4 Strategies for Promoting Active Lifestyles on Virtual Teams

By Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder
Published: Apr 4, 2024
Promote virtual team wellness with regular workouts and active breaks to enhance focus and uplift spirits.
A person doing a wide-leg seated yoga stretch while wearing a virtual reality headset in a spacious room.

Keeping your virtual team active and healthy while working remotely is crucial for their well-being and productivity. 

Strategy 1: Schedule Regular Virtual Workout Sessions

Virtual team workout sessions are a great way to get your team moving more. They help everyone feel like they’re part of the team, even when working from home. Here’s how to make these workout sessions work:

Benefits

Working out together online has lots of good points:

  • You’re more likely to exercise. When you know others are counting on you to join, you won’t want to let them down.
  • It’s more fun. Working out with friends online can make exercise something you look forward to.
  • You’ll focus better. Moving around wakes up your brain, making it easier to concentrate on work later.
  • It lifts everyone’s spirits. Exercise makes you feel happier, which is great for the team’s mood.
Session Logistics

Think about setting up short 15-30 minute sessions 1-3 times per week. This is enough to get moving without taking up too much time. Workouts during lunch breaks can give everyone a midday energy boost.

Try out different types of workouts like yoga or high-intensity training, so there’s something for everyone. And hold special longer sessions now and then on things like staying healthy or managing stress.

Use video calls for these sessions. Remember to check the sound and video work well before starting, and let everyone know if they need any special gear. Send out calendar invites with the link to join in.

Promoting Buy-In

To get virtual teams excited to join, show your team it’s important by being part of it. Start with a few people, once a small group gets into it, more will follow.

Things like gift cards or a day off can encourage people to take part, you can talk about the good points, and mention in emails or meetings how these workouts are helping people.

Having workout sessions as a team can make a big difference. It helps everyone feel better and work better together.

Strategy 2: Encourage Active Breaks With Virtual Teams

Close-up of a person's hands performing a stretching exercise to prevent RSI

Taking short, active breaks during the workday is good for our health and helps us do our jobs better. If you’re leading a team that works online, you can help everyone understand why these breaks are important and suggest easy ways to get moving.

The Importance of Active Breaks

Sitting too much can be bad for our health. Getting up and moving around every so often can help us think more clearly and stay focused, lower the risk of health problems like heart disease, and make us feel more energetic and happy,

Breaks also make people more interested and happy with their work. It’s better to take many short breaks than just a few long ones.

Try to move around for 5-10 minutes every hour or so. Even just standing up or stretching for a minute or two counts. The main thing is not to sit still for too long.

Strategy 3: Provide Wellness Resources & Incentives

Helping your virtual team live more active lives means giving them the tools they need and reasons to get moving. As a leader, you can make a big difference by:

Offering Wellness Subscriptions

Give your team access to apps and gadgets that help track their health, like how much they move, sleep, and what they eat. You could offer to pay for or help with the cost of:

  • Fitness apps such as Peloton, obé, or Aaptiv for workout classes
  • Activity trackers like Fitbit or Apple Watch to keep an eye on daily steps
  • Meditation apps like Calm or Headspace for a healthier mind

Having these tools can make it easier for your team to stay active.

Leading With Empathy

Show your team how to care for themselves and balance work and life by setting an example. Talk to them one-on-one to understand any challenges they’re facing. Make sure to consider their needs, whether they’re caring for others, have disabilities, etc.

Remember, staying healthy is different for everyone. Offer tools and rewards, but also be ready to adjust based on what each person needs. A personal touch usually works best.

Strategy 4: Foster a Culture of Health & Wellness

MacBook with fresh pineapples and pumpkins arranged around it

Making sure your virtual team stays healthy and happy is all about creating a supportive atmosphere. If you’re in charge, you have a big role in making this happen. Here are some straightforward ways to do it:

Share Health Tips and Success Stories

Each week, send an email with simple advice on eating right, staying active, or managing stress. Encourage your team to share their tips too. Highlight when someone reaches a health goal or finds a better way to take care of themselves during team meetings. This can inspire everyone.

Host Virtual Wellness Workshops

Invite experts to talk about things like sitting properly, taking short exercise breaks, or staying strong during tough times. These chats can happen over lunch. Let team members lead a session about a hobby or something they do to relax.

Lead by Example

Stretch during meetings and consider standing up if you can. Talk about your efforts to stay healthy and check in with your team to see how they’re doing.

Allow Flexibility

Remember that everyone’s health needs and schedules are different. Offer flexible work hours so people can exercise or take care of themselves when they need to.

Building a virtual team that talks openly about health and supports each other is crucial. Being understanding and flexible helps build trust and keeps everyone working well together.

Conclusion

Keeping virtual teams active and healthy is important, especially when everyone is working from home. Being active helps us focus better, come up with new ideas, and feel happier. It also means we’re less stressed and take fewer sick days.

As a team leader, you have a big job. You need to encourage everyone to take short breaks for exercise and set up fun challenges. It’s also important to talk openly about taking care of ourselves and to lead by example. Make sure everyone knows it’s okay to have different needs and give them the tools and options to stay active in their way.

When we all take steps to stay healthy, we do better work together. Creating a workplace that cares about health helps us connect, even when we’re not in the same place. Supporting your team to look after themselves is a smart move.

Start with these strategies and see what works best for your team. The key is to keep trying and to care about each other’s well-being. With some effort and creativity, you can have a team that’s ready to tackle anything.

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Cam Velasco

CEO & Co-Founder

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