Although there are a lot of benefits to having staff work from home (WFH), one thing managers sometimes find difficult is looking after their employees’ mental health remotely.
Without being able to see certain individuals every day or engage in trivial conversation, it is hard to pick up on clues they may be struggling, such as how they look, how they respond to questions, whether they seem stressed, or how they react with other staff members.
However, there are still things bosses should do to protect their employees’ mental health while working from home.
Firstly, they need to have systems in place for team conferences, such as spending a couple of minutes catching up on VOIP phones before the meeting starts.
It could also be worth setting up mentoring systems, coffee mornings, or employee resource groups, so nobody feels isolated or lonely.
Mercer recommends managers implement the three Bs for their WFH staff members. These stand for breaks, boundaries, and balance.
Employees should still be encouraged to take breaks in the working day; they need to create boundaries when it comes to their home and work lives; and they need to balance their time between team and individual work.
This advice is still relevant, despite lots of people returning to the office, as government figures showed 16 per cent of staff solely worked from home and 28 per cent did a combination of the two between September 2022 and January 2023.
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