National Play Day - Raising awareness
July 24 2018Read more
For many employees, the pandemic has completely blurred the lines between their personal and professional lives. This ‘always on’ culture is negatively affecting employees across the UK, leading to physical and mental exhaustion.
A productive work environment necessitates a healthy mental wellbeing. When overlooked, mental health problems can lead to burnout, loss of concertation and poor decision-making amongst employees, limiting their ability to contribute meaningfully to their professional lives. As an employer, you have a duty of care to support all your employees, whether they work in the office or remotely.
There is no singular approach to supporting your remote workers. As a result, you must use a range of techniques to promote a healthy mental wellbeing. Here are some strategies that employers can follow:
For many employees, the pandemic has led to an increased workload. A recent study indicates that employees in the UK have increased their work week by 25%. This overwhelming workload can result in increased stress-levels and risk of burnout. To tackle this, your organisation should promote rest and recuperation to your workforce. Though it may seem counterintuitive, promoting deliberate rest has been shown to enhance creativity and innovation in the workplace. This can be achieved through encouraging employees to take annual leave and setting realistic deadlines; enabling work requirements to be completed during office hours.
Some employees prefer working from home because they don’t have to deal with distractions from other colleagues and office politics. However, being away from the office can mean these workers do not have the same access to support as in-office workers. Because of this, if they have a problem, (either personal or work-related), they may feel isolated and unable to talk to someone.
As a result, you must not forget about your remote employers. Just because they are not physically in the office does not mean you can’t reach out and see how they’re doing. You should check in with your remote workers regularly. Even a simple phone call to check in and see how they are can help improve wellbeing and morale.
It is no secret that a stigma exists around mental health. Many employees do not feel comfortable talking about their mental health – especially with their superiors. As an employer, you must make a concerted effort to reduce this negativity and encourage your employees to talk openly and honestly about mental health. It is important to create a positive and transparent work environment that encourages your employees to feel at ease. This could include training your managers to recognise mental health issues or providing mental health support groups and resources.
With remote workers being out-of-office, their work can often go unnoticed, with employers not recognising the time and effort these employees devote to their organisation. These employees must be recognised for their achievements – ensuring their hard work does not go unnoticed. Research shows that employee recognition is a top driver of employee engagement and performance. This recognition makes employees feel valued and appreciated, which can help promote healthy wellbeing and boost productivity.
A successful organisation puts its people first, not only because employers have a duty of care to look after their staff. But also, because they know that when they support their employees, success comes with all the more ease. Employees are more engaged, present at work and happier in their roles –absenteeism declines, stress levels drop, and as a result, productivity quickly improves.
An Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) can provide the support your employees need, whenever they need it. Whether they are personal problems or work-related issues, an EAP offers a safe space to talk it all through. Through an EAP, your employees can access counselling services, as well as legal, financial and medical information without leaving the comfort of their own home.
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