How to Support the Mental Health of Remote Workers

How to Support the Mental Health of Remote Workers

Due to Coronavirus, we are in completely new territory, which makes it crucial to start working in new ways and to take care of our mental health and well-being at the same time.

There’s nothing better than working remotely because you can work from anywhere and balance your life however you like. But if you fail to maintain your mental health, you’ll suffer the consequences. 

Remote workers’ mental health and well-being are key to a healthy, productive, and engaged workplace. Working remotely can offer many benefits but also add a lot of stress.

Working remotely can be very challenging for your employee’s mental health. It can make your best and most productive employees unproductive and tired. So, it is very important to take care of the mental health of remote workers.

One of the most challenging aspects for employers is to protect the mental health of remote workers. When you only see a team member a few times a week over video calls, it’s hard to know how they are doing.

Therefore, how can employers help their remote employees maintain good mental health? It is a challenging task, but fortunately, it is not impossible to maintain the mental health of remote workers.  

Here are 8 ways to support the mental health of remote workers.

8 Ways to Support the Mental Health of Remote Workers

8 Ways to Support the Mental Health of Remote Workers

Connect With Your Team Regularly

Effective communication is important between you and your team.  Employees who work remotely can feel isolated. A lack of communication can leave them feeling disconnected. 

Keeping in touch with your remote team virtually can reduce the feeling of disconnection and benefit your employees in various ways. You should have a daily 10-15 minute meeting with your team and ask them how they are doing. 

Once they complete their answer, you can address any concerns you might have. 

Schedule team meetings every week or month for further team building. You can also set goals for the day here. In short, this allows the employee to ask questions, share their feelings, exchange ideas, and get feedback. 

To have a meaningful connection, you must relate to someone’s feelings, ideas and perspectives.

Provide Training on Mental Health

Physical and mental health are equally important. Employers must start paying as much attention to the mental health of their employees. Anxiety can lead to poor performance and will take some time to recover.

Mental health training increases awareness about mental health and provides people with tools to help create a safe, productive, and engaged workplace.

Conduct online mental health sessions and training. Invite mental health experts to speak with your employees. Training should focus more on topics related to the prevention of stress and burnout. 

Benefits of Mental Health Training in the Workplace

  • Increase productivity and lower absenteeism rates 
  • Learn about the symptoms of mental illness and how to recognize them
  • Assist employees who are suffering from mental distress or are recovering from a crisis to promote the restoration of mental health
  • Prevent mental illness from becoming more serious by providing assistance

Use the Right Tone

You should foster an environment where employees feel comfortable talking about mental health issues at work. You must discuss mental health in a respectful, non-judgemental, clear, and understanding manner. 

The tone of your voice clarifies and conveys your meaning to others. People perceive you by your tone and listen to you based on the way you communicate it. 

You should not use disrespectful language when describing individuals, such as saying they are “mental”. Language like this does not foster a positive environment for discussing issues related to mental health. 

Identify the Symptoms of Burnout in Employees

Organizations of all sizes suffer from employee burnout. When you recognize the signs of employee burnout, you can help protect their health and hopefully prevent burnout.

You can identify burnout by understanding the conditions that cause it. Give remote employees flexibility and provide extra support.

You should lookout for these signs of burnout to protect your staff and prevent your business from suffering.

  • Illness
  • Exhaustion
  • Lack of enthusiasm
  • Mistakes
  • Decreased productivity
  • Working behind schedule 
  • Frustration

Encourage Physical Activity at Work 

Physical activity helps employees stay healthy, be well-rested, and have a quality life. Having healthier employees results in fewer sick days, higher productivity, and lower healthcare costs.

It is well known that physical activity improves mental health, and you should encourage your teams to exercise. Establish a work environment that encourages physical activity. Encourage employees to schedule workouts, conduct phone calls while walking, and ask them to skip the video during meetings and move around instead. Provide flexible working hours and physical activity breaks.  

You can provide fitness resources and yoga subscriptions to your employees. Also, consider some fun games in the workplace. You can keep your remote team connected with a little friendly competition.

Implement Team-Building Activities

Adding team-building activities to your company’s culture is very important. Ensure your remote workers are socially connected. Create a group on your company’s communication system such as Slack to have fun conversations. 

When you plan team-building activities with specific objectives in mind, your company stands to gain various benefits. An activity can be anything from a simple problem to solve, which can be done online, to an activity such as a scavenger hunt. 

The purpose of team building is not just a relaxing break from work. As a result, your employees’ skills will be developed, and their relationships will be built.

Team building activities offer the following benefits:

  • Connects Remote Teams
  • Improved Mental Health
  • Increased Collaboration
  • Increase Motivation
  • Encourage Creativity
  • Improves Communication
  • Improved Morale
  • Increased Confidence
  • Improved Physical Health

Show Appreciation

Whenever your boss recognizes and appreciates your work, it feels great. Appreciating your team is one of the best ways to show them how much you care and value them. 

Employers are struggling to adapt to dramatic changes in the workplace under extremely stressful conditions. Taking the time to thank someone at the end of a meeting or compliment them is a very nice gesture.

Find unique ways to express your appreciation to your employees. Share team achievements in team meetings, acknowledge specific employees, and send encouragement or gratitude in private emails.

Keep in Touch with Teams Using Technology

Working from home can cause loneliness. That’s why keeping in contact with your team is essential when working remotely. 

A variety of technologies are available that can help you to stay in touch. Technology can help them feel less lonely, even though they can’t walk over to their colleagues’ desks to ask questions or chat.

For employees to stay connected, it’s important to provide the tools necessary for each type of communication—for example, Slack for instant messaging and Zoom for virtual meetings. Employees should be encouraged to communicate throughout their workday and to be open to socializing as well. 

The Challenges of Remote Work

Many people who are tired of being stuck in traffic on their morning commute might see working remotely as a dream come true, but working remotely has its own challenges.

Overworking is common among remote workers.  It’s extremely difficult to separate work and home.  It can be more difficult to switch when you have your professional and personal lives under the same roof. 

It’s never a good idea to overwork. Physical and emotional exhaustion can result from burnout. 

The best way to relax after work is to complete all of your planned tasks before your day ended. 

Every day, set achievable goals and achieve them routinely. Otherwise, you always feel like you haven’t done enough, and it isn’t easy to switch off.

There is a dramatic increase in remote workers, but this physical isolation has made people feel less loyal to their company and less connected to coworkers.

Isolation is a major problem. You may feel isolated when you are working from home and don’t have anyone around. Working remotely can make you feel lonely since you can’t socialize with your colleagues.

Remote workers are more likely to be ill or less productive due to loneliness. You can beat isolation by getting out of your workspace. Work from outside the house once a week. You can work from a coffee shop, a local library, or a coworker’s place.

Working from home has the advantage of preventing office interruptions. However, you may have to deal with many interruptions and distractions. There are many distractions at home. Employees get distracted by family members, cousins who stop by unexpectedly, pets, construction, housework, TV, cell phones, and numerous other factors.

Conclusion

Working from home entailed feelings of loneliness and isolation. Burnout and stress are rapid side effects of remote work. Physical and mental health are equally important. Remote workers will experience a better work environment if their organizations prioritize mental health. 

When employees look back on their most stressful moments, they will always remember how their company backed them up and looked out for them. That’s why it’s very important to support the mental health of remote workers.

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