How to maintain the wellbeing of your work-from-home workforce
As an employer and/or manager, it is important to create a healthy and productive work environment for your employees, including those who work from home. Some may be enjoying working at home while others may be yearning to go back to the office. Either way, it can be difficult to know how they are feeling and manage their needs. This blog highlights a few tips to help you maintain your employees’ wellbeing and support them while they are working from home.
Use technology to your advantage
There are many platforms available which offer online collaboration tools including Skype, Teams, Trello, Slack etc. These kinds of platforms can be used to communicate with others in the team or hold group meetings to discuss important topics and have brainstorming sessions. You can also use them to hold virtual seminars and training sessions which will help your employees learn new skills while working from home.
Have regular catch-ups
Your employees will feel more appreciated if you make their work environment conducive for remote work by having regular catch ups. This will help you effectively resolve any issues that your employees may be facing and offer them guidance or assistance when required. It will also help you keep track of your employees’ progress on their tasks and projects, which will in turn allow you to allocate their workload more effectively.
Create an open-door policy
In order for home workers to feel comfortable about approaching you, it is a good idea to create an open-door policy. This way, they can feel free to approach you for a chat if they want clarification on something or have concerns about their workload. This can help you understand how happy and comfortable your employees feel when working from home and encourage continuous development. Make sure that you still hold regular catch-ups to avoid unnecessary one-to-one chats.
Take the focus off the screen
Try and avoid having your employees working for longer than 4 hours straight in front of a computer screen as this can cause stress-related health issues such as headaches and eyestrain. Encourage them to take regular breaks where they can stretch their legs, breathe fresh air or even walk around the block.
Offer some flexible work options
Offer your employees some flexibility on what hours they work so they have more control over their lives. This can come in different forms, for example, allowing them to start and finish early or finish later if they are attending personal appointments in the middle of the day. Allowing this type of flexible schedule can greatly help them balance their work and personal commitments.
Offer them equipment
This could be as simple as ensuring that the internet connection is fast enough or providing them with wrist rests and ergonomic chairs if they are spending long hours in front of their computers. It will help them work more effectively without any interruptions or discomfort that would reduce their productivity levels. Additionally, employees will be more motivated if they feel that you are supporting them and actively helping to make their workplace a comfortable and positive one.
Know their preferences
Some would rather speak over the phone, while others are more comfortable sharing work updates via email or chat platforms like Slack. It all comes down to knowing what works for them so that they can produce quality results without too much stress. Also try and understand what motivates them. Make an effort to learn what their favourite tasks are and allocate work accordingly. Give them work they will enjoy and try not to give them tasks that they aren’t comfortable with.
Offer mental health support
Some employees who work from home may also struggle with isolation which can lead to stress and anxiety. Make sure you offer wellbeing and counselling services to struggling employees so they can get advice on overcoming these problems. Asking them how they are doing every now and again can make a difference as it demonstrates that you care about their wellbeing. Having a mental health first-aider on hand in the office could also make all the difference in supporting employees.
Monitor performance to provide help and support where needed
If some of your work-from-home workforce is struggling to meet deadlines, it could be due to a lack of motivation, distractions, or simply the lack of contact which can lead to isolation and disengagement. It may be helpful to have a video chat session to discuss why they are falling behind on their work and what you can do together to help them catch up. Also make sure you offer adequate support to prevent problems from reoccurring.
Reassure your employees about their job security
Constant reassurance is important when it comes to managing work-from-home employees because this kind of remote working can cause insecurity about job stability. Let them know that they are doing well and offer performance reviews to reinforce this. They will feel like part of the team and continue doing great work while staying stress-free.
Show your employees you care
A health assessment can help employees identify potential health risks, and it can also help to identify problems that may have gone undetected. Early detection of health problems can allow for early treatment and prevention of more serious health issues.
A health assessment can also help to identify areas where employees may need to make changes in their lifestyles in order to improve their overall health. Employees who are aware of their health risks are more likely to take steps to improve their health. So why not provide them with an in-depth one-to-one health assessment or a convenient home test kit?