Employers that are serious about having healthy business in the current reality must take the mental health of their employees seriously. Staying at home without zero in-person contacts and social activities can be detrimental to mental health, except when the situation is properly managed. This is even more pertinent in regions where the risk of the pandemic is present or significantly higher.
So, what can employees do?
To keep the mental health of their employees at 100%, employers must encourage interaction and communication between employees and team leads. From official engagements to non-work chats and discussions, new remote workers must be able to interact with other people throughout the day.
Breaks are also necessary. New remote workers working from home may find it weird going a whole workday without talking to another person. If this persists for long, unhealthy habits may creep in. Therefore, breaks are important to ensure that an employee finds that crucial work-life balance while working remotely. Encourage them to take walks or workout for a few minutes indoors and other stress-relieving activities.
In addition to a planned schedule of resetting, regrouping, and relaxing, new remote employees must have access to mental health services at all times. Fortunately, there are a couple of remote health services employers can work with to provide this for their employees. Headspace Australia has excellent resources for managing mental health in the workplace.
Helping Employees stay productive while working remotely is key.
Several factors may contribute to dwindling productivity in new remote workers. Social isolation means there is no face-to-face supervision. Team managers are increasingly concerned that their members will do less than expected. Likewise, employers have no sufficient access to communication, managerial support, and relevant information some times. These, coupled with distractions emanating from home can have adverse effects on the productivity of remote workers.
Fortunately, there are ways to keep productivity high for employees working from home. The first is the provision of the right tech and productivity tools that facilitate connection and boost productivity. Employees must be able to access project management tracking apps to keep productivity high.
Employers must also create scheduled and mandatory daily check-ins for their workers, either on a one-on-one basis or among small groups. It is the same as setting virtual office hours, where employees are expected to be available throughout.
Again, non-work interactions and team-building help to build productivity during social isolation. Likewise, employers should also discuss dressing as a vital productivity tool while working from home. Dressing for business while working at home help most remote workers psychologically towards stepping-up their productivity.
The face of work has changed, and it may remain like this for a while, thanks to COVID-19. While work cannot stop completely, we can make essential modifications to the way we go about work to suit the current reality.
Both the employers and the employees must be committed to the prospects and demands of working remotely, especially during this period of social isolation. And the insights discussed in this article are excellent ways to start.