Remote work has transformed the global employment landscape, resulting in increased employee productivity while saving time and money on daily commutes. However, the benefits of telecommuting on productivity should not come at the price of employee well-being. As employees continue to work from home, it is essential to maintain their physical and mental health and wellness.
Even if most of your workforce is remote, as the employer, you must provide workplace wellness resources and programs regulated by HIPAA. Implementing well-being initiatives may help reduce stress, prevent burnout, and boost morale.
Continue reading to learn how to monitor employee well-being and promote workplace wellness in a remote environment.
1. Set up conversations and workshops about well-being.
Investing in wellness programs and workshops can help normalize conversations about well-being support for remote employees. Virtual wellness programs aim to promote and improve employee well-being and satisfaction. These sessions can help employees reduce stress, form healthy habits, and set better boundaries between work and personal life.
Moreover, schedule regular one-on-ones through phone or video calls to strengthen employer-employee relationships. These interactions can help build trust, encouraging employees to feel comfortable and secure enough to communicate openly and honestly.
You may also get some valuable insights on well-being while discussing goals and performance. If your employees appear to fall behind on goals, this may indicate high-stress levels or burnout. Try to spot early signs of work-related stress, anxiety, burnout, and disengagement, and then offer appropriate tools or support.
2. Encourage and maintain social interactions with colleagues.
Social interactions at work help employees feel connected and supported, which improves their overall well-being. These connections reduce stress, make work relationships more meaningful, and build trust and collaboration.
Engage remote teams through virtual team-building activities and games that can break the ice and improve morale. Schedule online happy hours, host a watch party and check out virtual party ideas for the upcoming holidays. Encourage employees to connect and recreate the discussions they typically have over lunch or coffee.
3. Use the right software to encourage positive interactions.
Many organizations use email, but video conferencing works best to simulate face-to-face conversations. Many people find communicating through video calls easier, quicker, and more complicated to misinterpret than email. Video helps you to pick up on nonverbal cues that provide context to interactions with colleagues, a benefit that text messages and emails lack.
Implement an easy-to-use platform to encourage your employees to embrace video conferencing solutions. Your chosen platform should be able to support various meeting formats, from one-on-ones to extensive group discussions.
4. Conduct surveys to check in on your employees.
Any successful workplace wellness program must start with conducting an employee wellness survey. Instead of a small group of managers making assumptions about employee well-being, a wellness survey goes right to the source and asks your employees about their wellness goals.
Surveys increase employee engagement by empowering workers to take an active role in improving workplace wellness and culture. Conducting surveys provides insight into how you can improve employee morale and is a morale booster in and of itself. When you show your employees that you’re paying attention and value their feedback, they will feel heard and motivated.
Many individuals may be reluctant to admit if their current work setup negatively affects their well-being. Conducting anonymous surveys can help you gain more detailed and honest feedback. When a survey is confidential, respondents may be more willing to discuss sensitive issues without fear of reprimand or discipline.
5. Help remote employees improve and maintain work-life balance.
Families that need and value flexibility may greatly benefit from working from home. However, by losing a physical work environment, many who work remotely may feel isolated and struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance, which can negatively impact their well-being. It may be tough to set boundaries between work and personal time when you no longer leave the office and travel home at the end of your shift.
Because of technological advances, work is always accessible, and remote employees often want to be available at all times to demonstrate they are working just as hard at home. Because of this lack of separation, many remote employees may feel they are always in work mode, adding to their already high-stress levels.
Make sure your employees take frequent breaks, keep an eye out for signs of overwork, and encourage self-care. Consider having a self-care brainstorming session at your next team meeting, or start a Slack channel where workers can share ideas and check in with each other. Set work limits, and lead by example by establishing healthy boundaries, too.
Employers must adapt and offer additional support to their remote teams through safe working procedures, policies, employee recognition, and training. You can support your employees’ well-being and professional growth by implementing the wellness strategies outlined above.