In this blog, we’re looking at how line managers can support the wellbeing and mental health of their teams, ensuring their remote employees can overcome challenges and feel comfortable and happy in their role.
As an employer, you have a duty of care to your employees, and that doesn’t just apply in the workplace itself. This care extends to remote teams, wherever they may be working.
The link between remote working and poor wellbeing
For some people, working from home is productive and enjoyable, however, some can be negatively affected. The lack of face-to-face contact and social involvement can impact the productivity and mental health of some employees, leading them to feel isolated or lonely.
Working remotely can also affect the physical wellbeing of employees if they don’t have comfortable and ergonomic seating or general office equipment available to them. The challenges will differ from each individual, so it’s important to support your team as best you can.
How to support the wellbeing and mental health of remote teams
Check in with your employees on a regular basis
When working remotely, you should have regular virtual check-ins with your team. This could be via Facetime, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or any other video calling tool. These regular video calls should be scheduled in advance and added to the diaries of each team member. We would also recommend you schedule one-to-one calls each week to catch up with each employee on a more personal level.
Encourage your team to have a healthy work/life balance
The lines can become blurred between work and personal life when you’re working from home. Encourage your team to follow a structured routine and only work the hours they are expected to. This goes for you too. It’s important that you take care of yourself if you want to be there to support your team. If you allow work to seep into your personal time, it can lead to an increase in stress-levels and burnout.
Taking a break is important
It’s easy for employees to feel under pressure to be at their desk for 8 hours straight when working from home. This will ultimately increase stress-levels and decrease productivity. Encourage your employees to take a proper lunch break and moments of calm throughout the day to ensure they feel refreshed and able to work productively. It’s a good idea to add this to their diary or have a system in place that allows employees to change their status to unavailable on their chat when they need a break.
Set realistic goals for your employees
When setting goals for your employees, they should be achievable and take away any unrealistic pressures. If they’re not completing their tasks, or have worked overtime to hit these goals, you should reassess the tasks or goals you’re allocating. On the other hand, you should also ensure your employees have enough work to complete so they don’t lack motivation or feel like they’re not needed.
Review your employees work setup
For employees working from home, you need to ensure they have the equipment needed to carry out their role, as well as a place to work. A person’s environment can not only affect their productivity, but also their mental health and wellbeing. As an employer you should ensure your team are comfortable and their equipment meets the needs of their job.
If you would like more advice on how to manage the wellbeing and mental health of your remote teams, our HR team are on hand to assist you. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch!