A Guide to Supporting Remote Workers Wellbeing
Today, as the business environment becomes increasingly global, remote workers have become an essential fixture. An engaged remote workforce can increase your productivity, maximise cost-effectiveness and promote a culture of work flexibility. So, how can you support the wellbeing of remote workers to keep them engaged? WorkScore has put together five ways to do just that.
The challenge of a virtually expanding workplace
As businesses expand their market reach and cost-effectiveness, remote workers are becoming a more common feature in most workforces. One UK study estimates that nearly 70% of companies now rely on remote workers.
Of course, the virtual work environment poses unique challenges. Technology issues, feelings of isolation, and differing time zones all contribute to a negative experience for remote workers. The result? It may affect the physical and mental wellbeing of your remote workers – and ultimately, the engagement and productivity of your company.
How to support the wellbeing of remote workers
At WorkScore, we know the most engaged workforces are those who focus on employee wellbeing. We also know that this should extend to both on-site employees and remote workers.
So, we're helping you to support the wellbeing of your remote workers with these five steps:
1. Bridge the virtual distance
Without face-to-face contact with colleagues, it's easy for remote workers to feel disconnected and become disengaged. But there are some excellent strategies to create an engaging environment for your remote teams. These include:
Communicating consistently: Effective communication boosts employee morale. Set a regular slot for a weekly or monthly video or conference call, so your staff feel valued and involved.
Encouraging development: Your workers may be dispersed, but there are still opportunities to learn in a virtual space. Brainstorm with your team and think creatively about how you can meet their learning needs through online courses or even short programs and webinars.
Connecting personally: it is vital for all employees, whether on-site or remote to trust your decisions and respect you as a leader and coworker. So, it's crucial to get to know your team members. Where possible, arrange for a coffee catch-up with remote workers and try to learn something about them as a person and not just a worker. Note where a physical coffee isn't doable, start each call with a question about their weekend or hobbies.
2. Create remote worker-friendly processes
By not being physically present in the workplace, remote workers can sometimes feel disconnected. Also, they may perceive that they miss out on opportunities to display their value and contribution.
So, it's a good idea to adjust your work processes by:
Focusing on results: The nature of remote work will always mean that your remote workforce will probably not stick to a traditional nine-to-five schedule. It's essential to evaluate all workers – not just those who work remotely – by performance, not by face time.
Using tools that promote teamwork: It can be easy to lose track of what's happening with remote workers since you can't just pop over to their desk for a casual chat. Use an online project management system or a bulletin board accessible to everyone in the team. Seeing everyone's priorities is a great way to ensure your remote workers feel a sense of belonging to the group.
3. Care for mental wellbeing
While remote work delivers many wellbeing benefits when done occasionally, regularly working in isolation can pose challenges to an employee's mental wellbeing.
Look after the mental health of your remote workers by:
- Setting reasonable work hour expectations: It might be tempting for remote workers to carry out tasks late at night. Working round the clock increases stress and anxiety, so make it clear that even if they can work anytime and anywhere, you don't require or expect them to work during unreasonable hours. Set a schedule upfront and regularly monitor.
Building a positive work culture: Isolation can impact negatively on a remote worker's mental health. Organising events to get the team together, whether physically or remotely, will Give your remote workers opportunities to build relationships with their colleagues.
Extending wellbeing provisions to remote workers: Make sure that your remote staff know what services are available to them. Review your wellbeing offering to include adjustments for remote workers where it may be required.
4. Use effective remote working strategies
Just as you would encourage on-site employees to take on better work habits, so to should you consider the unique challenges for your remote workers.
Set them up for success and better work engagement by:
Encouraging schedule setting: Think about how you can help remote workers stick to a schedule. Encourage it in the way you set up meetings with them or even suggest setting some collaboration time between remote workers and the rest of the team.
Including them in physical activities: When promoting activities that encourage movement during work hours, don't exclude your remote workers. Invite them to standing meetings, or maybe your one-on-one catch-up call could be a walking meeting for both of you.
5. Invest in their wellbeing
It's no secret that employees with positive wellbeing are more productive and engaged. That means better results for your business.
The same is also right for remote workers. So, invest in their wellbeing by:
Promoting time for exercise: Encourage your remote workers to fit their 30 minutes of exercise into their workday. Perhaps supply them with simple exercise guides that they can do from home or at a local park
Supporting a healthy diet: Think about how you can provide your remote workers with healthy food options during the workday – as you would in your office break room. Perhaps you could offer your remote workers discount vouchers for healthy food or send them a healthy snacks gift basket.
Supporting the wellbeing of your remote workers is possible by bridging the virtual distance, making adjustments to work processes, looking after their mental health, providing them with good working strategies, and investing in their wellbeing.
Download our full guide here
WorkScore supports employee wellbeing and engagement.
Our research shows that employees who have flexibility at work, in hours and location, are 15% more engaged, rate their work, and life balance 20% higher and are 15% happier when at work compared to businesses that do not have the same flexibility. However, mental health issues are still as prevalent amongst workers with flexibility (33% of workers with high flexibility rated as anxious in the last week).
Our digital wellbeing tool improves the wellbeing of remote workers:
Businesses working with WorkScore have benefited from a 10% reduction in anxiety amongst employees, a 10% increase in prioritising their wellbeing, a 12% reduction in stress levels, and a 17% increase in employees being physically active while working.
If you're ready to create an exceptional workplace experience, contact WorkScore on 1300 972 673 or [email protected]