, you must continue with actions that are successful and keep abreast of new problems that may arise. Remember that small initiatives can make a big difference for your employees, such as:

  • Organize outdoor meetings where each employee can listen in while taking a walk.
  • Provide employees with a video tutorial to help them set up their workstation ergonomically at home.
  • Pay for access to an online fitness platform.
  • Reserve a time during the week for discussions among colleagues on topics other than work and the pandemic.
  • Organize virtual health promotion team challenges.

With a little imagination and professional assistance, you can fine tune your role as it relates to the health and wellness of your employees.

Planning short-term actions will also allow you to adapt your intervention to your financial situation, that may have been impacted by the pandemic too. In this regard, you may qualify for a grant under the PAFEMAP (the Quebec financial assistance program for companies to promote physical activity). To learn more, don’t miss our webinar on this topic!

Webinar - How to get financial support for physical activity in the workplace?

Valérie Savoie holds a Degree in Kinesiology, with Major in Health and Wellness from Université de Sherbrooke. Besides coordinating all the physical fitness and wellness activities provided by Olympe, she has a consulting background in the implementation of corporate programs, specific health and wellness activities, promotion of healthy living habits, facilitation of awareness-raising workshops and conferences, and management and coordination of in-house corporate physical activity centres.
Valérie Savoie - Kinesiologist - Provincial Coordinator