Today, there are more people than ever working from home. This phenomenon seems to bring a good opportunity for a better work/life balance. Most people who work remotely want to keep working remotely in the future. However, this way of work brings a new wave of challenges. One challenge is the loneliness or unforeseen barriers to working, and another is the benefits of in-office work, which must be offset. It is crucial for business owners to protect their employees’ mental and physical health because if you do not, your staff will quickly tire of remote working. You can prevent this by implementing proven employee wellness ideas for remote workers.
Create Virtual Social Spaces
A large chunk of remote workers struggle with isolation. Those who suddenly shifted to working from home are some of the most vulnerable to this issue. Colleagues are often the people we spend the most time with, so it can be a shock to have this network taken away. Working in an office does have certain benefits. We are social animals that benefit from the chatting and socializing that often occurs in the office. So, it is important to recreate this experience for virtual workers. Consider creating an ongoing social channel in your instant messaging platform. You could also host regular social webchats or encourage employees to take coffee breaks and do this themselves.
Be Equipped with the Right Tools
Sometimes remote workers suddenly find that they don’t have what they need to do their job adequately. Remote working may mean that they can take their laptop and work from anywhere. However, remote working is not always as glamorous as it sounds. It comes with many of the same challenges that being in a professional space does, and it is necessary to be provided with the right equipment to work safely and comfortably.
Plus, remote workers often encounter unexpected barriers to doing their jobs properly. This can cause unnecessary stress and even conflict, such as making it harder to get questions answered quickly or get approval on a new project. Technology may be the only answer to these issues, with collaboration tools and instant messaging platforms for internal communication. Other specific tools can be used, such as proposal management software, to assist remote project initiation and VOIP tools for remote presentations.
Encourage Employees to Switch Off
Getting remote workers to switch off is a challenge, as when you only work in an office, it’s much easier to leave work at the office. However, for those at their dining room table, creating this mental distance is a lot harder. Be proactive in creating a culture of work during work hours in your organization. Steps to achieve this:
Lead by example
Try not to reach out to your staff during the evenings and weekends, so they don’t feel pressured to work at unreasonable hours.
Adopt time management apps
Encouraging the use of time tracking apps in your company to ensure people only work during office hours
Enact your own right to disconnect
Remind workers that they have a right to enjoy their free time
Create a supportive company culture to improve employee wellness without spending any money
Offer Mental Health Support
Remote workers are more likely than those who work in an office to have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Managers and HR professionals must care about their employees’ mental health, such as making it easier for employees to seek help from qualified professionals if needed. To achieve this by:
Creating anonymous wellbeing surveys
This can be done regularly to identify if you have a trend of workers suffering from a particular problem, like loneliness, fatigue, poor motivation, or stress. After this is identified, a conversation can be had about what you can do to help.
Treat mental health like physical health
Create a culture of openness by leading by example and allow your employees to feel comfortable taking time off for stress, the same way back pain or a dentist appointment would be treated.
Sometimes the real battle is getting your employees to take their mental health seriously. More and more businesses are offering access to online therapy or counseling as an employee benefit.
Replace in-office Perks with Subscriptions
Offices often offer free fruit or things like Monday morning yoga meetings to promote employee wellness. This is just as necessary in the world of remote working. You can offer the same perks to remote workers by:
Replacing office perks with subscription services
Such as replacing free fruit with a fruit of the month subscription or office exercise sessions with an online equivalent or even credit towards a gym subscription.
Finding perks of equivalent value
If you usually have a movie session in the office on a Friday afternoon, consider allowing your remote workers to disconnect early.
Allowing employees to tailor their own benefits package
Provide remote workers with a personal benefit budget, offering a range of perks to suit their own needs. The benefits of workplace wellness programs can go far, and becoming aware of wellness issues is half the battle. Then you can engage with remote employees to determine what works best for them.
About World Wide Specialty Programs
For the last 50 years, World Wide Specialty Programs has dedicated itself to providing the optimal products and solutions for the staffing industry. As the only insurance firm to be an ASA commercial liability partner, we are committed to that partnership and committed to using our knowledge of the industry to provide staffing firms with the best possible coverage. For more information about Staffing Professional Liability Insurance or any other coverage, we have available to protect your staffing business, give us a call at (877) 256-0468 to speak with one of our representatives.