During uncertain and challenging times, such as the global pandemic we’re currently facing, it’s inevitable that we’ll need to adapt to new ways of working. Employees all around the world are having to work from home, which can be overwhelming and stressful, especially if unprepared or a new experience. However, there are certain steps that employers can encourage and put into place to lessen the stress of working from home on their workforce. Operating in highly stressful conditions can negatively impact employees’ mental and physical health. Therefore, it’s crucial that this is addressed if organisations want a workforce that is happy, motivated and resilient enough to rise to the challenge. At Achievers, we’ve put together the below five tips to help support employees who are currently working remotely:
- Create a healthy workspace
Employees may be experiencing far from ideal working conditions as not everyone has access to a dedicated office or workspace at home. Employers should encourage workers to create an area, where possible, which is clearly separate from other lounge areas used for relaxing and unwinding. Once you start to blur the lines of working areas that’s when you run the risk of putting work life balance in jeopardy. It also avoids the possibility of working on sofas and other areas, which are not ideal for your posture and can lead to long-term health issues. Encourage employees to work ergonomically from home as best they can and review their work-at-home setup.
- Maintain a routine
Traditional working hours are not what they used to be, and this can lead to differing definitions of working hours. That’s why it’s important to encourage employees to stick to a routine and to maintain boundaries between their ‘work’ time and ‘home’ time. You could suggest that your employees try to wake up roughly the same time they would normally – replace their usual commute time with a walk around their area or local park, while adhering to Government rules on social distancing. However, sticking to a 9-to-5 routine may not be realistic for everyone, some people may have the added task of home schooling and other family responsibilities. That’s why it’s crucial for employees to find a work-home routine that works best for them and to stick to it.
- Don’t forget to be social
Finding time to speak to colleagues is a great stress reliever, people are naturally social beings that need social interaction. As virtual working is now our new normal it’s imperative that employers think carefully about the social wellbeing of their employees. Working from home can be a lonely task for some people, so it’s important to make every effort to communicate with your colleagues. Set-up a social quiz, a bingo session or a Friday wind-down session to help maintain some of the fun activities that would normally take place in the office.
- Encourage wellbeing practices
This is a great time to take a closer look at your own company wellbeing strategy – does it work for your business during this current climate? Showing that you care about your employee’s wellbeing can help reduce absenteeism, boost engagement and performance. Mental health issues can affect anyone, and it’s proven that companies feel the effects in terms of productivity and overall financial loss due to mental health related issues. Organisations can start by offering benefits to support wellbeing, whether it’s an online yoga membership, classes to help you learn new languages or vouchers to purchase an at home workout kit.
- Invest in technology
The right technology can make a huge impact on your working from home experience. Communication tools such as instant messaging, video and voice calling platforms can help to keep teams connected. Remote working can often lead to employees’ hard work going unnoticed and not being appreciated. That’s why it’s important to invest in a recognition platform that allows employees to send and receive recognition acknowledging their hard work and contributions.
Click here to find out more about Achievers’ employee engagement platform.