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30 Warm Weather Challenges To Get Workers Excited About Spring

Spring is just around the corner, and that means new beginnings are on the horizon. As the world rejuvenates from winter, it’s the perfect season for employers to breathe new life into their workplace wellness programs. 

With the days growing longer and the weather warming up, wellness activities are a great way to get employees active, outside, and focused on their wellbeing. But developing fun and engaging workplace wellness challenges isn’t a walk in the park. From disinterested employees to issues with the way challenges are set up, devising these activities can feel like an uphill battle for employers. 

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be. We’ve curated a list of 30 spring wellness challenges that span the gamut from physical health to purpose-driven tasks—all aimed at boosting morale, enhancing overall health, and fostering a greater sense of community. But before we get into it, you might be asking…

Why Implement Workplace Wellness Challenges in the First Place?

It’s clear that an employee wellness program is no longer a “nice-to-have;” instead, it’s quickly becoming a necessity. However, these initiatives can get a bad rep, especially when they fall flat. In these cases, employers are often left disillusioned by the idea of implementing wellness challenges when employees don’t seem like they want to participate.

Whether they’ve tried implementing wellness programs before with little engagement or they’re dubious about the tangible benefits, employers can often be skeptical about these initiatives. However, a Zippia survey found that 87% of employees consider corporate wellness offerings before they take a position. Not to mention that, on average, companies with a wellness program demonstrated a six-to-one ROI and 84% reported higher employee productivity and performance. 

Wellness challenges themselves can also offer targeted benefits, such as reducing absenteeism, or more nebulous ones like improving employee morale. Some common benefits include:

  • Improved Employee Health: Increasing physical activity, encouraging healthy eating habits, and guiding employees through mental health activities all contribute to improving their overall health across all dimensions of wellbeing.
  • Increased Employee Engagement: When employees are excited to participate in the next workplace wellness challenge, they become more engaged at work. These initiatives also demonstrate that the company values its employees’ wellbeing, further elevating their drive and loyalty.
  • Greater Productivity Across Teams: Studies show that regular physical activity can improve employees’ attention, memory, cognition, and decision-making throughout the day—all of which translates to greater productivity. Plus, employers can use challenges as team-building activities, further improving collaboration among and across departments.
  • Reduced Healthcare Costs: As employees participate in wellness challenges that improve their overall health, they become less likely to require medical treatment. This can lead to savings for both employees and employers as it can reduce health insurance premiums, healthcare expenses, and even sick days.

But with all of these clear benefits, why is it that some employers believe wellness programs are ineffective? If you ask us, it often boils down to the approach. 

Creating a Corporate Wellness Challenge Employees Actually Enjoy

For too long, the idea of a corporate wellness program has had a limited scope. These initiatives have often had a narrow focus on the physical health of employees, encouraging healthy behavior like exercising, eating right, and getting regular screenings. While all of these are great additions to any wellness program, they shouldn’t comprise its entirety.

This is because the traditional idea of wellness as being synonymous with physical health fails to acknowledge the complex web of factors influencing an employee's wellbeing at any given moment. The rise of mental health awareness has started to expand our minds in this area, introducing the concepts of psychological and emotional wellness. However, it too stops short of the full picture.

Holistic wellness aims to address all dimensions of wellbeing. At WellRight, we like to think of these as 6 pillars:

1. Physical Wellness: This first aspect of wellness is the most obvious, encompassing the physical health of the individual.

2. Mental Wellness: The next layer focuses on the mental health and emotional wellness of the person, connecting the mind and body.

3. Social Wellness: Beyond the individual, there’s also social wellness, which addresses an employee’s social life, community, and connections.

4. Financial Wellness: Finances and employment are closely linked, so it makes sense employees might feel stressed about it at work.

5. Occupational Wellness: Work takes up so much of our lives; it’s critical that employees feel satisfied and engaged and that they’re growing professionally.

6. Purpose-Driven: Finally, purpose is what drives us all. Whether work-related or not, all employees need a purpose to be their best selves.

With this multi-faceted approach to overall wellness, companies can better support their workers in and out of the office. 

Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Corporate Wellness Challenges

Of course, the narrow focus on physical health isn’t the only mistake employers make when developing their workplace wellness challenges. These programs can stumble for several reasons, ranging from poorly communicated objectives to a lack of personal relevance or accommodations.

Some of the common reasons for low participation in a wellness initiative include:

  • Lack of Awareness: One of the biggest hurdles to successful engagement in a wellness challenge is simply a lack of awareness. Without adequate promotion and communication, even the most exhilarating activities can go unnoticed. To combat this, companies must meet employees where they are across a range of communication channels—from emails and platform posts to verbal confirmation in team meetings.
  • Time Constraints: In today’s fast-paced work environments, employees might not always have the time to spend on wellness challenges that could be seen as “more work.” For companies to turn this thinking around, they need to design activities to fit seamlessly into busy schedules, but it’s also important to encourage employees to balance their work and life, whether by reducing workloads or setting clear boundaries.
  • Privacy Concerns: For wellness programs that involve healthcare screenings, some employees may have privacy concerns about sharing personal health information. Companies need to protect their employees' personal health information with the highest degree of confidentiality—both from external threats, but also from internal access. To build trust and demonstrate priorities, employers should vet any wellness platforms for privacy and data security qualifications.
  • Low Motivation: Whether it’s low motivation at work or a lack of incentive to participate, this is often one of the biggest obstacles in engaging employees with wellness challenges. In fact, fewer employees are feeling energized at work, with one survey highlighting a near 10% drop between 2019 and 2022. Connecting the activities to their interests and rewarding participation are two surefire ways to improve engagement, but employers can also help by highlighting the tangible benefits like improved health or reduced stress.
  • Distributed Workforces: For companies that are split between remote, hybrid, and in-office employees, it can be difficult to tailor challenges to all environments. This can leave those working from home feeling left out. A digital wellness platform can help connect everyone, but it takes creativity to design activities that can bridge the gap between remote and in-office employees.
  • Inclusivity Issues: Even for workplaces with a centralized workforce, inclusivity is still paramount. Wellness challenges should be accessible and relevant to all employees, regardless of their physical abilities, health conditions, or personal interests. Activities should also cater to different levels of physical fitness, dietary preferences, and personalized wellness goals to prevent feelings of exclusion.

Navigating these engagement challenges requires a thoughtful, strategic approach. The key is to view wellness not as a series of isolated activities and events, but as a continuation of an inclusive, supportive company and culture that values its employees’ overall wellbeing.

30 Wellness Challenge Ideas for Spring

To help employers promote personal wellness this spring, we’ve come up with 30 warm-weather wellness challenges that will invigorate teams, foster healthier habits, and revitalize their workplace culture.

1. A Spring in My Step

What better way to take advantage of warm weather than to get the whole team moving outside? This challenge invites employees to track their daily steps, setting the stage for a friendly competition or collective goal that not only boosts physical activity but also strengthens team bonds. By sharing and aggregating employee steps, everyone can contribute to a larger achievement, reinforcing the power of collaboration.

2. Staying Hydrated

Water is essential to life, but around 86% of all Americans don’t drink the recommended amount of water per day, according to CivicScience. A hydration challenge can help ensure employees drink enough water throughout the day. To add a bit of competition, employers can encourage workers to mark their water bottles with lines representing different times throughout the day as a reminder to drink to a certain level by a certain time.

8-Hour Sleep Challenge

The sleep challenge is all about prioritizing rest and rejuvenation. The goal is to ensure every team member achieves their full eight hours of sleep each night—the golden standard. Beyond just having employees log their sleep hours, employers can provide tips on sleep hygiene, relaxation techniques, and more—all to improve energy levels and focus throughout the day.

4. Say Hello to Sunshine

Once the day starts, it’s time to say hello to the sunrise! This challenge encourages employees to get outside and spend time in the golden rays of the sun, soaking up some warmth and vitamin D. Of course, spring can often bring clouds and rain, so it’s all the more important for workers to log as many hours out in the sunlight as they can. After all, we all need to make up for the winter blues.

5. Mindful March

The Mindful March asks employees to take a daily walk outside while practicing mindfulness. This can be as simple as going around the block and paying close attention to the cracks in the sidewalk or the birds in the trees. The goal is to have employees reconnect with their surroundings and focus on the details of the environment around them. Not only can this exercise be grounding, but it can also improve concentration during the workday.

6. Keep a Wellness Journal

Encourage employees to start a wellness journal where they can write down their thoughts throughout the day. This can be a helpful tool for decluttering the mind, but it can also be used for a myriad of personalized goals, from managing stress to improving positivity.

7. Group Garden Plot

As the weather warms, the sun comes out, and color returns to the world, spring is the perfect time to start a garden. Sponsoring a community garden plot for employees offers a unique opportunity to foster teamwork, encourage healthy eating, and connect with nature. Participants can “challenge” themselves to cultivate a variety of plants, from vibrant flowers to nutritious herbs and vegetables.

8. Reconnect With Nature

Potted plants might add a bit of life back into the office, but there’s no replacement for the great outdoors. Spending time in nature is shown to have real benefits for people, from enhancing cognition to improving emotional wellbeing. As spring brings warmer weather, challenge employees to spend at least an hour outside in nature each week—whether it’s a leisurely stroll in the park or a weekend hike.

9. Spring Clean Your Office Office

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be just for our homes; decluttering our work environment can help create a more productive and positive atmosphere. This challenge encourages employees to organize their office, whether at home, in the cubicle, or our digital workspaces. Cleaning communal areas and individual workstations can also help build a sense of community and pride in the workplace. Sharing before-and-after photos or tips can also be a fun way to inspire and motivate each other.

10. Bike to Work

While not everyone will be able to participate in this fitness challenge, it can be a great way to incorporate physical activity into our daily routines. Swapping the car for a bicycle promotes cardiovascular health, reduces carbon emissions, and encourages participants to get some fresh air. Biking also offers an excellent opportunity to experience the community from a new perspective.

11. Charity Run (or Walk)

A race for charity combines fitness and philanthropy, encouraging employees to participate in a run or walk that supports a good cause. Not only can this motivate team members to get active and improve their physical health, but it also fosters a sense of community and purpose by contributing to a charitable organization. Employers can amplify the impact by matching donations or offering additional support to the chosen charity.

12. Remote Race From Home

For distributed workforces, gathering together for a race might not be feasible—that is unless it’s a remote race. Set a specific distance or a certain timeline and challenge employees to run or walk as fast or as far as they can. Participants can track their progress using fitness apps or devices and share their achievements through a dedicated wellness platform.

13. Home Workout Class

Not everyone wants to break a sweat in the office together, but remote and hybrid arrangements offer a unique opportunity for home workout classes. Bringing the energy and camaraderie of a group fitness class into the comfort of employees’ own homes can have a hugely positive impact on engagement. Participants can join live-streamed sessions, ranging from relaxing yoga to high-intensity training—all led by professional instructors or even talented colleagues.

14. Buddy Up and Exercise

For teams that are more centrally located, the buddy system can be a great way to encourage employee connection and physical activity. Participants can pair up with a workout partner to motivate each other toward their fitness goals. Whether it’s going for a run, attending a class, or sharing home workout routines, having a partner can boost motivation and allow colleagues to connect on a personal level as they support each others’ wellness journeys.

15. Outdoor Office Potluck

Bring the benefits of communal dining outside with an open-sky potluck. This challenge invites employees to contribute a healthy dish to pass that uses fresh, seasonal ingredients. It’s a fantastic opportunity to bond with colleagues, exchange nutritious recipes, and enjoy the beautiful weather—all while promoting a culture of healthy eating. Hosting the event in a local park or nearby green space can add an extra element of reconnecting with nature.

16. Spring Salad Swap

For days when the weather isn’t cooperating, employees can still have a fun food challenge with the “Spring Salad Swap.” Here, workers are challenged to create a healthy homemade salad recipe using a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Swapping recipes and dishes is a great way to promote eating well and discover new recipes while fostering creativity in the kitchen.

17. The Gratitude Challenge

Still have that wellness journal from earlier? Good. This initiative challenges employees to keep an ongoing list of things they’re grateful for in their lives. By reflecting on, documenting, and sharing these moments of gratitude, employees can inspire one another and foster an environment of positivity and recognition. Moreover, as they express their appreciation for colleagues, this gratitude challenge can strengthen team bonds and boost morale.

18. Community Clean Up

Giving back to the community is the purest expression of gratitude. Hosting a local cleanup event not only promotes a sense of environmental stewardship but also fosters team building and community engagement outside the workplace. Whether it’s dedicating a day to collecting litter, volunteering to beautify public spaces, or contributing to conservation efforts, participants can see the immediate difference their actions make, contributing to a greater sense of purpose.

19. Spring Office Social

Speaking of community, social events are perfect for bringing everyone together and rejuvenating the office atmosphere. A spring-themed gathering can be a great way for employees to unwind and connect, whether held outside on a nice day or indoors with spring decorations. Activities might include outdoor games, a DIY workshop, or even just a lunch party.

20. Summer Budgeting

As the seasons change, many employees will be starting to think about potential summer travel plans. A summer budgeting workshop can help employees take control of their financial wellness and prepare for these expenses. This initiative can guide participants through setting up a budget, identifying saving goals, and finding reactive ways to reduce unnecessary expenses.

21. Morning Meditations

With clocks “springing forward” soon, it’s not uncommon for our morning rhythms to be thrown off. While meditating can’t give us an extra hour of sleep, it can help us acclimate to the day each morning. Guided meditations can help employees reduce stress, enhance focus, and promote a sense of calm before the workday begins. Employers can provide access to meditation resources, such as apps or live guided sessions, that can help incorporate this healthy habit into workers’ daily routines.

22. May-ke Time for Friends

In addition to mental health, social wellness is crucial for employees. However, the winter weather can often lead to feelings of isolation. May-ke Time for Friends invites team members to dedicate time to catch up with old friends, make plans with coworkers outside of work, or even reach out to someone they’ve been meaning to connect with.

23. Self-Care Spring

When life gets busy, it becomes too easy for us to deprioritize ourselves. But as the winter blues subside, spring offers the perfect opportunity to revisit our self-care routines. The Self Care Spring challenge encourages employees to explore various self-care activities, from reading and journaling to meditation or spa days. The goal is to find what truly helps them unwind and develop a routine that allows them to recharge.

24. Walkie-Talkie Meetings

Are employees nodding off under the overhead fluorescent lights? It might be time for a change of environment and a bit of fresh air. Try taking meetings on the go, encouraging employees to call in whether walking around the office, strolling through a nearby park, or pacing around their living room. A simple change of scenery and the act of walking can help boost energy, stimulate creativity, and foster more relaxed and productive conversations.

25. Spring Clean Your Desk

Embrace the spirit of spring cleaning with another decluttering challenge—this time focusing on employee desks. Organizing our workspaces can promote a more focused, stress-free environment, leading to improved productivity and a sense of renewal. Make it a fun challenge by encouraging participants to share pictures of their final setup to see who has the cleanest desk.

26. Charting Emotional Wellness

A wellness journal can be a great outlet for employees to express their thoughts and emotions—but it doesn’t offer much quantifiable data. The Emotional Wellness Chart invites employees to keep a log of their emotional state at different points throughout the day. Participants can use their logs to track their moods, identify triggers for stress, and reflect on the impact of wellness initiatives.

27. Digital Detox

In our always-on, hyper-connected world, taking time to unplug can help decrease stress, enhance sleep quality, and foster deeper real-life connections. A Digital Detox designates specific periods during the day or areas of the office as tech-free times or zones. The goal is to help employees recharge their minds through non-digital activities, like reading, spending time with loved ones, or meditating.

28. Fresh Air Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises are an excellent mindfulness technique, but stuffy, runny noses and the dry air of winter can make them challenging. Fortunately, the spring offers a breath of fresh air. Encourage employees to step outside for a guided breathing exercise as they enjoy the natural surroundings of a world waking up from winter. Just remember to have allergy pills on standby.

29. No Snooze

The snooze button can be our closest friend and greatest enemy in the morning, but the No Snooze challenge aims to kick this habit of sleeping in. By waking up to the first alarm, participants can establish healthy sleep patterns that align with their natural circadian rhythms. If hitting that button is too tempting, employees can consider strategies like placing the alarm clock in another room or creating a fun and exciting morning ritual.

30. Mental Health Awareness Month Check-In

Last but not least, May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which doubles as the perfect reminder to check in with employees. This goes for employers and workers alike. Encouraging teams to talk to one another and openly discuss mental health can forge strong connections while ensuring nobody has to struggle alone.

As we enter spring with optimism and excitement for the coming year, employers can use this season to review their current wellness programs, identify gaps in their approaches, and implement targeted challenges that boost engagement, morale, and overall wellness.

Want to learn how WellRight can help revitalize your wellness program this spring? Reach out to an expert today.

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