Tag: employee wellness

Discover a Better’s Night Sleep: National Sleep Awareness Month

A good night of sleep is important. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has linked insufficient sleep to the development of chronic diseases and conditions including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and depression. 

The failure to regularly get enough sleep can lead to chronic fatigue, which can increase the risk of productivity issues at work and distracted driving crashes. Sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy, productive and low-stress lifestyle. 

Benefits of Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep is beneficial and should be a priority. Getting at least seven hours of sleep every night will help keep costly chronic conditions at bay and help you combat fatigue. It’s time to start shaping healthy sleep habits. 

Increased Productivity 

When you give your body enough time to go through all the sleep stages, you have more energy, muscle repair, improved memory, and the release or regulation of important hormones that are essential for everyday functions within the body. 

Increased Work Performance

As an employer, you and your employees and in turn, your business, benefits when sleep becomes a priority. A natural benefit of better sleep is increased work performance. It’s never too late to start focusing on improving your sleep schedule. 

Decreased Weight Gain

According to the National Sleep Foundation, not allowing your body enough time for rest and regulation can lead to an increased appetite. The particular hormones that give you the feeling of being full or hungry can become irregular, which may cause increased feelings of hunger that lead to weight gain. 

Improved Mental Health

Getting enough sleep can help alleviate feelings of fatigue that may contribute to stress, depression and anxiety. Symptoms of fatigue can be drowsiness, loss of energy and even mood swings. 

Here are some tips to share with employees, so they can enjoy a better night’s sleep and improved productivity with a clear head. Offering employees the right benefits and resources can create a stronger team. For more information on how to improve sleep habits or to address sleep issues, encourage employees to contact their doctors.   

How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep 

There are ways individuals can achieve a better night of sleep. Encourage employees to focus on their wellness and adapt healthier habits this year. 

Choose the Right Foods Before Bed

Healthy eating can help you sleep better and feel energized all day. Avoiding big meals right before going to bed can help as well. A snack of 200 calories 90 minutes before bed of one of the following foods can help your muscles relax, quiet your mind and produce sleep-inducing hormones (serotonin and melatonin) to help you fall asleep faster: 

  • Bananas
  • Chamomile tea
  • Warm milk
  • Honey
  • Oatmeal
  • Almonds
  • Whole-wheat bread
  • Turkey

Avoid Caffeine Before Bed

Stimulants like caffeine and nicotine promote alertness, which can make it difficult for you to fall and stay asleep, so it’s important to avoid them for three to four hours before bed. This may seem like common sense, but many people believe they are immune to the effects of caffeine after having consumed so much over the years. But, choose a decaffeinated tea or a cup of hot milk and enjoy a much better night of rest. 

Eliminate Sleep-Stealing Effects of Electronic Devices

Electronic devices that simplify your life and make it easier may be having the opposite effect on nightly sleep habits. If you’re having a hard time falling and staying asleep, devices like your cellphone, TV and tablet may be to blame. The blue light from electronic devices causes melatonin suppression, later sleep onset and reduced REM sleep. To prevent the harmful effects of electronic devices, there are a few steps you can take. 

Your device has a “nighttime” mode that adjusts the screen lighting to promote sleep. Also, ensure you set the phone on silent mode, so you won’t be woken by texts or emails. Or, make a few lifestyle changes, and refrain from using your phone at least one hour before bed. Reading a book or meditating to relax can also enhance your sleep. 

How AssuredPartners Cornerstone Can Help

AssuredPartners Cornerstone partners with you to optimize your employees’ wellness to create a more concentrated, productive team.

If you would like to learn more about how to help your employees discover a better night’s sleep, contact AssuredPartners Cornerstone today.

How to Help Your Employees Combat Zoom Fatigue

Employers have had to adapt, working harder to communicate wellness opportunities, benefits information, and providing what employees need most right now. 

With the rapid change to remote and flexed work environments, businesses have turned to technology to resolve communication gaps. Since some employees are no longer meeting in person, they’re becoming Zoom experts. 

A new phenomenon is emerging with video conferencing like Zoom, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams termed as Zoom fatigue. Employers now have the challenge of helping employees recognize and combat zoom fatigue to optimize productivity. 

Recognize Zoom Fatigue

Online meetings are more tiring than face-to-face meetings for multiple reasons. Employees must make more of an emotional effort to appear interested and engaged. The focus on online eye contact puts individuals on high alert and is exhausting. Here are some telltale signs to recognize Zoom fatigue. 

Symptoms of Zoom Fatigue

Zoom fatigue symptoms include: 

  • Anxiety
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Exhaustion
  • Eyestrain or sore eyes
  • Low productivity
  • Lack of concentration or focus
  • Pessimism

Employees experience emotional exhaustion and have reduced motivation. The fatigue goes beyond the pandemic and Zoom to include visual and social fatigue. Some may even experience a feeling of “tech invasion.” Assisting employees to recognize that these symptoms stem from too much time spent in online meetings is important and will affect both their work and personal lives. 

Cognitive Overload

Without the use of non-verbal cues during a video conference, employees may experience cognitive overload. When too much thought is put into a task, because we can only see individuals’ faces, expressions are exaggerated and employees must work harder to understand the body language of co-workers. 

When we stare at the screen in a meeting, we work harder to maintain eye contact. Additionally, the psychological stress of staring at ourselves all day long has negative consequences for our mental health.  

Addressing Zoom fatigue in the workplace to prevent depression-like symptoms and can cause employee burnout is a must. Cornerstone Insurance Group can assist with educating your employees on recognizing Zoom fatigue and introduce ways to combat it. 

Combat Zoom Fatigue

Zoom meetings are necessary for teams to collaborate in today’s workplace environment, but employers can encourage employees to take certain steps to avoid spending all day on a video call to prevent Zoom fatigue. 

Turn off Self-View

It is not always possible, but when it is, encourage employees to turn off their cameras. Without the video component, employees do not have the expectation of forcing a continual smile or keeping constant eye contact. Additionally, this diminishes the heightened emphasis on facial cues which contributes to intense personal emotional reactions. 

Avoid Multitasking

Encourage employees to stop multitasking and dedicate all of their attention to the video call and conversation, then they are not caught off guard causing increased and unnecessary stress. Zoom calls can already be mentally overwhelming without adding additional side tasks or distractions.  

Follow an Agenda

Meetings with shared agendas are more efficient and more likely to end on time, giving employees eyes a rest from constant screen time. Zoom meetings should be scheduled and not impromptu when possible, so an agenda with clear objectives will necessitate the interaction. 

Instead of hosting a Zoom meeting for a quick question, instill collaboration through alternative methods of communication and clear policies to prevent Zoom fatigue.

Use Collaborative Notes

A shared document or non-video collaboration can help prevent Zoom fatigue from setting in, by helping reduce the level of intensity employees from spending too long staring into others’ eyes and being on video conference high alert.

Collaborative notes, like with Google Documents or a messaging application like Slack, allow employees to work together and provide feedback to each other without the constant video interaction.

If you’re struggling to come up with a solution that works for your workplace, Cornerstone Insurance’s human resources specialists can help you establish and implement policies to assist your team.

Focus on Employee Wellness

Employers need to make sure they have the appropriate policies in place to support the physical and mental well-being of all employees. Cornerstone Insurance Group can guide you in encouraging your employees to make small changes to combat Zoom fatigue. 

With our help, you can train your employees on ways to stop fighting Zoom fatigue and develop safe practices that lead to better communication and more productivity. Cornerstone Insurance Group focuses on improving the wellness of each and every employee in all types of work environments. Let us help you create a custom plan catered to your team and your work environment.

Cornerstone Insurance Group can help you help your employees combat zoom and pandemic fatigue to create happy, healthy and productive teams. Contact us today.

5 Employee Wellness Benefits You Should Offer

There’s been a brighter spotlight on employee benefits in the last few years, especially in terms of employee wellness benefits

In order to better retain and recruit employees — as well as stay competitive in your industry — consider revising your employee wellness benefits. 

What Employee Wellness Benefits You Should Consider

The pandemic has surfaced a need for more wellness benefits than ever. If you’re considering revising your employee benefits offering, take a look at the following trends. 

A Focus on Mental Health

Employee assistance programs can include more coverage for telehealth counseling, phone calls with counselors, and more. Removing the barriers between employees and their access to mental health providers should be a standard part of employee benefits. 

In addition to this, more workplaces are offering educational resources for employees on mental health to raise awareness for it in the office. 

Telehealth Coverage and Offerings

Even when things return to normal (or our new definition of it), there are many people who have grown to prefer the remote option for appointments. 

Whether it’s mental health resources or a family care practitioner, many physicians have sorted out how to best meet their patients’ needs for non-emergency situations. Make sure your employees’ appointments are still covered, whether in-person or virtual and that they’re informed about what’s available to them. 

Flexible Schedules and Locations

In addition to having remote access to healthcare providers, many employees have found to be more productive working from home than being in the office. If this is an option for your company, consider creating a more flexible work environment permanently. 

Whether this means certain days that are WFH, employees have the option to WFH when they want to, or some kind of combination approach, allowing employees to work from where they feel most comfortable and accomplished could give you the competitive edge. 

Emphasis on Holistic Well-being

Traditional employee wellness benefits may cover medical appointments and procedures, but there’s more to health than just access to treatment. Having a more holistic approach may involve a focus on work-life balance, encourage exercise (for example, covering gym or fitness studio memberships), and others.

Expanded Financial Wellness Resources

Financial-related concerns are the number-one source of anxiety for people. This is now the time, if you don’t already, to provide your employees with sufficient financial planning resources. Consider matching 401K contributions, helping pay student loans, or holding workshops to better educate employees on what’s available to them.

Employees are more likely to be engaged with their work and prepared to handle any hurdles that come their way if these resources are in place. 

For more insights on employee wellness and benefits, be sure to follow along with Cornerstone’s blog. Are you ready to restructure your employee benefits offerings? Contact Cornerstone Insurance Group today.