The crisis brings potentially lethal physical health consequences for each of us, and employees are no exception. But there are also added mental health implications like stress, fear, anxiety and uncertainty that are equally devastating to an employee's well-being. Leaders have to take necessary actions to improve the well-being of remote employees as organizations navigate through the shifts in work culture in the extended pandemic. Depending on their sector, the current crisis has hit each organization very differently.
Beyond taking health care initiatives, employers must also manage employee exhaustion and the stress that comes from the pressure of performing while adapting to changes during a crisis. Many employees are already facing feelings of guilt where work prevents them from caring for their own family. Working remotely while dealing with all the distractions at home, employees face the mental stress of isolation and the physical challenges of creating new workspaces on kitchen tables, bedrooms and garages. Remote employees may also juggle work and personal commitments with increased childcare and worries about old parents and home-schooling responsibilities. All the challenges presented here take a toll on your employee's well-being with the deceased social connection among peers and friends.
You may like: How to overcome the challenges faced by virtual teams?
A survey says that 96 percent of companies globally provided additional mental-health resources to employees in this crisis, but only one in six employees reported feeling supported.
This clearly explains that well-being is not achieved only with some resources but needs improvements and learnings. Leaders must value their colleagues' and peers' well-being just as much as their technical skills, and it is their responsibility to model positive behavior and prioritize supporting their colleagues' efforts.
Leaders should see well-being as a skill that can be enhanced by daily intentions and taking small community-building initiatives, health care and virtual team building activities in the remote workspace. The companies that embrace well-being not as a vague concept but as a means of huge learnings in understanding your workforce better will thrive through this crisis.
HR leaders and managers who want to build a virtual workplace that prioritizes well-being will treat it as an opportunity for growth and consider it a priority. It can be put into action by rolling out self-assessment exercises, measuring improvement with previous initiatives and implementing new measures that are needed to achieve well-being. This, in turn, allows employees to identify their issues of lack in performance and track their improvement efficiently.
Companies that focus on long-term accomplishments will enable and empower employees with the right mix of tools and initiatives for their individual needs. This could be as simple as well-being check-ins as part of team meetings.
By talking about nurturing your well-being openly and backing it with significant actions, leaders can eliminate a work culture that implies work should be prioritized before any personal needs or commitments —and empower employees to invest time in themselves.
Well-being cannot be achieved without creating workplaces that empower employees to prioritize their overall well-being and talk about their mental health, specifically their mental health, as easily as they might discuss a broken leg.
With guidance from behavioral scientists, many top-class organizations are implementing various policies through innovative employee engagement programs to ensure the emotional well-being of remote employees.
They include :
The small initiatives organizations take through this current global crisis to help their workforce will make them stronger in the future. As we navigate the challenges of today's crisis, the ability to foster employee well-being in the face of uncertainty will determine the strength of leadership tomorrow and help the business thrive despite all the odds.
With few initiatives of team bonding and reducing burnout, employers can also support the wellbeing of their remote teams and reap the benefits of increased employee engagement in the virtual workspace.
Here’s a quick bonus !
Download our Free E-book on "5 Virtual Team Building Activities For Remote Employees" that has helped employees from various organizations to work better and bond together in a virtual workspace. Plus, they are ultimately fun and impactful!
Click here to download it for FREE.