9 Ways to Help Your Team Stay Physically Active While WFH

Lucy O'Connor
Lucy O'Connor|

When your commute involves just a few steps from the bedroom to the kitchen table, you need to be proactive about incorporating movement and exercise into your workday. Especially during the cold winter months, when it’s even harder to motivate yourself to go outside (even with the best “New Year, New Me” intentions). 

If you manage a remote team, it’s important to promote health and encourage your employees to exercise. People who exercise regularly have more energy, and are consequently more productive—which is great for your employees, and your business.

Here are some creative ways you can encourage your team to get active:

1. Recreate the commute

The average office worker has gained 60 minutes back per day because they no longer have to commute. So, why not encourage your employees to take advantage of that time to get active? You could even block out 45 minutes or so in your team’s calendars each morning, to ensure that meetings aren’t booked during this time—so that employees know that using that time for exercise is not just allowed, but actively encouraged.

Another idea is to start your own “walking to work” event, where each week, team members recreate their commute by walking the equivalent distance from their home to the office.  

If your budget stretches, you could provide further motivation by gifting your team members wearable trackers. 

2. Set fitness challenges

Competition can encourage participation. So, fitness challenges can be a great way to motivate team members to get involved. Here are some ideas: 

  • Walking challenges – Ask your team to install a fitness tracking app on their phones and set challenges. For example, who can do the most steps in a week? Create a leaderboard to track their performances and the employee who does the most steps wins a prize! 
  • 30-day push up challenge  – Create a dedicated Slack channel for participants, and get team members to post a video of them completing their daily pushups.
  • New day, new workout challenge – Encourage employees to try a new workout every day for 30 days. Participants share their favourite workouts, and successful members receive a budget to go towards their chosen activity. 

3. Host virtual exercise classes

It’s a whole lot harder to motivate yourself when you’re working out alone, so try hosting virtual exercise classes and get team members to join over Zoom. If any of your employees are fitness fans, you could ask them to lead the session. If not, there are loads of online classes to stream on YouTube, Instagram live, or subscription-only platforms, like Fiit

4. Offer corporate class passes

Companies like ClassPass offer corporate plans where employees can access local fitness studios and gyms. This financial incentive will help motivate your team, and it shows you’re invested in your team’s wellbeing, which might help boost morale.

5. Start a charity fundraiser

So many charities need our help, now more than ever. So set a fitness fundraising challenge for your team to help raise vital donations, and motivate team members to train. 

Some ideas for fitness-based charity challenges include non-stop kitchen dance-athons (get others involved over video call!), running up your stairs until you have ‘climbed a mountain’ or lifting the weight of your home through press ups.

6. Offer standing desks 

Sitting down all day can lead to poor posture and back pain. In fact, according to research, people who sit all day at work and work out on a regular basis are actually unhealthier than those who spend more time standing. 

Get people on their feet by offering standing desks. This will not only improve employees’ office setup, but it will improve their health too. 

We’ve recently launched the HubbleHQ Home Working DSE Assessment: a tool designed to easily assess your team’s home working environments, produce DSE reports, and help you diagnose and minimise any risk—all with the view to keeping your employees happy, healthy, and productive. Check it out

7. Encourage walking meetings

Encourage employees to get out-and-about during calls where possible (if the meeting doesn’t require sharing screens or visual aids). 

Research has shown there are numerous benefits to walking meetings; they can boost creative thinking, improve focus and productivity. It’s a super time-efficient way of getting some exercise whilst also improving work performance. Plus, Steve Jobs, who knew a thing or two about how to run a meeting, swore by them.

8. Initiate mid-day exercise breaks 

Some of us are morning people and others are not (in fact most of us are not during the cold winter months). Help your employees fit in their workouts whenever suits them best by offering flexible working hours. This could be as simple as encouraging team members to get outside during a lunch break, or you could allow more flexibility during the day so employees can exercise while it’s still light, and at a time that suits them best.

9. Give employees access to offices with gym facilities

When looking at your workplace strategy, you might consider offering your employees day passes to coworking spaces which have on-site gyms. If you’re a fully-remote team, you might provide a financial contribution, so your team can pay for a local gym membership.

Find out how your employees want to work

We can’t emphasise enough the value in talking to your employees about how they feel about working from home, and what they would value the most. Getting to the bottom of the problems, challenges, and concerns can uncover fundamental changes needed, and go a long way in avoiding conflict later down the line.

To help you do exactly that, we’ve created the free-to-use Workplace Strategy Tool, designed to help you find out how your employees want to work, and give you instant actionable insights on which workplace solutions are right for your business.

With the tool, you’re able to easily survey your own team using our curated questionnaire, access the data immediately via your own personalised results dashboard, and get free, professional advice on the best next steps from our team of experts. Head to the link below to get started!

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