Working remotely is stressful enough, but it is even more challenging when you need to manage an entire team of remote employees and freelancers. Luckily, there are different ways to keep the mental health of your remote workers in check, so make sure to follow these techniques and apply them in your own strategy.
1) Train Employees About the Way They Can Look After Their Mental Health
First of all, to make your employees better understand what mental health is all about, you should first train them and explain to them how they can look after their mental health. If there is no foundation in the form of necessary knowledge, your employees will simply ne unable to progress and improve their mental health. Moreover, they won’t even be able to maintain it on a certain level if they don’t know how to do it.
The best way to educate your remote employees about mental health is by organizing regular training sessions where you explain the importance of mental health, how it is connected to physical health, and the different issues remote employees may encounter while working on their own rather than in an office. You should also explain to them the different techniques they can use to improve their mental health and the kinds of habits they need to have to maintain a good state of mental health.
2) Always Stay Connected and Check Up on Your Employees Regularly
Another important aspect of maintaining proper mental health of your remote employees is communication. As a manager and leader, you need to be the one to always stay connected to your team and check up on your employees regularly. Doing this will help you detect any issues with mental health early on, implement the necessary measures to solve them, and prevent disasters from happening. In other words, communication is by far one of the most important aspects of managing your remote employee team.
What you should remember about communication, however, is that there are different approaches to it and you shouldn’t necessarily stick to only a single one. Some people will be more comfortable texting while others will enjoy face-to-face communication via virtual calls. That is exactly why it’s so important to find out who prefers which method and stick to that because it’s essential that your employees feel at ease discussing their mental health with you which is impossible if they aren’t comfortable in the first place.
3) Encourage Teamwork and Work on Teambuilding
Though you should definitely stay connected with each and every one of your employees individually, it’s also worth encouraging teamwork between them and working on the teambuilding aspect of remote work. All the professionals from top sites know that teamwork is the most important aspect of a successful business which is why so many brands emphasize teambuilding as a part of their internal strategy. You need to find a way for your remote employees to connect and collaborate as they go about their daily work.
While training your employees about mental health, explain to them how they can work in a team and how individualistic employees can find value in teamwork. Socializing is one of the best ways to avoid feeling depressed from isolation which is what can often happen when you work remotely. That’s why teamwork is such a powerful thing and that’s why you should dedicate so much time to teambuilding. Make sure that everyone is involved in different projects your company works on and have everyone contribute in some way.
4) Have Flexible Schedules with Enough Breaks for Employees to Rest
It might not seem like something particularly significant, but flexible schedules can actually make a huge difference and impact your employees’ mental health in a positive way. It’s also necessary to have enough breaks throughout the day for your employees to be able to rest. It’s important to understand that even though your remote employees and freelancers aren’t working in the office, they are still working, so they can’t just be available 24/7 and have no breaks for resting whatsoever. Remote work is the same as regular work in this sense.
Allow your remote team to adjust their schedules in a way that will accommodate for their meal breaks. In addition to that, they need to have some kind of physical activity throughout the day as well, so you can have a special break just for exercising. Let employees take a day off if they are feeling particularly stressed, anxious, unmotivated, or depressed. Obviously, they shouldn’t do it all the time, but it’s still worth having sick leave options for the times when their mental health is poor and not just for issues with their physical health.
5) Reward Good Work and Provide Opportunities for Growth
Last but not least, you need to develop a reward system that will allow you to reward good work and achievements. In addition to that, you need to provide opportunities for growth, especially ones related to education and career. A good reward system will help you motivate your remote employees even on the days when they are feeling particularly lazy. It’s also a way to make them feel satisfied with what they are doing and appreciated and values at work.
Moreover, opportunities for career growth will stimulate your employees to strive to achieve more and climb the career ladder, even if that happens gradually. Opportunities for education will help your employees improve their qualifications and keep learning constantly. Besides, this will also be good for your company because you will be retaining more top talent and even getting your current employees to become better at their jobs. In other words, it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
To wrap it up, maintaining the mental health of your remote employees definitely requires proper organization, but it’s also important to keep in mind other different aspects of the matter such as rewards for achievements, teamwork and teambuilding, flexible schedules, and proper communication.