Caring for Remote Employees’ Wellbeing: Part 3 Mental Health

Improve Remote Workers Mental Health

This blog post is a part of a series on caring for your remote employees’ wellbeing. We think this is especially important with the rise in remote working due to COVID-19.

To read part 1 of this series focusing on social connection, click here.

To read part 2 of this series focusing on physical health, click here.

Mental Health

How an employee feels has a direct effect on the decisions they make and the conversations they are having at work. Feelings of stress, isolation or burn out that remote employees can experience are not going to have a positive impact on your business. It’s important to provide ways to alleviate those mental burdens for your employees so they can lead healthier, happier lives. I think it goes without saying, if employees feel psychologically at ease, they will be able to focus better and enjoy the work they are doing.

All of the different elements of wellbeing are interconnected. This means that as someone improves one area of well being, other areas also improve. So if team members start feeling more connected socially to one another, their mental health will likely improve. Similarly, taking a break to go on a walk is not only a physical activity but also a mental break. So continuing to improve employees’ social and physical health is important in helping with mental health.

Here are some ways to reduce stress and encourage good mental health in the workplace when working remotely.

Encourage Work / Life Boundaries

The trouble with working and living in the same space is that it can be hard to turn off your working mind and relax. It is easy to feel like you should keep working since the lines are blurred between work and home. To avoid this, have remote employees set and post their working hours somewhere the whole team can see. Respect these hours and try not to call or set meetings that are outside employee working hours. Also, encourage your employees to respect their own time and remind them to close their laptops and unplug if you see they are continuously working later than they should be. 

To take this practice a step further, it can be beneficial to make a company-wide or team-wide rule of no meetings on a certain day of the week. If employees know their day is not going to be interrupted with meetings, they can plan on getting more focused work time in. They can structure their day however they want to be more productive or efficient. This simple rule can alleviate stress and meeting fatigue while allowing employees more flexibility.

In addition, allowing your employees to work flexibly can help their mental health. Let them take a few hours off during the day for an appointment. Or if they’re taking care of kids at home, allow them to set their working schedules to later in the evening. This can make employees less stressed, by allowing their work to fit around other facets of their lives. This also allows them to truly focus on work when they are working, knowing that other areas of their lives have been taken care of. The key to implementing this is to set up a way to communicate their schedules and working hours, so everyone on the team is up to date and on the same page.

Providing Mental Health Resources

Some activities are proven to help alleviate stress and anxiety such as certain breathing techniques, yoga and meditation. Similar to setting up challenges or providing resources for physical health and wellness, you can do the same for mental health. You can set up a meditation challenge or yoga challenge with your team. Compete for how many meditation sessions you can complete in a week. The goal is to use some healthy competition as a stepping stone to creating real habits that will lead to better mental health. 

If you do not want to set up a challenge, you can still share resources with your team. This can be as simple as including links to meditation apps or breathing technique videos that help lower stress in an email to your team. The easiest way to think of promoting stress-lowering activities is to think of what activities help lower your stress levels personally – maybe it’s walking, meditating, or cooking. Then promote these activities to the rest of your team in a fun and engaging way.

If you’re looking for an easy way to promote stress-relieving content for your employees, check out PUML’s corporate wellness program which allows you to stream videos and set up different challenges for your employees.

Closing Thoughts

Just remember that employee wellbeing impacts every facet of your business and it is something you should take seriously as an employer. As you improve one element of wellbeing, you will improve the others, so continue to take small steps to help your employees gain better social, physical and mental health.

We’ve provided you with lots of ideas throughout this series on how to promote wellbeing at your company, especially for employees working from home. Don’t feel like you need to implement every tip right away. Instead, take one or two that you think will have the greatest impact on your team’s health and try them out.

We may be biased, but we think PUML is the best platform on the market for promoting company wellness. To learn more about our corporate wellness platform and request a demo for your company, visit our corporate wellness page.