Every employer should be concerned about the mental well-being of their employees, especially during the pandemic. Studies indicate a high level of stress and anxiety in the workplace, according to the American Institute of Stress. Here are measures your company can take to promote a positive experience for your remote workers.
Expansion of Remote Employees
The pandemic has led to many changes in employment, including the need for remote workers. Digital communication has many benefits, such as reducing costs for transportation and allowing people to work at their own pace. It’s also practical for social distancing during the pandemic crisis. By the end of the 2020s, nearly half the workforce in the nation is expected to work remotely, either on a full-time or part-time basis.
Since there will be a growing emphasis in the coming years on hiring remote workers, employers should understand the remote mindset. Many people who once worked next to coworkers now find themselves alone at a computer. Interaction is mainly with other computers, diminishing the human element of in-person teamwork. Human interaction helps raise energy level, ambition and productivity.
Despite the freedom and flexibility provided by remote work, 25 percent of freelancers reported depression in a 2018 Epson Research study. Nearly half of the respondents said they did remote work to avoid stress from an office environment. About half said they found remote work to be “lonely.”
Treating Mental Health as a Priority
You can keep your team spirit alive among both in-person and remote workers by making positive mental health a top priority. A recent national survey led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found 90 percent of adult respondents felt stress over the pandemic. Here are ways an employer can promote a more positive mindset:
- Develop a supportive culture with two-way communication
- Provide managers with effective tools
- Schedule regular meetings allowing for employee feedback
- Make mental health services part of your benefits package
- Allow for a virtual water cooler that connects employees
Employers essentially need to take mental health as seriously as physical health to pave the way for a happy, healthy and productive team. Communication and support are vital to building loyalty among your staff.
The pandemic has escalated stress and anxiety levels in both physical and digital work spaces. More than ever before, employers must prioritize well-being as an essential component for business success.