Most employers now have employees who work remotely. Even before the pandemic, remote work has been on the rise for decades and doesn't show signs of slowing down. In fact, according to FlexJobs, remote work is expected to increase an additional 23% by 2024. That means there will be more remote workers than ever before—and more people at risk of burnout and other mental health issues.
Working remotely can lead to isolation and a lack of face-to-face communication, making it hard for workers to feel part of a team or community. This can lead to stress and other mental health issues. If you're an employer who has remote workers, there are ways you can help ensure they stay healthy while they're on the job.
Ensure there is plenty of opportunity for communication and collaboration within the team, including daily check-ins and weekly meetings where everyone can contribute their thoughts and ideas.
Provide plenty of training opportunities for remote employees to feel like they're growing in their roles. This will also make it easier for you to promote in-house, which saves time and resources hiring from outside.
Set realistic expectations that are supported by real results. This helps to ensure the same standards and evaluation criteria for employees who work in the office and employees who work remotely.
Find ways to make sure everyone feels included and connected with each other even though they aren't physically present in one place at any given time (i.e., use video conferencing tools to connect with other members from around the world).
Be sure there is a system in place for dealing with conflicts among team members who are working remotely so they don't get left unresolved. Unresolved issues can lead to burnout or even employee attrition.
Encourage employees to take breaks throughout the day. Employees at home may forget to take regular breaks because they're not chatting with employees in the breakroom or grabbing a coffee with a coworker. Regular breaks throughout the day to recharge their batteries and take care of other responsibilities like eating or exercising can help employees balance priorities.
Offer flexible scheduling options for those with family obligations. Remote workers may have family members who need help caring for, like children or elderly parents at home. As an employer, give your staff the flexibility to attend to these responsibilities.
Access to Mental Health Resources
Make sure employees have access to mental health services. Many people don't seek help because they don't think they can afford it or don't want their employer to find out about their situation. Offering free counseling sessions for remote employees or covering the cost of one session per year with a local therapist who specializes in telehealth services (like video chats), can help employees feel more comfortable seeking out this kind of support.
Optional Office Days
When possible, try to let remote workers enter an office once in a while so they can interact with others face-to-face and get out of their home environment for a while.
If you want to learn more about ensuring the mental well-being of remote employees, visit Passport Unlimited to find out more.