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How to help prevent your employees from feeling stress and anxiety whilst working remotely

442,000 individuals in Britain, believe that they’ve experienced work-related stress at a level that has made them ill.

By taking action to reduce the chances of stress, your team will feel more motivated and committed, resulting in higher productivity and a healthier, happier workforce.

Keep reading for 4 practical steps you can take to help reduce the chances of your employees suffering from work-related stress and anxiety.

 
Provide the resources

Providing resources such as working technology, ergonomic working conditions and wellbeing benefits can make a huge difference in reducing stress for your team whilst they’re working from home.

“54% of HR leaders in a recent poll indicated that poor technology and/or infrastructure for remote working is the biggest barrier to effective remote working”.

Inefficient technology can result in deadlines being pushed back and work building up. It’s important to have a system in place for people to report any issues they have with faulty technology to avoid work being delayed. This could be a member of staff who can act as IT support or a communication channel, such as Slack, to flag urgent requests.

Providing ergonomic furniture can avoid the development of physical injury, which will in turn lead to stress. Try sending out a monthly survey to assess how happy your employees are with their working environment, so you can provide additional support where necessary.

 

Open communication

Communication can be challenging at the best of times, let alone whilst we’re working remotely.

Openly communicate with your team the support that’s on offer and that it’s perfectly ok to flag any concerns. Asking managers to have regular 1-1 meetings with their team members and having an open-door policy will help to bridge the gap between employees and team leaders through active communication. This will in turn allow you to improve working conditions for your team through direct feedback.

Having monthly meetings to keep everyone updated on business news, progress and plans is a great way to avoid employees feeling like they’re being kept in the dark. This can also help to minimise anxiety caused by the frequent changes C19 restrictions are bringing to our daily lives. 

 

Encourage physical activity

There’s a huge amount of scientific evidence backing the benefits physical exercise has on mental wellbeing and overall health.

When we’re physically active our body releases hormones that help us manage stress. Exercising also gives our minds something to focus on and can be an effective coping strategy for difficult times.

Communicate that exercise is encouraged during the working day by offering fitness breaks during the week. People can often feel reluctant to take time out of their day, so set an example by actively taking these breaks yourself.

Try setting a team fitness challenge. This needs to be something accessible that everyone will want to get involved in, such as a 5K walk or run every day for a week, or a challenge to try a different type of exercise every week for a month.

 

Mental health support

In the words of Chief Executive of mental health charity Mind, Paul Farmer: “Work-related mental health problems are an issue too important for businesses to ignore.”

We couldn’t agree more.

In March we were all forced into the world’s largest work-from-home experiment, which has come with all sorts of challenges causing feelings of stress and isolation.

There are a few steps we can take to prevent mental health issues from arising:

  • Provide on-demand health benefits such as meditation and counselling sessions allowing your employees to access online mental wellbeing support.
  • Host workshops to help educate your team on different ways they can manage emotional stress such as “how to manage a work-life balance”.
  • Allow flexible working hours and encourage short breaks so people can get outside before the sun goes down.

 

Next steps: 

Now you know 4 practical steps you can take help to prevent your team from feeling overwhelmed while working remotely, it’s time to take action.

Encouraging open communication about any issues, exercise, and mental wellbeing will all help employees to maintain healthy habits contributing to both professional and personal development.

 


Looking for more practical advice to look after the mental and physical health of your employees?

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