There are many aspects of day-to-day life that have changed since the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the biggest changes we are seeing within business is the increase in remote working. What was done as a matter of safety during lockdown has since become the norm.
By employing people to work remotely from their own homes, companies are able to hire from a much wider candidate pool and save a lot in office costs – with an increase in remote workers, there is less need of large office spaces. There are many benefits to be had for both the employer and the employee, but what impact could remote working be having on your staff’s wellbeing? And how can you ensure you are helping that?
What is the Impact of Remote Working on Wellbeing?
Without having those daily, face-to-face interactions in the office, employees may begin to feel a sense of loneliness and isolation. Some people may have a personality that thrives in this set-up – an office is more distracting, and they are able to produce better work in a quieter environment. But for more extroverted characters, this may present more difficulties.
Working from your home can also make it harder for people to close themselves off from work; it can become easy for work to seep into their personal time. Some may also feel the need to strive to prove themselves more as they aren’t in the office; they may feel the need to contribute more to compensate for the fact they are at home and show themselves to be productive. All of this can lead to burnout if we’re not careful.
Of course, when you don’t see your employees face to face on a daily basis, it can be hard to keep an awareness of their wellbeing and get more sense of how they are in themselves.
So, what can you do to help your staff take better care of themselves in a remote work set-up?
Here are our five suggestions:
1. Check in on the team
Just like in an office environment, you may have a daily briefing or a weekly round-up with the team to touch base and see how current projects are progressing. You can set these meetings up to happen as regularly as you need via video conferences. This will give staff some sense of togetherness across the team and camaraderie while working on group projects from different locations. You can often see in people’s faces if they are struggling in themselves as well, so use these as an opportunity to deduce who may be struggling and need a one-to-one check-in.
2. Set clear boundaries
Without physically leaving work to commute home, it can be hard to establish a clear divide between work and home life. Many will be continuing their evening with the office set up in the corner of their living room or just down the hall. Encourage your staff to maintain clear boundaries between work time and their own time. If you notice members of the team are often still logged in after hours or responding to emails outside of work time, check in on them and make it clear that that is not the expectation.
3. Set an example
One of the most effective ways to encourage those boundaries in your staff is to maintain them for yourself. Make it clear that you won’t respond to any non-urgent messages outside of your working hours, and allow your team to see you making your own wellbeing a priority so they will follow that example. Take lunch breaks and notify staff that you will not be contactable for that period. By taking time out yourself, you will allow your staff to feel comfortable to do the same.
4. Regular one to ones
Check in with each member of staff as often as once a month on a one-to-one basis. Whether this is a phone or video call, make sure you really listen to each person and go over their current workload to make sure they are not taking on too much or too little. Outside of these regular check-ins, ensure that your team knows you are available for support when any concern arises.
5. Encourage physical activities
With the commute to work being reduced to a simple walk from one room of the house to another, many people may struggle to get any real exercise during the day. What activities could you encourage your team to partake in to ensure they are keeping their bodies moving? Physical exercise is proven to be beneficial to people’s mental wellbeing. Maybe you could encourage a daily step target to get people out and walking on lunch breaks? Or you could see if there are online fitness classes or local gyms you could offer your team free classes or discounted membership to.
Staff members who feel encouraged and supported in their work will be much happier in their role and, as a result, produce a much better quality of work. Supporting your team’s wellbeing is arguably one of the most important aspects of being an employer, made all the more challenging through remote working.
What other steps are you taking to look after the wellbeing of your remote workers?
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