How to help employees stay social while social distancing

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Employees and Social Distancing

The ever-changing economic landscape, social distancing rules, and COVID-19 policies can have an impact on company culture and employee well-being. Employers who can provide support can help maintain a healthy level of employee motivation. We are social creatures by nature, and prolonged physical distancing is completely new territory for many of us. According to Forbes “Employees with friends or social connections at work tend to be more engaged and loyal workers. This is because quality work relationships help build a strong company culture that emphasizes respect, loyalty and trust. Social connection provides a sense of cohesion in the office, which is essential for cultivating creativity, teamwork and collaboration.” (1)

Here are some creative ways a business can continue social connections:

Review Your Employee Wellness Program

To further minimize impact, review your existing corporate wellness program and benefits and adjust to meet the immediate challenges your population is facing.  
First, consider surveying your employees to uncover their biggest challenges.  For example, if you have a large population of working parents with young children, consider developing new wellness challenges or workshops that you can do with your children.  Also consider what flexible work policies you can implement to help provide support along with additional stress management and mental health programs.  

If you’re new to wellness, now more than ever employees can benefit from the additional support and resources a corporate wellness program can provide. outlines some of the benefits of a worksite wellness program: (2)

  • Healthy active employees incur lower health costs
  • Employees are more productive
  • Physically active employees are healthier
  • Wellness programs inspire important behavior changes
  • Small business owners may be able to take advantage of tax incentives for workplace programs

In a post COVID-19 world, worksite wellness programs now include additional programs created in response to the pandemic.  These include:

  • COVID-19 testing services
  • COVID-19 employee health monitoring app 
  • New wellness challenges and workshops on coping with remote work, social distancing, stress management and mental health resources

COVID Employee Wellness Success Story

Packard Culligan Water is an example of a company who has been successful in engaging their employees in response to COVID-19 by offering the following services as part of their wellness program: (3)

  • Weekly self-care videos
  • 1:1 health coaching for employees and their spouses
  • Manager well-being calls
  • Weekly well-being communications
  • Live meditation sessions and activity breaks
  • Resiliency and stress management activities
  • Morale boosting activities

COVID Employee Wellness Resources

To get more information on how to implement a wellness program, check out our list below: