The idea of remote working does, on the surface, sound ideal. Sitting on your sofa while in your pyjamas, doing your washing during downtime, being able to get some housework out of the way as soon as the working day ends – what’s not to love?
However, for some, working from home is not an option they would choose were they given the opportunity. Many would not like the idea of being alone for too long, others will admit that they are likely to get distracted if they are not in a place designed for work, while others will find their levels of productivity slipping if they are not surrounded by colleagues.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what working from home – which has become a sudden reality for so many in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis – means for your employees.
Wellbeing when working from home
Research has, quite comprehensively, found that company-wide productivity is liable to increase when employees are given the opportunity to work from home, with almost 85% of business reporting this to be the case.
Not only that, but 80% of employees have said they would actively turn down a role if remote working was not an option. And it would seem that these people are saying this with very good reason.
A recent study concluded that remote workers are 57% more likely to declare themselves satisfied with their work when compared to people who are confined to an office, while 40% say they are ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ stressed during their workday. When you consider that 29% of employees in the UK admit they are either ‘always’ or ‘mostly’ stressed when at work, this is a very significant improvement in mental wellbeing.
How employers can help
There are some very simple things that employers can do to ensure their employees are able to work effectively during this period of self-isolation.
1. Give them access to the right software, and ensure they can utilise it efficiently
2. Organise regular calls/video conferences to keep routine
3. Ensure that all employees are kept aware of any updates or company changes
4. Ask your employees how they’re feeling, and if there’s anything you can do to help, do it
Of course, there are also simply measures you can take, such as ensuring that every employee is aware that they can contact you if they are feeling stressed or have questions, or making them aware that if they have family commitments or struggles – which are very likely during the current climate – that they are able to take time away from their laptops to sort things out. For more information on this, read our blog: How should you monitor the health and wellbeing of your staff?
By communicating frequently, and by making your messaging as clear and honest as possible, your employees will feel more secure and less stressed.
To learn more about mental health in the workplace in general, you can read our article here: Mental Health in the Workplace