The global pandemic has seen 64% of employees across the United Kingdom forced to work from home during the last 12-months.

Although remote working has been enforced to protect and save the lives of people across the world, isolation from colleagues, increased anxiety and even burnout has sadly taken its toll on approximately 80% of individuals working remotely throughout the pandemic.

 

Our Top Tips to Protect Remote Workers Mental Health

To help you support your employees now, and in the future, we have outlined several tips to protect remote worker’s mental health below.

 

1. Encourage Regular Breaks

Increasing pressure to respond to communication from colleagues and employers has been noted as one of the most significant causes of stress and impaired mental health in remote workers.

Although regular breaks are often encouraged, remote workers have communicated that they feel extreme pressure to ensure that they remain productive and can be contacted at all times of the day. Sadly, this sees many deferring breaks that they are entitled to, and in turn, neglecting their mental health.

In order to protect a remote worker’s mental health, as an employer, you must encourage your employees to take regular breaks away from their computers throughout the day.

 

2. Encourage Your Remote Workers To Create A Daily Routine

Studies conducted worldwide have determined that employees are working longer hours since being required to work from home.

In the United Kingdom alone, it is believed that 40% of employees will continue to work outside of their usual working hours.

Sadly, an increase in the number of working hours completed in any given day has the potential to see a surge in the number of remote workers suffering from burnout and mental health disorders such as depression, stress and anxiety.

Considering this, remote workers must be encouraged to create a daily routine that incorporates their normal working hours, regular breaks, and time for themselves away from their workplace responsibilities if their mental health is to be protected.

 

3. Limit Communication With Employees Outside Of Their Working Hours

Following on from our above point, as an employer, you can protect remote worker’s mental health by limiting communication with them outside of designated working hours.

Although many employers will often deem sending employees an email outside of working hours to be somewhat harmless, 40% of employees now check their work emails in the evenings and at weekends.

While it could be said that employees should simply leave emails unread, the majority of remote workers feel obliged to stay up to date with any work-related communications at all times.

Sadly, continuously checking work emails outside of working emails can cause remote workers to feel extreme bouts of stress and burnout. With this in mind, in order to protect remote worker’s mental health, limiting communication with them outside of their working hours is advised.

 

4. Implement Social Events For Your Remote Workers

As the pandemic and working from home has left many remote workers feeling overwhelmed, lonely and depressed, implementing remote social events could essentially help your employees feel connected to colleagues and offer a sense of normality to their everyday working routines.

Although it can be somewhat challenging to arrange virtual social events, many organisations worldwide have ensured that weekly team-building activities such as team lunches and quizzes provide remote workers with an opportunity to connect with colleagues.

Social events do not have to be lengthy, in fact, organising a 30-minute virtual event will help reduce the isolation that your employees may well be experiencing and ensure that you are able to protect remote worker’s mental health.

 

5. Help Your Remote Workers Achieve Personal and Professional Goals

Working from home, becoming increasingly isolated from colleagues and adjusting to the various rules and regulations implemented by the Government has sadly seen an increase in the number of employees reporting that personal and professional motivation has drastically diminished. Regrettably, this has seen many individuals expressing that they feel somewhat frustrated and unproductive.

To boost and protect remote workers’ mental health, employers should encourage remote workers to achieve personal and professional goals that they have set for themselves.

Not only can achieving a professional goal, such as a promotion, boost productivity, but it can ultimately improve and protect an individual’s mental health as they come to realise that they are able to accomplish goals that they have set for themselves.

 

6. Provide A Listening Ear

Last but not least in our top tips to protect remote worker’s mental health is providing a listening ear.

As remote workers feel increasingly stressed, anxious, and worried about their personal and professional lives, providing a listening ear can make a considerable difference to a remote worker’s mental health.

Although your employees may feel somewhat cautious about discussing any thoughts and feelings that they may have with you, encouraging them to do so will enable you to support and assist them better.

As an employer, you have a duty of care to ensure that your remote workers can preserve their mental health. If you have implemented the tips to protect remote worker’s mental health that are noted above and believe that your remote workers may need additional support, we are here to assist you.

 

Supporting A Remote Worker

If an employee is struggling to manage their mental health as they work from home and navigate their everyday life throughout the pandemic, it may be in their best interest to obtain professional support and guidance.

At Ocean Recovery Centre, we provide mental health rehabilitation to individuals that are struggling with depression, anxiety, burnout and various other mental health disorders.

Should you believe that professional support may well be in your employee’s best interest, we welcome you to contact us today to seek our guidance before approaching your employee.

In doing so, we can offer you advice on how to communicate with your employee. We can also ensure that you understand the treatment that we provide, which will ultimately enable you to assist your employee better.

If you would like to find out more about our mental health rehabilitation programmes or seek our advice, please call us today on 01253 847 553.

 

Sources

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/oct/01/number-of-people-working-from-home-in-uk-rises-following-government-u-turn

https://happiful.com/working-from-home-taking-toll-on-mental-health-relationships/#:~:text=The%20results%20of%20a%20new,negatively%20impacted%20their%20mental%20health.

https://www.itv.com/news/2020-04-28/more-than-40-of-employees-working-longer-hours-from-home-survey-finds

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/remote-access-people-work-emails-check-5-times-outside-office-hours-40-cent-life-balance-a7703776.html

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