Remote working is here to stay. And the benefits can be significant; for employee and employer. Having a team of remote workers means less in-office overheads, no exorbitant rentals on big city high streets, less hours wasted on commuting, and so on. But while the world is becoming very good at Zoom meetings and virtual interactions, there are certain fundamentals that are at risk of slipping through the cracks. How do you really know how your teams are doing if you can’t have a conversation with them face-to-face? There are so many variables unique to each person in their own personal spaces. We have to address the one thing that will help each and every one to thrive, regardless of these different circumstances. Well-being is the answer.
Let’s jump right in and tackle the concerns. Here are some of the ways your remote workers and hybrid teams may be taking strain:
As much as some people like to work with total peace and quiet, there is still a healthy balance found in interacting with others and collaborating face-to-face. Some people feed off of this energy and actually become more creative and productive because of it. The lack of the office buzz can result in feelings of loneliness and isolation. And this, in turn, can lead to increased stress levels and a total lack of motivation and drive. Not a good combination for emotional well-being and productivity.
Without the need to get up and go to make the commute or get to the meeting, it can be easy to let general movement and activity take a dive. In fact, it can become very easy not to leave the house at all, resulting in dangerously low physical exercise levels.
Without finite office hours, the work-life balance can become very blurred. Without a healthy balance of work, rest, exercise, mindfulness, and leisure time, employees feel the “always-on” pressure and can experience high levels of stress as they work longer hours. This lack of a healthy structure can lead to burnout if unaddressed.
The focus has to be on nurturing a person’s core operating system: the mind. Work on all the things that lead to mental well-being. Because out of that springs motivation, positive action, creativity, focus, productivity, and feelings of balance and contentment. It’s about giving your remote workers the tools to motivate themselves, to find balance for themselves, and to get the best out of themselves. No micro-managing required. Here are some of the simple ways you can support the mental well-being of your remote teams:
This is the game-changer. It all starts with movement. Physical exercise not only keeps our bodies healthy and feeling great, but it has a profound effect on our mental well-being too. Even a quick 10 minutes of brisk walking every day can make a big difference. Regular physical activity can help to boost self-esteem, can reduce stress and anxiety, and can help to prevent mental health problems. Offer physical activities and give people the tools to track their progress and stay motivated.
It’s important to maintain strong employee-employer and employee-employee relationships. Scheduling regular one-to-ones with employees via call or video is a great way to show support and keep communication open. Encouraging colleagues to chat and collaborate regularly is important for keeping up camaraderie and company morale. Setting up a platform where colleagues can interact and spur each other on is a great idea.
We all seek to be happy and satisfied in life, and the lack of this in any area can breed its’ own stress and anxiety. Taking a moment to be still and calm with our thoughts in the present moment is not a luxury, it’s fundamental. Encouraging your people to take a break or a mindfulness moment in the day can help them to get that work-life balance to a healthy place. Increased attention span, managed stress, better immunity, and better problem solving are just some of the results.
Without the office banter, the chats at the coffee machine, and the after-work drinks, remote workers can start to lose out on the fun bits associated with working from the office. People need people. And people need to have a laugh. Creating leagues and challenges can be fun and rewarding. Why not also organise fun chat groups and a virtual happy hour?
Digital collaboration tools and platforms are really helpful in keeping us connected even when we’re working apart. It’s really cool what we’re able to achieve virtually these days, and innovation is taking us to new heights all the time.
Our Fitlink crew is a very close-knit, remote-first team, and we have thrived working this way. Yes, of course it can have its challenges, but we have found a way to make it work for us. One of our favourite tools is our very own Fitlink app and dashboard. Yes, yes, I know this sounds like a shameless plug, but it’s true. This is the very reason we made it in the first place. Created by us, for us. And for you 🙂
For team banter and fun chats. For quick questions and conversations with colleagues regarding tasks. To keep everyone in the loop on the progress of projects and what others are working on in different departments.
For collaborating on projects and keeping a clear eye on conversations and progress even when working in different time zones.
For conversation games to keep up the banter. For spontaneous one-on-one video calls and face time with team members.
For virtual happy hours, networking events, and social interactions that feel fun and a little closer to real-life.
So, it’s clear that the destination must be well-being. The road to get there requires getting people moving, keeping people talking, helping people to take a break, and encouraging people to have fun. That way, armed with productive, creative teams that are healthy and happy, there’s no reason why remote working can’t be the best thing that ever happened to you.