The business disruption witnessed in 2019 due to COVID19 made the whole world adapt to a new normal. Technological advancement made this transition and adoption easier. Physical meetings have become rare, and the way people do business has changed. Today, healthcare, entertainment, meetings, and many more interactions are done online. Most businesses have also changed with time, and employees now work remotely.
Remote work is popular with the workforce, who find it conveniently safe during this pandemic period. The successful adoption of remote work means more and more enterprises will embrace it in the near future. However, questions of the employee’s well-being and mental health issues while working remotely arise.
According to Forbes, most employees who work from home say they have experienced negative health consequences such as mental health torture, loneliness, isolation, and difficulty getting away from work in the evenings. Only a few say that their employers have done something to help them manage this situation. If not managed in a timely fashion, this may eventually lead to decreased productivity of the said remote workers. In this article, we’ll delve into how to support your remote workers’ mental wellness.
Set Up Mental Health Training Sessions
Just like physical health, mental health needs to be taken more seriously by employees and employers alike for any positive change to be effected. Employers should reckon that the pandemic and the imposed movement restrictions worsened mental health. If your remote employee begins to feel anxious and expresses it to you, and you feel it would warrant some time off, the earlier, the better.
Moreover, as an employer, you need to normalize mental health among your team since many people still see it as a stigma, dissuading them from discussing their mental health issues. Start offering virtual health training sessions to show your employees how the organization is taking these mental health issues. You can also seek health experts who can offer online therapy to those who need it.
Staff Connection Technologically and Occasional Team-Building Sessions
Remote employees cite loneliness as the leading cause of mental health problems when they work remotely. They are often home alone with no one to talk to or interact with. They don’t experience any significant physical movement either. Physical interaction that they used to have with each other before is no longer there, which leads to a feeling of isolation from the rest of the organization. To avert this, you should help your staff to remain connected technologically by utilizing tools like zoom and Slack. These online tools provide a platform for teams to interact and collaborate even when they are far apart.
Video conferencing platforms also help teams collaborate, share ideas, interact, and team building in ways that written communication cannot rival. In addition, organize physical team meets at a selected central location twice or thrice a year for your team members to get to know the true personalities of their colleagues. Doing this will help your remote workers to feel less isolated and begin feeling like a part of the wider family within the organization.
Avail Mental Health Resources
Many of your remote workers may not be sure about where to find mental health resources. To better support your staff, it’s crucial to create a list of resources and where your staff can access them. It can be on your intranet pages or one of your slack channels where everyone can access it. Your slack channel should be dynamically reviewed to ensure relevant content.
The resources to fill up your list include coverage for online therapists, mental health hotlines, educational resources, treatment centers, and many more.
Promote Work-Life Balance
Many remote employees find working from home quite rewarding in terms of work-life balance. However, some employees may feel guilty about logging out even after work hours, which can be detrimental to their mental health. It’s therefore important to allocate login periods for your employees and encourage them to log off when that period elapses. Helping employees to designate a space as their office to avoid working anywhere in the house is equally important.
Your employee’s mental health is important for your organization to achieve the desired productivity levels. Organizations should therefore strive to maintain the mental health of their employees by promoting work-life balance, keeping employees in communication, and availing mental resources. Employers should also set up mental training sessions for their employees.