Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, many UK employees are now working from home for the foreseeable future. This will be the first experience for a huge amount of companies and employees.
Working from home has its advantages but being away from the office and social interaction of an office can take its toll.
Research by the Office of National Statistics highlights that 30% of UK employees worked from home during 2019.
Also, a United Nations report 2017 found that 41% of remote workers reported high-stress levels, compared to just 25% of office workers.
Remote working becomes the new norm for many; its imperative businesses change and put the appropriate mental health and wellbeing policies in place to ensure their employees feel part of the organisation and don’t become detached.
For some businesses forced to make the transition, they will have found themselves ill-equipped to deal with this change. They don’t have a wellbeing policy, managers don’t have regular meetings with their team, the environment is toxic, or there is a culture where there’s a lack of trust.
Employers are now having to pivot while learning new skills on how to manage a virtual workforce some with little or no experience.
I know of some employees who are currently furloughed and tempted to take advantage of this break from the norm where they felt stressed from work and suffer from mental health issues which they haven’t previously reported to their boss.
If you struggle with anxiety or depression, working from home has the potential to aggravate feelings of isolation and prolong inactivity.
6 Actions Managers Can Adopt to Improve the Wellbeing of Their Team – Home Working
- Enrol on an online management training course – I have managed remote teams, and from experience, it’s an entirely different skill. Organisations are having to rely on managers to rally the troops and keep everyone motivated. But this is in the backdrop of seven in 10 employers failing to train first-time managers, and the problem is widespread. With the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills estimating the cost of poor management and leadership to the UK economy at £19bn a year through lower productivity.
- Review your management style – In a remote working setting, there could be a tendency for managers to be task-orientated and too little on fostering relationships with their remote team. This kind of transactional management can be the route taken by managers who are task-orientated and want to get the tasks done but fail to acknowledge the importance of their team. Such a management approach can worsen the feeling that comes with remote working and can contribute to the stress of working from home.
- Introduce daily briefings – In a desperate attempt to become agile, and connect with employees now, who are working remotely. Some companies have introduced breakfast scrum meetings, whereby teams check in daily via video call to rally the troops, provide an update of company news and to check in on everyone’s wellbeing. It’s more important than ever that employers keep in touch daily with their team through telephone and video conferencing.
- Schedule daily 1-2-1’s – Seeing a friendly face on a video conferencing platform from work can go a long way to improving an employee’s wellbeing and confidence.
- Undertake an employee audit – reach out to your team, ask them how you can help, do they require any assistance or support. Make them aware of any employee benefits that they might be entitled to.
- Offer remote wellbeing for employees and family – This could be from an existing provider or an external source. I currently help businesses and charities with remote 1-2-1 coaching for their teams, guided meditation and a range of interactive activities which releases emotional, physical and mental stress and improves resilience.
How your team respond to remote working is entirely dependent on your ability to spot the individual triggers and understand their coping strategies.
If you would like some assistance or discuss how I can help you to develop your wellbeing or someone in your world that you know who requires support, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Telephone 0114 327 2683 or email firstname.lastname@example.org