Six Ways to Manage Employee Wellbeing
for Remote Workers
Whether your employees work remotely or regularly all of the time, or it is a short-term solution because of extenuating circumstances, you will need to make sure that the wellbeing of these team members is being looked after. Although they are not primarily within the usual office environment, it is still crucial for you - and them - to maintain this area of work. After all, they are contributing to your brand’s success, and their wellbeing should be just as important to you as it is those at their office desks.
However, it can be tricky to assess someone’s wellbeing when they are working elsewhere. While you can see when the person sitting next to you may be in physical discomfort or are upset about something that’s happened to them, this can be more difficult to evaluate if you don’t see your remote worker for days or weeks at a time. So, what can you do?
There are several solutions you can implement to make sure that the wellbeing of those team members who work remotely is taken care of in a positive way. These are some suggestions of what you could put in place.
Encourage a positive work-life balance
Many people work longer hours when they work from home. They may feel a pressure to be online all the time and will be concerned that it will appear they are not working - so, instead, they work too much. If your staff end up doing this, then it will not be long until they burnout.
So, you should encourage your remote workers to avoid working longer-than-usual hours and let them know how important it is for them to take breaks. One way you could do this is to set a good example and take breaks yourself and work reasonable hours. You could ask your managers to create short diaries of their working days that can be shown to employees to demonstrate that everyone takes breaks - and they should also be doing this.
Communicate and check-in regularly
A lack of information from an employer will not help an employee’s anxieties, so it is essential to have a company policy on items such as sick pay, annual leave, and furloughing staff. You should then inform them of these plans.
You should regularly communicate with all your staff, so they know what is happening as a situation change. Making sure your communication is frequent and transparent will be helpful for a person’s state of mind and employee wellbeing.
You should also set-up non-work check-ins - such as virtual coffee mornings or lunch breaks, for example. This will let teams catch up with each other informally and add normality to someone is working life. Use video conferencing where you can, so people can see each other.
You should reassure people that feeling stressed, sad, angry, scared, or confused are normal emotions to have during a crisis. Speak about how important it is to have a healthy lifestyle and encourage anyone who feels overwhelmed to talk to others. In essence, this can be a friend, family member, colleague, or medical professional.
Use the correct perks and incentives
If you think working remotely is enough of a perk: you are wrong. Your remote workers still need to have some form of reward and recognition, which will give them the encouragement to perform better through incentives. Think about using creative schemes that let staff have the chance to develop themselves and care for their wellbeing. For instance, this can include items such as a paid yoga session, a visit to a health spa, or even a travel incentive programme.
Reimburse employee fitness activities
Physical activities have many benefits, which can also have a significant effect on mental health. Some organisations use fitness reimbursement as a way to reduce the number of sick days that are taken and reduce stress. So, think about providing full or partial reimbursement for your employees - for example, you could do this for items such as classes, gym memberships, or even Fitbits. This will show how serious your brand is about the health and mental wellbeing of its remote workers.
Have ‘unsick’ days
This is a scheme where each employee can take at least one day a year to book appointments for preventative treatments. These can include, for instance, eye tests, dental appointments, or counselling. So, your employees can have this day to dedicate to their health and wellbeing.
Use available support
You should ensure that your team knows about the wellbeing support available from within your organisation, and how they can get access to it. Some circumstances can be challenging for a person’s mental health, and the increased stress of working from home might be detrimental to their wellbeing.
Many companies have innovative ways to support their staff virtually, including online counselling sessions or live-streaming workouts. Ask your team about what they need.