By: Torrey Landers and Julie Andrews
It’s no secret that the life of the 21st century employee is more diversified than ever—employees have never had as much in the way they do their work. Today, at least 35 percent of Americans are working remotely, and that number is rapidly increasing. In the past decade, telecommunicating has increased more than one-hundred percent, according to a survey by Global Workplace Analytics.
Throughout this evolution, organizations have significantly increased their investments in well-being. They have learned from research and firsthand experience the multiple benefits of engaging their employees with health and well-being programming—from lowered healthcare costs to a more engaged workforce to higher productivity to stronger employee loyalty. As programs have evolved to support not just physical but also social, emotional, environmental and even financial dimensions—a whole-person view—many organizations now have a greater baseline understanding of the value of employer well-being programs.
Yet a significant challenge remains. As today’s workforce becomes increasingly remote and global, organizations want to see big leaps in productivity and engagement and lower healthcare costs. As a result, companies need to alter their well-being initiatives to be multi-tiered and uniquely suited to the rapidly changing health and well-being needs of this increasingly remote workforce.
One example of a global company that’s doing this quite well: HP — developed a model for how to think about engaging remote workers with effective well-being programs. And today, HP and Health Fitness wanted to share their story in hopes that your own team can benefit.
Reaching Employees Where They Are
HP has six on-site fitness centers managed by HealthFitness that serve nearly 15,000 employees throughout the country. For employees who work in the office, these have proven to be fantastic resources not only for fitting fitness into their workday, but also for taking time to connect with colleagues and build camaraderie that contributes to a culture of health. While HP was proud to have a 50 percent membership rate for these on-site centers, they were not content with missing the other half of their workforce which included those at offices without a fitness center on-site, employees who work remotely and those that schedule don’t allow them to join the onsite fitness center.
HP and Health Fitness sought to engage all employees with health and fitness offerings to help them achieve their unique goals, all while continuing to communicate HP’s values and culture through well-being.
When addressing the question of how to engage remote workers, they examined their unique struggles of stress and feeling overwhelmed. Contrary to popular belief, many remote workers actually struggle to fit well-being and health-building activities into their workday, as they often feel pulled in multiple directions and over-worked. Engaging them was all the more important so they not only feel supported in the work they’re doing, but they are also able to access and contribute to the organization’s culture of health.
So, Health Fitness developed and launched CubeFit, which allows remote workers to live-stream health and well-being classes and interact with health coaches live right from their desk, home office, or anywhere with an Internet connection. Employees have anytime, anywhere access to meditation, yoga and strength training classes. While they’re taking a class, employees can chat live with instructors to ask questions and make sure they’re getting the most out of their class time.
Wanting to make the offering as convenient and accessible as possible, they designed each class to be 10-15 minutes long. This allows employees to use the class as a quick energy break and opportunity to check-in with a health coach for encouragement and education, or to take a few classes and turn it into a full workout. Either way, CubeFit makes it easy for employees to fit healthy behaviors into their day. And for employees who miss a live class or prefer to self-direct, all classes are recorded and posted to an online library they can access 24/7.
This combination of live, personalized expert support with technology and anytime access has produced fantastic results so far. CubeFit has grown rapidly since its inception in 2015, garnering the following:
- 1,635 registrants over three pilot phases in 2015
- 3,978 registrants in 2016
- 2,046 additional registrants to date in 2017
Why has CubeFit been more successful among remote workers than, say, your average workout DVD? HP believes it’s a matter of meeting employees where they are (literally), in the key ways they want to be engaged: convenient, personalized health and well-being content and the opportunity to connect with colleagues and live, expert support.
By making healthy activities readily available, we are helping to create and sustain a culture of health and balance for all—not just those in the corporate office. CubeFit communicates to employees that we want them to be healthy, happy and engaged in the work they’re doing.
The remote, global workforce is only going to grow. So, we should be encouraging our teams to take a high-touch, high-impact, personalized approach to well-being initiatives from day one in order to address the unique needs of each employee demographic. This will be the only way we can expect to build and sustain engagement with our well-being offerings in the ever-changing workplace.
About Torrey Landers
As Senior Director, Client Strategy & Growth for HealthFitness, Torrey brings 21 years of industry experience into his role. Torrey is responsible for building and driving strategy with HealthFitness clients, specifically in the technology and auto manufacturing industries. Prior to joining HealthFitness, he worked overseas in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, leading a community wellness, fitness and recreation effort for the Department of Defense.
About Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews is the Global Wellbeing, MADO and Special Projects Manager at HP. She graduated from Baylor University with a degree in Computer Science with a minor in business. After several years with Aon, Julie joined HP in 2015 to lead their global well-being programs. Recently, Julie took HP’s award-winning wellness program to a new era of well-being by launching their new well-being brand, Well Beyond.