Corporate health management in the stress test — health promotion also in the home office
Published December 2, 2021

Corporate health management in the stress test — health promotion also in the home office

Center: Young women working from home and having lunch in front of the computer

Your corporate health management is put to the test in times of particular stress. Covid pandemic is a tough test for everyone. The health threat grows through: 

  • new requirements at work,
  • Restructuring of the workflow, 
  • Isolation in the home office or 
  • lack of recreation due to restrictions.

Questions for your company health management

In such a crisis it is particularly important that corporate health management fulfils its tasks. Now it is important to check:

  • Does your corporate health management have gaps, 
  • are the measures not well coordinated or 
  • do the offers not work in the home office anymore? 

Then it is high time to make health promotion and the entire corporate health management crisis-proof. One of the biggest German health insurances (DAK) defines corporate health management as follows:

Definition of corporate health management

Corporate health management comprises the control and integration of all operational activities that are intended to maintain and promote the health and well-being of employees … This includes ensuring corporate health and safety, creating working conditions and content that promote health, and offering employees individual measures to help them cope with everyday working life. And it also includes checking the effectiveness and efficiency of the measures. Last but not least, needs-oriented corporate health management enables the efficient use of financial resources. ” 

It is not always easy to coordinate all measures, to control them and to communicate them successfully. Here are five tips to make the process easier:

How to make your workplace health promotion and your corporate health management crisis-proof

1. New challenge for safety at the workplace 

Hygiene measures during the Corona pandemic are now part of everyday life. The importance of good hygiene management for employees is shown by the Engagement Index 2020 (Gallup study): 

59 percent of respondents whose employers have good hygiene management confirm, “I’m able to do my job appropriately while complying with health policies in my workplace.” Good Corona health management promotes a sense of safety and functionality in the company.

The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) summarises the most important measures:

  • Design of the working environment, for example arrangement of workplaces to ensure clearance, adequate ventilation, devices such as partitions, barriers and, where appropriate, definition of internal traffic routes.
  • Reducing contact through, for example, digital communication, forming and maintaining work groups, working time arrangements, home office.
  • Hygiene and cleaning, for example washing hands regularly and thoroughly; if this is not possible, providing hand disinfectants, adjusting cleaning intervals.
  • General rules of conduct, such as maintaining distance; refraining from greetings involving direct physical contact; coughing and sneezing into the crook of the arm or into a paper handkerchief; staying home when symptoms of illness are present.

Check: Is there room for improvement in any of the above points? Are all measures communicated successfully?

2. Mental health in focus.

In 2018, 26 percent of those surveyed complained of symptoms of burnout; by 2020, one in three said they felt burnt out (Gallup Study 2020). The challenge of doing just as much in the home office as before is very stressful, depending on the family situation. Regardless of the working conditions, worries about illness, reduced social contacts and a lack of time off can upset the work-life balance. 

The meta-analysis of an Australian study on the global impact of the pandemic shows that increased rates of Covid-19 infection and reduced movement of people are associated with higher incidence of major depressive and anxiety disorders. [1]

Important measures to promote mental health: 

Separate free time from working time
  • Set a time frame within which the fixed working hours must lie. This will help your employees or their team to clearly separate working time and free time. This makes it easier to relax.
Create offers for stress reduction
  • Make stress-reduction offers that can be used from home, such as online yoga, meditation, or relaxation exercises.  Good food and regular exercise are also beneficial for mental health. Support your employees with motivational tools.
Good communication and routines help
  • Ensure good communication with regular meetings.

Check: Have you considered mental health as an important health aspect in your corporate health management? According to a survey (Statista, September 2021), only 26% of companies make preventive offers on mental health so far.

3. Employee retention more important than ever.

Employee engagement has dropped during the pandemic, with only 6 in 10 workers intending to be at their current company a year from now with no ifs, ands, or buts. (Gallup, Engagement Index 2020). 

Employee engagement has concrete implications when answering the question, “Approximately how many days have you missed from work in the past year because you felt sick or not well?” (Gallup Engagement Index, 2020): 

Employees who have no engagement with their company have two more days of absenteeism per year than those with strong engagement. Alarmingly, the number of employees with no emotional attachment to their company who show symptoms of burn-out is also one in two. 

The good news is that those who invest in workplace health promotion and overall corporate health management have at the same time contributed to employee loyalty. Offers such as vouchers for a fitness club or a salad in the canteen are appreciated as bonuses. 

Check: Do you consciously use health promotion for employee retention? Are the current measures suitable to be perceived by the employees as bonus, care or social responsibility of the company?

4. Flexible with digital health promotion 

The time of the home office is far from over. For many, it will even be a permanent alternative in the future. Many classic health promotion measures do not take effect when employees are no longer on site. Depending on how strongly you have relied on analogue offers so far, your package of measures has shrunk or even disappeared in the pandemic. 

Now, at the latest, it is time to digitalise your corporate health management. The easiest way to do this is to get a cooperation partner on board who offers a digital platform into which you can easily integrate all existing measures. Like the Changers CO2 fit health platform, for example.

Check: Which of your health promotion measures are also available to your employees in the home office? Is the offer still sufficient?

5. Team building takes on new meaning.

The sense of togetherness is put to the test during the pandemic. In many teams, employees have to compensate for longer absences of colleagues. Others have not seen each other in person for more than a year due to the home office regulation. And short-time work has also led to a weakening bond with the company and thus with colleagues in some companies. At the same time, the scope for team-building measures has become very small. 

CheckHave you already exhausted the opportunities for team building in your health promotion measures? Are challenges already used as a playful element for motivation? If there is still potential here, we would be happy to advise you. With the Changers CO2 fit app it is easy to strengthen teams and motivate healthy behaviour at the same time.

Do you want to improve your corporate health management? If you would like to take advantage of the flexibility and opportunities of a digital health platform, we would be happy to advise you on the many possibilities of the Changers CO2 fit app. The only app that combines climate protection and health promotion in a meaningful way.

[1] https://www.rnd.de/gesundheit/world-mental-health-day-2021-corona-pandemie-hat-dramatische-auswirkungen-auf-psychische-gesundheit-CFZLCKWHT6ECLG4YS7SYDS2QPA.html

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