How to look after your employees when working from home


With an increasing number of companies enforcing long-term work from home policies in response to the coronavirus outbreak, it’s important to make sure that employees’ mental and physical wellbeing continues to be looked after. There are many considerations when asking employees to work remotely to ensure they are equipped to work productively, to look after their health and to ensure they remain engaged throughout a challenging time.

How to look after your employees when working from home

Here are our top tips on how to look after your employees when they’re working remotely:

Communicate

Make sure you are connecting with your employees. Keeping communication open and chatting on instant messenger is easier than ever with apps such as Slack, Skype and Microsoft Teams. However, it’s important to also have regular phone check-ins and video calls, to try and replicate face-to-face contact as closely as possible and reduce feelings of isolation.

Here at Urban, for example, our teams are all taking part in a 15-minute ‘daily stand-up’ video call giving each member of the team a chance to share what they’re working on, request any assistance they may need, as well as simply just checking in on one another and asking how everyone is coping.

Get them set up correctly

It’s important to ensure that employees have set up their dedicated home-working space correctly in order to avoid musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders or aches and pains developing – which can happen from prolonged working whilst sitting incorrectly. As an employer, it would be valuable to offer one-to-one video consultations for employees that request guidance on best practice, particularly those who suffer from MSK issues.

Encourage daily routines

Having routines set in place is key to separating work and home life. When working from home, it is easy to lose track of regular routines and it’s important to make sure that employees are working their set hours rather than overworking, which can lead to burnout. If possible, working from a separate space to where they would normally relax (such as the living room or bedroom) helps to draw these boundaries. Where this isn’t possible, it’s important to ask them to shut away their laptop and any other work equipment and keep it out of sight outside of working hours.

Ensure they take breaks

Encourage employees to stick to their routine when they’ve found what works best for them. It’s easy to forget to take regular breaks away from the screen or a full lunch break when working at home – but it’s imperative to working productively, particularly during long periods of remote working.

Get them moving

Keeping active when working in isolation can be tricky, but it’s key to make sure employees are stretching and moving around regularly for both their physical and mental wellbeing. A great way to do this is to get them taking part in virtual classes. For example, teams could work together to complete a fitness challenge in order to encourage colleague communication and interaction, or even set up a competition between colleagues to keep everyone active.

Here at Urban, we’re setting up and keeping record of our own fitness challenges via Slack for a little bit of healthy competition and motivation!

Support them

Working from home for prolonged periods can get lonely – make sure you create a two-way dialogue with employees and respond to any concerns or challenges they are facing – whether that is physically or mentally. Provide a supportive network and prepare for the mental health implications of working in isolation by offering access to meditation and mindfulness services, or even one-to-one counselling.

For more tips take a look at our work from home community.

This article is provided by Urban.


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