While the extent of the COVID-19 is immeasurable and is continuing to cause chaos, many companies have settled down on the concept of remote working as the new normal.
Employees may feel this shift to be highly beneficial in the beginning. However, remote working has its own set of challenges, primarily concerning mental health.
Let’s try to understand some of the issues that may impact an employee’s mental health while working remotely.
1. Devoting Long Hours to Work
Employees spend extra hours on work even beyond the expected number of work hours while working from home. This leads to a drop in their productivity, a potential rise in stress, and anxiety among the employees.
2. Away from Social Connections
Remote working leads to isolation from social connections. Employees working remotely are deprived of the social pleasures of meeting peers, making conversations, get-togethers, etc.
Social isolation affects the mental well-being of employees, with chances of developing anxiety or depression as well.
3. Physical and Mental Stagnation
Working remotely makes an employee feel physically and mentally stagnant. The job promotions, moving to another company, interacting among senior colleagues, buying a new car with the performance bonus, and other identifiers that reflect professional growth are missed out while working remotely.
4. Lack of Demarcation Between Home and Office
With no physical boundaries between home and workplace, employees find it difficult to switch off from work. Their inability to devote time to personal recreation activities builds up mental stress.
Thus, employers must step forward and take certain steps to safeguard the mental health of their employees.
Steps for Employers to Protect the Mental Wellbeing of Employees
1. Encourage Greater Interaction
Employers must include their employees in all possible interactions and use technological mediums such as WhatsApp to encourage group bonding among employees. Employees must share their personal interactions and not just work-related discussions.
Weekly, fortnightly, or monthly meetings must be done to maintain a sense of belongingness among each other.
2. Ensure Staff Takes Frequent Breaks
Employers must keep track of the work assigned to their employees and encourage them to take frequent breaks.
This might be a walk in the park or just a break from work to relax. The idea is to make sure the employee is not overloaded with work.
3. Make Anonymous Mental Health Services Available
Despite the best efforts, employees might face some mental health issues which they might not discuss with anyone.
Make sure to provide them with information regarding Mental Health Services and spread awareness about its need and importance.
4. Be Empathetic to the Circumstances
Employers must try to be considerate and empathetic towards their employees working remotely.
There might be employees staying with family members who are aged, children, or in a pregnant condition. This might affect the productivity levels of the employee, thus it is important to remain empathetic.
Irrespective of the situation, staying connected with each other and keeping track of their personal situations can go a long way in curbing down an employee’s mental health and any probable reasons for stress.