Quick Tips #9 – The Five Ways You Can Help Your Remote Employees Protect Their Mental Health
Written by Injoy Global Co-Founder & COO, Jeff Baietto on June 1, 2020
While some of your employees may be making the mental adjustment to remote work quite nicely, there could be many others who are struggling.
For some, the loss of their normal routine, the mandate to work remote – and the challenges of working either all alone – or while surrounded by parents, kids and loved ones - can add up to overwhelm their sense of well-being. And this is on top of their anxiety, fear and uncertainty about COIVD-19 and their future.
As always, you’ll want to deal with your employees in an understanding and empathetic manner. Here are some tips that can help them maintain their mental health during these unusual times.
1. Urge Your Team Members to Move – Even if it is just walking around their house or apartment. Stress causes the buildup of adrenaline – and even a little amount of exercise is a great way to burn off that energy and put it to better use.
Countless studies show that sitting for long periods is bad for your health. And with no commute, no meeting rooms to walk to or outside restaurants to visit – remote employees could be stuck sitting in one spot all day. Walking around – even a little – can help.
2. Encourage Your Employees Practice Mindfulness and Stay in the Moment – Worrying about certain aspects of the future can be particularly stressful because you don’t have any control over them. Tell your employees it’s okay to relax, take a breath – and consciously take time out of their day to meditate or do nothing.
Advise your employees to focus on what they can control. This can be a business assignment they’re working on, a project around the house - or even their own health. Focusing on a particular task will help them avoid the trap of obsessing about events they cannot change.
3. Emphasize Interaction and Connection – Sometimes it’s just best to talk things out. Encourage your employees to use technologies services like Slack or Basecamp – or Injoy Global’s Cloud-based Culture Improvement Platform - to communicate regularly with their fellow workers.
Give them the green light to just shoot the breeze, commiserate – or even exchange tips about how to better cope with remote working. Sometimes the best advice comes from a person who’s going through the exact same challenges that you are.
4. Recommend Regularly Scheduled Breaks – Remote workers have the ability to work around the clock. Unfortunately, many who may be stressed, worried about their jobs or the company’s future – just might end up doing that. This could lead to burnout.
Teach them they need to build in regular scheduled – and strictly observed breaks. People who work constantly grow less and less productive over time. Just like a computer, our mental hard drives work much better when we reboot them.
5. Help Workers Look Forward to a Brighter Future – It seems as though our lock down has gone on forever – with no clear end date in sight. So it’s easy to understand how one’s outlook could become bleak.
One of the best ways to get people excited about the future is to help them prepare for it. This can be through internal training, skills building exercises, career counseling – or encouragement to pursue continuing education. This will help them look beyond the current predicament where we find ourselves today.
I hope these tips will help both you and your remote workers as we navigate these tough times. The truth is that remote work is challenging for most of us. But implementing some of these tips can really help everyone remain in the best of mental health until we can return to normal.
We’ll get through this.
P.S. Please share your own tips or suggestions on what you are doing with your teams in the comments below.