Top 7 Ways HR Can Manage the Mental Wellbeing of Remote Workers
Even as Hawaii slowly reopens and employees return to work, there is a high likelihood that more employers will decide to give their workers the option to continue working from home. Twitter and Square have already announced that their employees can keep working from home forever if they want to. There is a realistic possibility that more than half of American workers will remain working from home going forward.
We know that work-related stress affects 83 percent of American workers, costing businesses up to $300 billion a year in productivity. With so many employees working remotely, it’s a good time to talk about the mental health and well-being of remote workers. While working remotely can reduce stress by eliminating the commute and interruptions from loud co-workers, there is the risk that remote employees will struggle with work-life balance and begin to feel disconnected from the broader company mission. So, how can HR help to manage the mental health of the remote company workforce?
Top 7 ways HR can manage the mental wellbeing of remote workers
1. Recognize the importance of mental health
All HR managers should be aware of the cost of stressed employees and communicate to them that you take their mental wellbeing as seriously as their physical wellbeing. Reach out to remote workers to ask how they’re feeling and what HR can do to support them. Provide sick days that may be used for mental as well as physical health.
2. Continue offering reimbursement for physical activities
For many people, physical activity is an important part of their mental health. Encourage remote workers to stay active by reimbursing them for gym memberships, yoga classes or even a Fitbit.
3. Choose a business communication platform that keeps employees connected
About 20 percent of remote workers say they struggle with loneliness. Reduce this feeling by using a business communication platform such as Slack to help all your workers communicate quickly and efficiently. It goes a long way to helping them feel like they are part of a team.
4. Have regular team and individual meetings to discuss projects and goals
While most people don’t like excessive meetings, when people are working from home day in and day out, they need a way to touch base about group and individual goals and projects. Employees also need a forum to be provided feedback about their performance and to let a manager know if they are struggling to meet certain expectations and why. Schedule weekly or bi-weekly video conference calls to accomplish this task.
5. Set clear expectations about work life balance
Make it clear how many hours of work or how much work on projects should be completed on a weekly basis. Also, make it clear that employees should take breaks and feel comfortable turning work off at the end of their workday. Explain that it is important for them to do so for the sake of their mental health.
6. Set reasonable goals
Working from home can feel like a nightmare if you are given too much work to reasonably handle within work hours. Managers should set reasonable goals and adjust them as needed based on employee feedback. You can use performance management software to track employee performance.
7. Continue offering employee incentives
Remote employees need incentives too. Gift cards to a restaurant or retail store of their choice are a great option.
How partnering with a PEO can help support businesses with a remote staff
When small business owners’ partner with Makai HR they gain access to many tools that they may not otherwise be able to afford.
Our cloud-based platform means that your employees can manage their HR needs through a computer, tablet or phone, making it easier for them to work from home.
Our cloud based HRIS platform means that your HR team can manage HR remotely if they are sick or everyone is working remotely.
Pro tip: this is a good time to encourage all employees to update to Direct Deposit to reduce in person bank transactions and continue timely payroll payments. Do not delay. Contact us today to get started!