Remote employees are becoming a larger part of the workforce and chances are, if your company is not hiring them yet, they will be very soon. There are some great benefits to hiring remote workers: you’ll need less office space, turnover will decrease, and you can hire the best of the best, regardless of where they are located.
While the benefits of remote employees are clear, you must also acknowledge the challenges faced by both the remote employee and the employer. For example, remote employees are more likely to suffer from burnout than their office-going counterparts, which can result in trouble focusing, a lack of motivation and poor job performance, as well as feelings of anxiety and depression.
To have a business capable of employing and retaining remote workers, you must have the tools and technology in place to ensure your employees are happy and healthy.
Use technology wisely
Below are some tech-based ideas that can ensure your remote employees are maintaining a healthy work-life balance and warding off the potential for burnout:
When you work in an office, it is very easy to see when what your coworker is doing; you can see if they are available, on the phone, in a meeting, or otherwise busy. Being a remote employee often leads to guessing games on both ends; are they in a meeting, are they on a call, have they gone to lunch? Time is wasted going back and forth trying to coordinate a time for a quick conversation and instead becomes a layer of stress unnecessarily added to the day. There are many ways technology can be used to help streamline the communication between all employees and decrease the interruptions to their workflows.
Slack, for instance, is an instant messaging app that is incredibly helpful to guide communication amongst your staff. Slack allows its users to communicate in real-time with their coworkers which can expedite the process that has normally been done through emails. They can create groups so project or client collaborators can communicate privately with each other with ease.
Combat the loneliness of Remote Work with Slack:
A great way to use this tool is to also create a space for employees to chat with each other about things outside of the confines of their job descriptions. Chats can be created for people that love dogs or listen to podcasts, book lovers can unite to give their recommendations for the next great read. Slack can bring employees, near and far, together. It takes that watercooler conversation and puts it at your fingertips.
Having a great time management tool for your employees is key, especially for your remote employees. Utilizing online calendar apps like Google Calendar allows users to have an interactive experience with time management.
Your employees will be able to manage their daily calendar even incorporating alarms, if they so desire, to keep them on track and on time. Creating a meeting is simplified with this tool; you can see if the parties invited are actually available based on each of their own calendars, taking the guesswork out of “when do you have that call again? Are you taking your lunches at your normal time this week?” This will be especially beneficial for remote employees. They will be able to have their workday displayed for anyone that is inquiring, they can document as much of their workflow as they want or they have the opportunity to hide the details of their tasks for privacy purposes.
Having a centralized space for calendars to be maintained helps employers and employees have a better relationship with their own schedules and work smarter not harder at creating a workflow between collaborators.
Incorporating wellness into your company framework is now a crucial part of modern business. When you bring wellness into the workplace, your employees will feel like the company they work for truly values them beyond just being an employee, they feel like the value is extended to them being people.
Wellness encapsulates mental health, fitness, diet, and so much more. With remote employees being prone to burnout in their very isolating environments, providing access to apps that encourage remote employees to make their own wellness a priority is incredibly beneficial. Meditation technology like the Calm App helps facilitate a better experience in mindfulness and work on tackling the stress of everyday life. It is often a struggle for remote employees to separate their work life from their home life because more often than not, those two worlds occupy the same space. Purchasing company-wide access to a mindfulness app can help them smoothly transition between the two.
The diet of a remote worker can be a tricky thing to maintain and most certainly can affect how and when burnout manifests itself. It is incredibly easy to fall into the pit of eating and snacking simply because food is easily accessible when working from home. Providing access to a program that allows users to create an individualized weight loss program like WW to maintain a healthy lifestyle can only help foster a better relationship between your employees and a work-life balance. Offering the tools to put their wellness and wellbeing into their own hands will help remote workers strive to have an overall healthy lifestyle.
Remote employees often feel like they are off to the side and must fend for themselves. Using some of these tools to help create a globally interactive environment will bring them into the conversation.