Working from home has a lot of benefits. One of the biggest benefits is a trend toward more productivity compared to working in a physical workspace.
Conversely, there isn’t a clear guidebook on taking care of your mental health while working from home. Without the benefits of social engagement and office atmosphere, people might let their wellness take a hit.
Supporting mental health in the workplace online is a challenge that employers need to take on. According to Stanford, small behavioral changes like mindfulness can reduce stress by 30 percent. Employers can help facilitate those changes and create a healthier workplace.
We have outlined some ideas below that can help inform some of your workplace wellness decisions. Let’s get started.
The Benefits of a Positive Work Environment
The foundation of corporate wellness has to be a positive work environment. We need to understand what that work environment looks like and take strides to create our own version of it.
When employees feel valued and respected, they’re happier. When they’re happier, you’re happy with the work they do. It’s a simple equation that gets drowned out by old ideas of sternness and corporate monotony.
At the end of the day, employees are human beings that deserve to be as happy as possible, and you can help them achieve that by focusing on corporate wellness.
It doesn’t have to be complicated, either. Introducing meditation periods on a regular basis could have massive implications. A Havard study found that meditation might have longer-lasting effects in reducing stress than vacations do.
8 Tips to support Mental Health in the Workplace with Remote Employees
So, what can you do to help your employees? Wellness is a complicated thing, and each individual is unique in their ideas about what constitutes well-being. The ideas below are some touchpoints for you to use when thinking about where to put your energy.
These ideas can apply to creating a culture of wellness for remote employees as well as those that come into the office every day.
1. Increase Communication
The first thing to do is establish clear communication. We tend to shy away from things like mental health awareness and difficult feelings. That avoidance is caked into workplace culture in severe ways.
If your office is open about mental health and wellness, more power to you. If there’s a lack of communication, it’s time to take some measures.
Find a way for employees to discreetly talk about their mental health to employers. Maybe someone needs a day or two to work through an anxious period in their life. Maybe there’s something happening at home that needs to be addressed, but the employee doesn’t have a channel to communicate their difficulty.
You might even open up communication by letting everyone know that you’re open to ideas and concerns about the way your office handles wellness.
2. Build a Good Culture
Once you’ve opened the lines of communication, you can start to build.
Building a culture of wellness requires mutual engagement from staff and employers. That requires listening to concerns and seeing what you can do to meet the needs expressed by your staff.
They should feel supported by you, and that support will be met with a culture of open communication and trust. When those things are in place, your workplace will be a lot more productive and enjoyable to be a part of.
This applies whether you all work online or in person.
3. Increase Flexibility
What does it mean to be flexible? Generally, it means recognizing that people aren’t robots. They’re not one-hundred percent punctual and life doesn’t always allow them to be “perfect workers.”
Cars break down, sisters call with bad news, illness shows up, and stress compiles. The last thing you need is the pressure of a boss angrily breathing down your neck to figure it all out.
You could consider loosening up on start times, offering days off for people who need them, giving more opportunities for healthy breaks during work, and more.
You can even offer employees the chance to engage in wellness-promoting activities in the workplace. Twello offers numerous wellness classes that teach mindfulness for everything from emotional intelligence https://trytwello.com/catalog-pricing/to stress reduction.
4. Invest in Wellness Programs
Wellness programs are a great way to give your employees the opportunity to make healthy changes. You don’t need to force anything on them or require that they participate in something that they don’t want, but the option to do so can be very helpful.
We often avoid healthy changes because we don’t understand how to move forward. When your employer gives you the keys to wellness programs, you might be more inclined to engage with one.
Twello offers a whole host of programs that promote mindfulness, self-care, physical wellness, psychological safety, and more. These classes might help individuals in any kind of office, remote or otherwise.
5. Promote Physical Activity During the Workday
Regular physical activity is absolutely essential for mental and physical health. Sitting for eight hours per day without time for activity can be pretty damaging to wellness.
You can help your employees by promoting physical activity throughout the workday. A great way to get that ball rolling is to incorporate a physical wellness class like yoga, pilates, boot camp classes, and other options offered at Twello.
6. Frequent Check-Ins
Another thing to consider is checking in on your staff. People aren’t always eager to tell you about their struggles or whether they’re doing well. Further, some people don’t recognize the fact that they’re unwell until they’re prompted to think about it!
It’s easier to ignore the little warning signs and go on with your life. That said, it’s very important to recognize those things and make adjustments as needed. Check-ins can be a great way to nudge your staff in the right direction.
You might even use these check-ins to ask about how your company is doing with corporate wellness. Get some feedback about what you could do better.
These check-ins should be relatively stress-free. An email submission, private meeting, or anonymous form should do the trick!
7. Encourage Work/Life Balance
Work-life balance is something that gets a lot of talk time. Still, we don’t always do a great job of promoting it.
Work-life balance requires a job that doesn’t strip you of your free time. You also need the opportunity to get out and enjoy life, and sometimes that means missing a day or two of work.
You and your staff should get informed on work-life balance and see how it actually works in practice. One great way to get that insight is by taking our work-life balance class at Twello. We all understand the general idea of a balanced life, but implementing that idea is a little trickier.
There’s nothing wrong with getting some coaching. Those insights will help you and your staff to establish healthier lives.
8. Offer Mental Health Days
A mental health day is a day that someone takes to work on themselves, relax, or recover. It’s simply taking a day off when you need to.
Old-school ideas about “taking a day off” are pretty harsh. You were made to feel like you were lazy or that you were a bad worker if you skipped a day and did something you enjoyed.
Naturally, you can’t take a mental health day every single day, but you should get one when you need one. When you take a day, you come back refreshed. Additionally, the work you do on a stressful, burnout, anxiety-inducing day is sub-par.
It makes sense from a business perspective to allow employees the luxury of taking a mental health day or two over the course of the month.
High amounts of stress over a long period of time lead to physical illness. Stress makes you sick, and mental health days relieve stress before the person has to suffer. The mental health day is a more productive, healthier alternative.
Interested in a Corporate Wellness Program?
A solid corporate wellness program makes life a lot easier and more enjoyable for everyone. The wonderful thing is that it also improves productivity. There’s a lot more to learn about mental health resources for remote employees and we’re here to help.
We offer wellness classes on a range of topics. All of those courses could be the first step in establishing your company’s wellness program.
Book a free consultation for some ideas on ways that you could boost wellness company-wide, corporate wellness ideas, and more.