The year 2020 emerged as one of the most disastrous in the history of humankind. The whole world is under the fear of the Coronavirus, which has affected every individual’s life on the planet. There has been chaos in every sector of life, especially in the business community.
Remote working has allowed the continuity of businesses; however, at the same time, it has put extra pressure on virtual employees. This is a once-in-a-lifetime situation for all of us, which has adverse effects on mental, emotional, and physical health.
Therefore, it is essential to look after oneself as well as your employees during this challenging time. I have jotted down the 10 best wellness strategies to help support your virtual employees mentally, emotionally, and physically.
1. Show Some Flexibility
COVID-19 came out of nowhere, and none of us were ready for such an abrupt change in our work style. There are several challenges when working remotely, and errors are expected because this is a new experience for everyone. Therefore, getting disappointed in employees for such mistakes is the wrong way of running your business.
Your disappointment can exert extra mental pressure on your employees, causing depression and lowering their work quality. Therefore, show some flexibility and support your team to gain some confidence and share all work-related problems with you.
2. Don’t Let Employees Isolate
The mental health of virtual employees can suffer a lot if they isolate for too long. Many negative thoughts can occur in their minds if you do not communicate with them for days. They can feel disconnected from the company and confused about their work.
Therefore, it is essential to keep in touch with them and ask about their health or activities throughout the day. A simple “Good Morning” at the start of the day would not cost you anything, but it will motivate your virtual employee. All those negative thoughts will vanish once you start that communication with them.
3. Encourage Physical Activity
Being stuck at home with little physical activity can have adverse effects on health. It can cause stress and mood swings in your virtual employees. It can reduce their ability to focus on work, directly affecting the quality of said work. Therefore, it is essential to encourage your employees to engage in indoor physical activity to the best of their ability.
Physical activity will have the following positive impacts:
- Enhance their mood
- Improve their sleep
- Relieve anxiety
- Improve focus
- Improve work quality
You can also offer a stipend so they can register for online fitness classes or purchase fitness tools. This is a sure way to better the health of your employees, in addition to offering encouragement.
4. Reward System
Rewards are essential for any organization to keep its employees motivated and energetic. This pandemic has had a drastic impact on employees’ motivation levels. Therefore, employers need to implement a fair and easy-to-achieve reward system to motivate their virtual workforce. It is unnecessary to reward monetary benefits because there are other methods to offer encouragement. Some of the most effective ways are:
- Surprise gifts for their excellent work
- Meal vouchers
- Gift cards
- New laptop or headphones
- An employee of the month/year award
These small activities will keep your employees connected to you and motivate them to work at peak efficiency.
5. Arrange a Virtual Get-together
Sometimes the workload can be physically and mentally tiring. Being unable to meet each other physically does not necessarily means that you can conduct a virtual get-together. This will allow them to share their thoughts and connect with their peers.
This can help reducing anxiety and improving team morale. Some good rules for such meetings:
- No discussion related to work
- Participation of all the employees compulsory
- The discussion should be fun and engaging
6. Offer a Day Off
Getting a day off and spending time with family can be excellent motivation for employees. It will give them a chance to regain energy and get back to work. If you feel that some of your employees are exhausted from their workload, encourage them to take a break, so they can return to work feeling rejuvenated.
This will help them to lower their anxiety level and boost their mood. Studies have shown that a day off after a hectic routine helps continue the momentum at work. Therefore, you must analyze the workload your virtual employees are handling and take quick action.
7. Open Door Policy
It is a general yet beneficial technique to take care of your employees’ health. You must encourage your virtual employees to contact you on any matter. The open-door policy allows employees to gain confidence and be open with you. Therefore, if there is any trouble, you’ll be the first to know and control the situation before it goes out of hand.
When your employees are open with you, it boosts their mood, and they feel emotionally healthy. They consider you a part of the family and share ideas that can further enhance your business.
8. Host a Gaming Competition
Most people love to play online games, especially with their peers. It allows them an outlet to drain out their anxiety and stress. Therefore, a simple online gaming competition will let your employees have some fun time and forget work-related worries.
You can host a gaming competition on a working day and make the participation of everyone mandatory. Fun activities like this will have a positive impact on the overall health of your employees.
In a nutshell, remote working is very stressful and can cause anxiety in your virtual employees. This can drastically impact their mental, emotional, and physical health. They can lose focus on their work, which in turn reduces the quality of the work they do. Therefore, you must support them in this critical time.
Most problems during remote working are solved through open communication. There should be a daily 15-minute meeting with virtual employees. You must encourage them to share their concerns or problems they are facing. This open communication will allow them to gain confidence and reduce the risk of them becoming unmotivated or depressed.
What can you do to help your employees feel less isolated and more a part of the team while working at home?