Good mental health and overall wellness is at the heart of a strong, well-performing team. Despite the allure of working from home, today’s workers are under increasing amounts of stress.
Remote work has many advantages for both employees and businesses, especially during a time of global emergency such as the current pandemic. But there are opportunities for increased stress as well. Those who work from home tend to work longer hours, attend more meetings (virtually), and don’t take time off for weekends. A survey of 1,000 Americans taken by TELUS International, revealed that 4 out of 5 workers find it difficult to stop working in the evening. Half of the survey respondents said that their sleep patterns had been interrupted due to COVID-19, and nearly half indicated their mental health had declined since they began working from home.
Although remote work definitely has its perks, it’s clear that it also comes with a few challenges that need to be addressed.
I’ve put together 4 tips to help improve the wellbeing of your mangers, your remote workforce, and yourself.
1. Ensure You and Your Leadership Team Take Care of Yourselves.
Great leaders always lead by example, so it goes without saying that employee wellness starts with your leadership team. Use the following tips to help you and other leaders maintain good mental health, avoid burnout, and excessive stress.
- Set Office Hours: Working from home makes it all too easy to allow work to override personal time. Create and maintain a regular schedule, just as you did when going to the office every day. Make personal and family time a priority. The work will still be there when you return.
- Follow a Routine: Remote working means you can be more flexible, but be aware that it can also lead to chaos if you’re not careful. Build a routine and keep your days structured and organized. This will ensure you get work done in a timely manner and you don’t find yourself working late or on weekends playing catch up.
- Eat Healthy Meals: Working from home may feel like a never-ending weekend, so you might find yourself “splurging” or snacking on foods that aren’t nutritious. Naturally, this will affect how you feel both physically and mentally. Stay conscious of how you’re fueling your mind and body.
- Limit Your Screen Time: This is one can be a challenge since the primary way you’re working these days is via a screen of some kind. Too much screen time pulls you away from healthier activities like exercise, fresh air, and time with loved ones. When work is over, take a break from electronics for a while.
Healthy leaders create healthy teams, so take these tips to heart. Of course, you can share these tips with your entire team too.
2. Recognize Signs of Employee Burnout
Keep an eye out for signs that could indicate burnout:
- Excessive mistakes.
- Frequent Illness.
- Lack of enthusiasm or change in disposition.
- More easily frustrated.
- Decrease in productivity.
- Exhausted all of the time.
These signs don’t necessarily mean someone is burned out, especially if you’re seeing just one or two. But a combination of these signs could indicate a problem, especially if it’s out of character for the person involved. Be ready to offer more flexibility or support if needed.
3. Check On Your People
Do you know the best way to find out how someone is doing? Ask! Be real with your people, and check in on them often. Ask if they’re struggling with anything, or encountering obstacles that’s causing them stress. You can do this in a weekly meeting with your entire team. If you notice anyone having a hard time, reach out to them individually and find out what you can do to help them.
4. Express Your Appreciation
One of the best ways to boost someone’s mood is to let them know they’re appreciated. Take time to congratulate and share team wins, as well as individual achievements, in team meetings. Look for unique and meaningful ways to show your appreciation. Send private messages of encouragement and gratitude. You’ll be amazed at how they respond.
These are 4 simple but effective tips you can deploy to ensure the wellbeing of yourself and your team. You might consider brainstorming with your team for other self-care ideas. Remote work is here to stay, so there’s no better time to instill wellness into your remote work culture. The more you prioritize mental health and wellbeing, the more you’ll see happier and more engaged people on your teams.