As companies continue shifting to hybrid and remote work, many HR teams are looking at how they can better facilitate wellness in the workplace. The D.C. Chamber of Commerce has some suggestions, having recently released a report on the subject as part of the organization’s DC Works Well initiative. The report consists of recommendations based on an assessment of D.C. businesses.
D.C. employers, HR representatives and business organizations took part in a series of discussion groups to explore workplace wellness strategies and how they’ve evolved over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. Data from the discussion groups suggest that companies in the area are focussing primarily on three major wellness areas: mental health, community connectedness and financial health.
With this in mind, the Chamber of Commerce put together a five-step roadmap for office wellness companies should consider to improve employee health.
How to Increase Employee Health and Worksite Wellness
- Have company executives lead by example
- Understand resources and needs
- Encourage employee engagement and participation
- Create initiatives to support wellness
- Constantly evaluate and improve programs
The first step the report recommends is for leaders at the organization to take a top-down approach to encourage wellness.
“Leadership’s investment in worksite wellness policies and programs (both formal and informal) sets the tone for a workplace culture that supports employee wellness,” the report reads, suggesting that company executives need to lead by example. This can include setting boundaries between work and personal life and taking time off to recharge.
According to the report, some of the practices D.C. companies have already implemented include providing support for workplace shortages by offering flexible working hours, fighting burnout by enforcing scheduled breaks throughout the day and allowing employees greater flexibility in where they work — either at home, in the office or a combination of the two.
Strategies for Workplace Wellness
- Create open door policies and be responsive to employee needs and concerns.
- Create mental health resources that recognize work-life balance stressors and offer tools and solutions, including time off for wellness, counseling, financial support and fitness services.
- Give employees flexible working options including staffing arrangements, workspaces and hours.
- When workforce shortages occur, provide wellness support such as flexible schedules, remote or hybrid workspaces, health insurance and wellness programs to attract and retain talent.
- To avoid burnout and fatigue recognize achievements, express gratitude, enforce daily structure with wellness breaks, restrict or limit after-hours communication and offer emergency financial support, when possible.
The full report can be found on the D.C. Chamber of Commerce’s website.