Well-being of Remote Employees
Working from home can sometimes have an impact on employees, often causing isolation & burnout, meaning their well-being needs to be maintained. As an employer, it’s important to know how you can support your employees, so we decided to list a few steps you could take to help those within your company.
1. Establish boundaries between work and personal time
Quite often we are unable to find the balance between work life and personal life, a major factor of maintaining personal well-being. A good way to establish these boundaries is assigning spaces at home where you carry out your work. This will allow the person to establish where, and when, they should and shouldn’t work. This will improve the employee’s mental health by allowing them to remove themselves from the working environment, whilst also letting them focus on their personal goals and tasks. This will also benefit the other employees and employers involved, as it will decrease the likelihood of employees burning out and falling out with one another due to being in a negative mood.
2. Set up regular one-to-ones and listen
Regular one-to-ones are a great way of ensuring your team is aligned, stopping larger issues from getting out of hand, and allowing instant, and regular, feedback. However, a major part of these meetings is the relationship between the employer and employees. A key part, as an employer, is to take into consideration what your employees are saying.
A great way to ensure that your employees feel like they’re being listened to is to set aside a weekly, or bi-weekly, slot ensuring that there is a schedule, a given time for your employees to talk about various topics and be heard. Instead of confining these meetings to one specific room, which would usually be a conference room, you could instead suggest having these meetings in a more relaxed setting, for example you could have a one-to-one whilst on a walk. This comfortable environment could allow the employee to feel more relaxed and therefore more willing to talk about the discomforts.
Overall, one-to-ones allow the employees to express how they are feeling, both personally and within work. As an employer, you could set aside a whole day dedicated to having one-to-ones which could allow you to find common issues, or links between various topics and employees, or you could spread them out throughout the week, or month. Either way, they help the well-being, and productivity, of the office so find what works best for you and your employees.
3. Set a good example
What do we mean when we say, “set a good example”? As an employer, you will always be a role model for your employees. To lead by example is to inspire and guide others through your actions rather than your words, a common mistake. Modern employees want to see that your actions mirror what you say. The point of leadership is to represent the change, and actions, you want to see in your company.
But why is it important to set a good example? What affect does it have on your employees’ well-being?
To start with, it can boost employees’ morale. As an employer your actions and attitude have an impact on their attitude, performance, and satisfaction. The office morale is a major factor in your employees’ well-being. When you lead by example, morale goes up which can lead to employees being more satisfied at work and their mental well-being would improve.
As an employer, you may be seen as a mentor to some, and therefore someone who they feel they can trust. Trust can improve an employee’s mental state and relates to setting up the on-to-one meetings, a technique of ensuring your employees are being heard.
As well as this, being a good example for your employees can create a positive work culture, an environment where your employees feel comfortable whilst still having a balanced, personal life. This can also lead to more productivity. This productivity can create a better work environment, even when working from home.
4. Provide an employee’s assistance program (EAP) –a confidential service that helps employees with any personal or workplace issues
Like to the one-to-one meetings, an EAP allows your employees to talk about their difficulties in a confidential environment, providing a listening ear and compassionate support.
The pandemic, along with the various lockdowns, has had a mental effect on all of us so having a service like this available would benefit your employees as it would allow them to openly express their difficulties, opinions. As we transition from remote working and are now working in offices more and more, employees need a place to help ease the transition, and provide them with the support they require.
An EAP will improve employee well-being by providing a listening ear, an understanding service which always puts the mental health of the employee first. Better office well-being means better performance, so utilising a service like this would help your employees, as well as you, the employers.
5. Breaks are important
When we are deep into our work, we often say to ourselves that we can’t, or don’t have time to have a break, however it is the very opposite. Research has found that taking breaks benefits your employees and their work. A range of breaks can be utilised to help improve your employee’s well-being, whether it be micro-breaks, lunch breaks or even extended, longer breaks, they all help improve the well-being of your team.
Taking micro-breaks may not have the same impact as taking a holiday but they do provide benefit to your employees. These breaks reduce stress and maintain work ethic throughout the day, therefore improving daily performance. They also reduce the need for a long recovery at the end of the day. As for the other types of breaks, they too have benefits. For example, taking lunch breaks, ensuring you detach yourself from your work, can increase energy levels at work as well as decrease exhaustion. This will mean that your employees won’t have a negative mindset at work, rather they will gain vigour over time.
Breaks can help facilitate recovery by returning both your physical and mental functional systems to their baselines. This means that by utilising breaks, you can increase employee well-being, using various techniques.
6. Check-in on how your employees are feeling
A common mistake some employers make is they don’t check-in on how their employees are feeling. However, they are more important than you think. Having consistent check-ins can allow you to truly understand how your employees are feeling. You can find out more about their personalities, goals, and opinions. A major benefit of these check-ins is that it diminishes miscommunication between employers and employees. This can create a more positive work environment, a place where your employees feel understood and are comfortable. You can also utilise these check-ins to motivate your team and hence improve the quality of work. If you utilise just one of these techniques you could drastically improve the well-being of your employees, whether they are working from home, or in office. Despite the difficulties the pandemic has created, we can still use the skills listed above to improve the well-being of our staff and support one another throughout the organisation. Be sure to take time to truly find which techniques you want to utilise to truly help your employees and their well-being.
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