First-time login tip: If you're a REBA Member, you'll need to reset your password the first time you login.
26 Sep 2022
by Mike Blake

Top tips for maintaining remote workers’ wellbeing

While working from home has become a norm since the Covid-19 pandemic, it has drawbacks when it comes to happy and motivated employees

6 tips for maintaining remote workers’ wellbeing.jpg 1


Once seen as a perk, working remotely became a necessity during the Covid-19 pandemic. Post-Covid, traditional working arrangements are declining, with both employers and employees recognising the advantages of working from home (WFH).

Financial savings, a more efficient use of time and the greener benefits of less commuting are among the gains. But while there are undoubtedly many benefits, it would be wrong to assume that the transition to WFH does not present its own challenges.

Communication, connectiveness, motivation, engagement and social wellbeing remains essential, irrespective of whether an employee is home or office based.

Employees who have worked together for a long time can leverage the social capital built in the workplace. But for those new to an organisation, without pre-existing social connections, the problem is particularly pertinent – and difficult to overcome in an arid online-only environment.

Unless an employer can adapt and adopt the different approaches necessary, employees could become disengaged and disconnected, with their social wellbeing adversely affected.

Here, we look at ways to address the needs of remote workers and help ensure they remain motivated and happy.

1. Use flexibility intelligently

On days when employees are not required to interact with clients, and when deadlines do not apply, some flexibility can help ensure quality output. Employees can focus on tasks at a time when they know they are at their best. For some, this is early morning, whereas others may be at their most work-orientated in the evening.

But managers must be vigilant. In the same way working late at the office is discouraged, employees working at 4am or for 18 hours a day in the absence of defined start and finish times – with its physical and mental wellbeing risks – should be guarded against.

Conversely, some workers may find day-to-day distractions make time management problematic when working remotely. For such employees, training may be needed to help them plan their working day effectively.

2. Avoid meetings for meetings’ sake

Employees physically located in an office can query, comment and discuss matters with colleagues or team leaders as and when they occur. But for remote workers there is a danger that such open channels of communication may be lost.

While scheduling daily virtual meetings or telephone conversations helps prevent this, and demonstrates good organisation, it could be too prescriptive or rigid for some employees. Rather than seeking clarification when an issue arises, they may feel obliged to wait until that day’s meeting.

On the other hand, designated meetings may not always be necessary, interrupting employees from their work for no pressing reason.

The onus is, therefore, on management to create an environment where employees know channels of communication are available as well as regular and necessary meetings.

3. Staying connected with technology

It is vital that remote workers feel they remain ‘in the loop’ and efforts should be made to have daily check-ins.

Communication is key if an employer is to feel validated.

Nothing should impede an employee’s ability to work as efficiently from home – both in a solo and a collaborative capacity – as they do in the office, especially as there is no on-site technician to manage problems. Anxiety about actual or anticipated difficulties can affect confidence and performance.

Fortunately, there is a range of project management and time management tools designed to assist the remote worker. Software can remotely manage an entire project life cycle, including workload tracking, team availability, task planning and internal communication boards.

4. Customise congratulations

Recognising employee achievements is especially important when they are working remotely. Their physical absence can cause them to be overlooked, which may result in them feeling under-appreciated.

In the absence of a public audience, praise for remote workers needs to be shared and highly visible. Virtual team meetings are a good opportunity to give acknowledgement, and communication and collaboration tools are a way of  publicising achievements to the wider organisation.

5. Manage social wellbeing

Social wellbeing – along with financial, physical and emotional wellbeing – is one of the key components needed for employees to be happy, engaged and productive.

Remote workers separated from the physical work environment, without opportunities for spontaneous and informal conversation, can be particularly vulnerable to feeling lonely and isolated.

It can also have a wider impact. Just think of how many people find their best friend or partner for life in the workplace.

Fortunately, digital technology like 360 degree camera video calls can help create virtual communities.

However, for colleagues to engage in informal conversations, discover shared interests and arrange social outings, organisations should give employees the time and tools to do so.

6. Careful cultivation

Despite the sudden way WFH was imposed in 2020, such a fundamental shift in work practices needs time to bed-in. Instant and seamless transitions should not be assumed.

While motivators offering immediate results are often effective, employers should be mindful that ongoing investment is more likely to yield stronger and more successful results.

A flurry of initial attention to WFH could not only overwhelm employees, it could also alienate them. And there is also the danger that the novelty may wear off. Consistent and sustainable support that is key.

Motivators need to be constantly evolving if workforces are to remain engaged. It’s unlikely that employees will achieve their full potential if they are presented with the same old ‘carrots and sticks’.

In many ways, there is no going completely back to conventional working practices. Evolution happens for a reason, but careful navigation is essential if valued employees are not to be lost in the work revolution.

Related topics

In partnership with WTW

WTW is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company.

Contact us today


Webinar: Delivering great benefits design: from strategy to tactics

Why the little things may deliver more value than wholesale change
Wednesday | 19 April 2023 | 10:00 – 11:00 (BST)

Sign up today


Did you know that REBA now offers a discreet executive search and selection service?

Current live roles:
📌 Total Rewards Manager EMEA and APAC
Perm Salary - £80k to £90k + Benefits
📌 Total Rewards Manager EMEA and APAC
FTC salary (pro rata’d) - £50k to 70k depending on experience
Both are fully remote working

See current vacancies