Remote work provides great benefits for both employees and organizations. It helps improve productivity, establishes diversity in the workplace, reduces business costs, and increases employee morale.
However, teleworking also has its setbacks; ranging from technical issues like inconsistent internet access and cybersecurity concerns to personal problems such as unpredictable distractions and feeling disconnected from your team. These challenges may even take a toll on their physical and mental health.
While these problems seem like something that employees have to deal with on their own, managers and business leaders can take important measures to address them and help their workers be healthier and more productive while working remotely.
This article will explore five ways employers can support the well-being of employees — even if they don’t see each other face-to-face.
Check In With Your Employees Regularly
Working remotely can make employees feel isolated with no one to talk to about their worries about their job. While they can vent to their loved ones, it would still be better if they can express their problems to someone within their work circle.
With this in mind, managers and team leaders should check in with their team members to see how they’re doing. Doing so allows higher-ups to understand the struggles their workers are facing and extend their assistance to resolve these issues.
A weekly team meeting offers a great opportunity to conduct these check-ins. One-on-one discussions work well, too, as such conversations give the employees the chance to openly convey their concerns without fear of being ignored or sidetracked.
Schedule Virtual Bondings
A remote setup offers solitude that can help workers concentrate on the task at hand. However, this solitariness can feel isolating, especially for sociable employees who thrive in in-person interactions.
Managers can resolve this issue by dedicating time for the team to talk and bond over non-work related things. This intervention allows workers to know each other better and form greater relationships with their colleagues.
It can also increase engagement between the employee and employer, thereby building partnerships that help improve workforce development. These outcomes can also give staff members a boost of energy and make them feel more motivated to continue their work.
Set Limits Between Employees’ Work and Personal Lives
The greatest advantage of remote work is that it offers great flexibility that an in-office arrangement can’t deliver. Even if the employee is working on a dedicated shift, working from wherever they want allows them to do other things that can improve their professional and personal lives.
On the other hand, this setup can also blur the line between work and personal time. For instance, workers feel the need to respond immediately when their managers ping them in their work chats — which forces them to be in work mode until their shift ends. This absence of physical separation can then lead to heightened stress levels.
Managers and team leaders can address this by encouraging their staff members to limit the workload they take to minimize the chance of work overlapping with their personal time. Communicating the importance of having a work-life balance helps employees establish a solid boundary between these parts of their lives.
Encourage Workers to Take Leaves
Since a remote set-up causes work to intertwine with the employees’ personal lives, it sometimes causes them to forget to take a break. It can even come to the point that workers will start falling behind on their tasks, feel frustrated, or even lose enthusiasm for work.
That’s why managers need to remind their staff to use their annual leave, especially when they start to feel the signs of burnout. Taking a few days off can do wonders for employees’ overall well-being and help them refresh their exhausted state of mind.
Provide Resources and Support
As mentioned, employees may experience technical issues that can be difficult to resolve for non-technical workers. It can affect their productivity and even their line of communication with their teammates and leaders.
Providing strong IT support, whether that’s upgrading their equipment or setting up necessary software, can drastically improve their work situation at home.
Moreover, work-related stress is still present in remote employees and can affect their work behavior. Giving them access to mental health services and other assistance programs helps staff members get through such problems and make them feel that the company genuinely cares for them.
Show Your Gratitude
Staff members who feel seen and appreciated become more motivated to improve the quality of their work and increase their productivity. Feeling genuine gratitude for their efforts, especially after being in isolation for so long, also fosters resiliency and loyalty among remote workers.
A simple “thank you” or “good job” is a step in the right direction, but managers should also look for unique opportunities to show their gratitude to their employees. Tokens like gift baskets, incentives, or free lunches boost their morale and show appreciation for the hard work they’ve been doing.
It is still the employers’ responsibility to maintain the well-being of their staff members, whether they see them every day at the office or in virtual meetings.
Fulfilling this duty can be as simple as discussing virtual holiday party ideas as a form of team bonding or as thoughtful as sending gift baskets to show the manager’s gratitude for their hardworking employees.
Either way, supporting the well-being of remote workers ensures they are happy, engaged, and motivated to improve their productivity — which subsequently uplifts the overall performance of the business.
A guest post by Sophia Young