Wellness programs can have a major impact on employee health and morale as I learned from my own experience this most interesting year. My initial transition to work from home went surprisingly smooth, most likely due to the novelty of the situation and not knowing what the future would hold. As I settled into new routines and it became apparent this would be the new normal, I thought I was good to go. It took many months to realize that clearly, I had underestimated the effects isolation and an incredibly repetitive routine would have on me. I began to lose motivation and had a hard time concentrating through a full day’s worth of work.
Through one of our regular company newsletters, I was reminded that we had access to funds through our wellness program. The newsletter showed how team members utilized the benefit and gave other examples for its use. This is also a shameless plug for how beneficial regular company communications can be for all employees and help keep everyone engaged with the overall team despite being spread across multiple states and time zones!
Oddly enough, a day or two after reading the newsletter, I received an email from an organization that hosts a winter race series in a local nature preserve. The timing was perfect, as I am a big runner and cyclist and have not participated in an organized event since relocating to Santa Fe two years ago. I confirmed the funds could be used for registration fees and signed up that day. Signing up for the race gave me something to plan for and look forward to. It helped break the monotony that had sunk in over the last few months. It was only a matter of a few days and training runs before I noticed my mood and concentration had improved immensely.
The registration fees did not utilize the full benefit of the program, so I used the remaining funds to purchase a standing desk which helps keep me energized through the day and keep the legs loose between training runs. Without the wellness program I do not think I would have seriously considered registering for the race and would have been stuck in a rut for a while longer. On top of helping me out mentally and physically, the registration fees collected by the organization go to maintaining the Galisteo Basin Preserve, where the races are held. Nothing like promoting employee health and supporting local organizations! Thank you netlogx!
For those of you wondering how a race series is being held with all the Covid restrictions, the organizers got creative. Rather than host a single event on a specified day with everyone participating at the same time, they send a map of the course at the beginning of each month, and everyone has until the end of the month to complete the course and submit their time. This allows us all to get out and enjoy the beautiful New Mexico landscape while maintaining social distancing recommendations.