Two and a half years after most corporate employees found themselves working from home, many companies are trying to lure their employees back to the office.
A large percentage of working Americans are resistant to returning to their offices. They don’t want to go back to long commutes or dress codes or office gossip, or they’re concerned that their health may still be at risk. Some are quitting their jobs rather than being recalled to their desks; others are looking for 100% remote work. Those looking for work are disproportionately seeking work-from-home opportunities. So how do you make sure you aren’t losing employees who are hesitant to come back, and that you’re able to fill vacancies with candidates who are otherwise reluctant to return to a traditional work environment?
By showing that you care.
The decision to close offices and send employees off to makeshift home offices was made in the interest of their health and safety. Now, as companies decide whether to bring workers back into the office, they should make sure they don’t lose that focus on their staff’s wellbeing. Companies that do this well, going out of their way to prove they have their staff’s best interests at heart—even if the return to the office is mandatory—will have better luck with staff retention and recruitment, as well as an overall happier staff.
One easy way to center your staff’s wellbeing in the office is to start a corporate wellness program, bringing easy-to-use technologies into your space to keep employees feeling and performing their best. Some technologies can even be used at a desk, so employees can take full advantage without worrying they’re sacrificing their productivity; all can be easily cleaned between users for your staff’s peace of mind.
We’ve all heard about the long-term effects stress can have on our bodies. That’s because psychological stress—such as your employees may be feeling now—can also lead to oxidative stress where your body’s antioxidant defenses can’t keep up with the free radical damage.
When cells are exposed to oxidative stress, the proteins that power those cells are damaged and cannot perform at their optimal level. Too much oxidative stress can lead lower performance, to inflammation, and disease—and after a couple of challenging years, no one wants that.
NanoVi is a unique way to improve protein function. The scientifically validated device leverages water science to create the environment required for damaged proteins to fold and refold, returning cells to their full functionality.
At my 40 Years of Zen center, we incorporate NanoVi with brain training because we can measure the improvement in brain performance. More mental clarity and resilience is good for any employee and probably a company’s bottom line as well.
This device is about the size of a small printer so you can sit it on a desk, move it around the office on a cart, or set it up in a wellness zone. It is easy to use with any of the other devices on the list and can even make them work better.
Quieting the Mind
After a year and a half of fretting about their health and the health of their loved ones, your employees might be feeling a little fried. Chronic stress can lead to brain fog, making it harder to focus on work or affecting work quality, and returning to the office is seen by many as a compounding stress factor.
Devices like BrainTap use a combination of light pulses and sound to help reboot the brain and reset stress inputs. The BrainTap headset works with audio-based tools using a combination of binaural beats, guided visualization, music, and isochronic tones to increase brainwave activity and increase resilience. We recommend the “Stress-Free Me” and “Worry-Free Me” Bundles to help employees let go of stress and focus on their work. (The Bundles can be used without the headset, too, this sacrifices benefits of the deep relaxation related to pulsing light.)
Workers who got used to moving around more during workdays spent at home—walking their dogs, chasing their kids, taking a midday fitness class—than they ever did at the office may find themselves stiff or sore after extended lengths of time spent sitting or standing at their desks. Those who have a long commute will be adding even more time spent sitting to their days.
Red light therapy has been shown to help with muscle pain and joint stiffness, both of which increase with a sedentary lifestyle. What’s more, red light therapy can also cause increased cerebral blood flow, increased (ATP) energy production, and increased neuroprotection and brain repair, meaning that it might further help your employees shake off the “fog” of returning to the office and better focus on their work.
Consider finding a quiet room in your office and making it into a red-light breakroom where employees can go when their bodies or minds are feeling especially fatigued.
PEMF, or pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, is used to stimulate the cells in the body to resolve disfunction and improve repair. It has been shown to help increase circulation, decrease inflammation, and reduce the effects of stress—all good news as your employees return to the office.
There is a wide range of both low intensity and high intensity PEMF devices. High intensity devices often cost tens of thousands of dollars, and some are only suitable for professional use. High intensity PEMF helps transport nutrients and waste products across the cell membrane and are powerful enough to physically stimulate muscles and organs.
For an office setting, consider investing in Hugo Pro, which is easy to operate and can be moved within the office. If you’ve got the room to spare, you can pair PEMF with a zero-gravity chair or massage table for maximum relaxation during the session. (If you don’t have room for both a PEMF station and a red-light room, consider combining them in the same space—the modalities are complementary!)
Many workers have expressed fear that returning to the office means they won’t be moving their bodies as much as they had been while working from home. The concerns range from developing stiffness or chronic pain to gaining weight or losing muscle mass as employees spend more time sitting or standing still at their desks.
One way to keep muscles moving even when opportunities for movement are limited is whole body vibration, which transmits energy to your muscles. The muscles then contract and relax as the body moves. Whole body vibration may help improve or even build muscle strength and, when combined with a healthy diet, might also contribute to weight loss. It can also help alleviate lower back pain which desk workers —especially commuters—can experience the longer they sit.
Employees can get the benefits of whole body vibration in five to ten minute sessions. With the right set up, it can be done at the same time as light therapy or the NanoVi device.
As work begins to return to normal—or at least a new normal—it’s essential to continue prioritizing your employees’ wellness. Bringing welltech into the office is one way to show that you truly do care about them and could incentivize prospective employees to choose you over another employer. Though some welltech solutions are on the pricey side, the investment in your staff now could save you tens of thousands of recruiting and hiring costs down the line, not to mention the lost productivity and cost of bringing in temps and consultants when one of your employees becomes sick, less focused, or more stressed.