Virtual summer camp benefit aims to ease parents’ COVID-19 stress

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BurnAlong, a corporate wellness platform provider, has launched a virtual summer camp benefit for employer clients to help employees keep their children active while continuing to work from home due to the coronavirus.

With many summer camps and programs still on hiatus, working parents are struggling with how they will keep their children occupied. Indeed, 60% of parents say they have no idea how they’re going to keep their children busy all summer, according to data from the American Psychological Association. As such, one benefit companies can offer is a virtual solution to replace the canceled summer camps and daycare.

“We know there is a correlation between employee happiness and productivity,” says BurnAlong co-CEO Daniel Freedman. “A big piece of getting employees to stay [with an organization] is making them feel looked after, appreciated, and met where they are [in life].”

The coronavirus pandemic has created greater awareness among employers about the pressure parents are under, Freedman says. Indeed, 60% of respondents in a Boston Consulting Group survey say they have no outside help in caring for and educating their children, and another 10% have less help than before the pandemic.

“It's the norm now when [an employee is] doing a call that you're going to hear kids in the background,” Freedman says.

The virtual summer camp is for the children of employees who use BurnAlong and the programs range in age from babies and toddlers to children in elementary school. The camp activities include classes on health and wellness, nutrition, physical activities, mindfulness and emotional wellness.

“Between the yoga and cardio our family is constantly getting fun exercise all day,” says Laurene Scott, a manager at a Mid-Atlantic health system. “It's been great to see my family participate to stay occupied and healthy while I'm busy at work.”

If employers truly want to drive health and wellness awareness across their companies it isn’t enough to just focus on the employees; families must be part of the equation, Freedman says.

“If a family member is unhappy and unhealthy that's going to affect the employee themselves,” he says. “What we also found fascinating is that when people involve families in their health and wellness journey, they are almost 40% more engaged.”

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