Working from home (WFH) enables you to eat what you want. It also allows you to wear comfy clothes and work from anywhere. Given these inherent luxuries, it’s still challenging to stay healthy in a WFH scenario. It’s often because of these benefits that health goes out the window.

Forty-two percent of the U.S. workforce labors on the homefront in the wake of the coronavirus. With so many WFH employees, it’s important to encourage staff to maintain healthy habits, even from a distance. Here’s how.

Address Healthcare

One of the best ways to encourage healthy habits from a managerial perspective is to equip your employees with both the means and the reminders to care for their own health. This typically manifests in two important activities.

First, you must ensure that your employees have a quality healthcare plan that is competitive within your industry. Now is hardly the time to skimp on providing healthcare for your employees.

Second, do your best to disseminate information about your company’s healthcare policy to your employees. Visits to the doctor have declined by 20% to 30% since the pandemic started. To counteract this worrying trend, encourage employees to get regularly scheduled preventative checkups. Let them know what other activities are covered under the policy. Couple this with helpful information, such as how to minimize anxiety before and during a dental visit.

Empower Your Employees

Another critical aspect of maintaining an effective WFH team is empowering your employees. If your staff members feel they’re being micromanaged by you, it can deflate their entire attitude toward work. It’s easy for a negative work attitude to spread through a WFH employee’s entire personal life as well. This can naturally undermine any healthy habits they may have in place.

Instead, strive to empower your employees with the ability to care for themselves. Provide encouragement and guidance and then step back when you can so they can take the initiative. 

For instance, encouraging your employees to eat healthily is an important part of employee health and wellness. Of course, you can’t directly choose what each employee eats or drinks. That wasn’t even possible when you all worked in the same space. However, as a boss, you can still provide resources that explain what a good diet looks like. You can also share information about what processed food is and when it is or isn’t okay to eat it. 

Promote Flexible Schedules

WFH employees are in an optimal position to take advantage of flexible schedules. If they work better in the morning or at night, they can tailor their schedule accordingly — if they feel the behavior is appropriate.

As the boss, it’s important to actively promote flexible schedules for your WFH staffers. Rather than demanding certain work hours, let them labor when they’re the most productive. Just remember to set up solid systems of communication so that everyone can stay in touch, even if they’re not working at the same time.

Encourage Unplugging

If you want your team to thrive, they need to be able to unplug and disconnect when they’re not working. Allow your employees to go to their calming spaces at times. This includes: 

  • Taking small breaks.
  • Stepping away from their computer. 
  • Indulging in longer vacations spent disconnected from their digital devices. 

If employees are given opportunities to not be bothered by work alerts or push notifications, it can allow them to recharge and refocus. Once that’s done, they can re-enter work mode with a new drive and a higher level of productivity.

Cultivating Employee Health From a Distance

There are many benefits that come with making your employees a priority. These benefits include:

  • Higher ROI.  
  • Better talent acquisition. 
  • A boost in morale. 
  • Greater loyalty. 

Helping your employees develop healthy habits is worth the investment. 

So review your team’s current WFH situations. Look for the areas where you’re lacking. Do your employees feel empowered? Are you leading by example? Have you enabled them to unplug and embrace flexible schedules? Look for the weak spots and shore them up in the name of helping your team live their best professional lives.