Uniting your employees after over a year of remote working

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It’s not controversial to say that the last year has not been what any of us expected or hoped for! We went from the ‘normality’ of spending more time with our colleagues than our families, to suddenly not seeing anyone other than those we live with for 24 hours a day. We turned dining tables into desks,  we got rid of the work dress in favour of ‘athleisure’ (terrible word) and generally started to hate Zoom.

At first it was fun – then it wasn’t any more. And now, having adjusted to home working, many people are starting to head back to the office (or thinking of doing so).  It may be easy to dismiss this return to the office as ‘just getting back to normal’ but it will definitely entail a period of readjustment and, in some cases, overcoming anxieties – plus introducing ourselves to a load of people we’ve never actually met before. How are you uniting employees after a year of remote working?

Managing the transition – uniting employees after a year of remote working

Each of us had very different experiences over the last 15 months – for some, lockdown was a positive thing, but for many others it has been a very isolating and stressful time. Some people enjoyed ‘lockdown one’ (and two), but really struggled with ‘lockdown three’. After a while, the blurring of the lines between work and home, plus the ‘always on’ environment, has proved to be exhausting. 

So, against this background, and recognising the impact and effects have not been uniform, proactive employers need to help employees back to the ‘new normal’. It’s acknowledged that adopting wellbeing policies that unite colleagues, whilst also recognising that people are actually pretty exhausted after all this home working, that will be needed for a successful transition back to the office. Successfully uniting employees after a year of remote working will be an important strategy over the next 6 months.

Inclusive wellbeing policies – sadly, not the norm

Wellbeing interventions that include everyone, equally, are generally not the norm – after all, we’re all different and have different needs. So, recognising this, we created buddyboost to be something that celebrates those differences, but at the same time is highly inclusive. 

buddyboost is fundamentally a physical activity challenge, but it is also about recognising the link between physical health and mental health, whilst engaging with colleagues in a fun and supportive way.  When taking on a buddyboost challenge, participants can do any form of physical activity as part of their daily target. In buddyboost, there’s no competition for ‘how far’ or ‘how fast’ – just whether you helped your team increase its activity score. Walking counts the same as cycling. This means it appeals to both the active and the previously inactive cohorts.  

But, perhaps the most powerful part of buddyboost is that it unites colleagues through its unique buddy system and private community feeds, where colleagues share daily exercise achievements and also boost each other or support each other when feeling a little low. The mental health benefits of daily exercise are scientifically proven, but the buddyboost app corroborates this, with participants getting a 26% mood boost on average from taking part in the challenge and 90% of all participants saying it has helped them feel better about themselves.   See more about our workplace wellbeing app.

Easing the transition back to the office

Hear what our clients have to say & find out more

Don’t just take our word for it.  One of our clients in May is national bus operator, Stagecoach Group.  And the UK Managing Director, Clara Stockton-Jones had this to say, “Our social network is buzzing with posts about how well people are doing and importantly it’s also bringing together people that wouldn’t normally work together or have any reason to connect.”  This strengthening of bonds between colleagues will only improve the transition over the next few months into, dare we say it, the “new normal’.

To find out more email us for a demo or download our case study below.

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