There’s no such thing as stress-free work. At the best of times, we come home from work feeling what some people dub as a “happy tiredness.” We find it easy to sleep deeply, then wake up the next morning feeling refreshed and raring to go. However, at the worst of times, we feel exhausted at work, stay up late because of job-related anxiety, and wake up feeling as if we never slept at all.
Bad work-related stress is no small matter: According to the Center for Workplace Mental Health, 120,000 Americans die every year because of it. This tragic statistic can make conscientious managers wish that there was an easy way to nip stress-related problems in the bud. Unfortunately, spotting stress sufferers is difficult because different people cope with it differently.
Nevertheless, there are still a few steps you can take to mitigate the stress your remote staff may be experiencing.
Do regular check-ins with your staff
When we work from home, we’re usually cooped up in a secluded area so that we can prevent housemates and family members from breaking our focus. This dynamic is starkly different compared to how we are in office spaces. Often, team members are just a nudge away, and we don’t mind when people call our attention and distract us because it’s usually still about work.
Our offices are hives that are abuzz with fellow workers, but at home, that social aspect is gone, and feelings of isolation may creep in. This is why something as small as a brief online call or video chat with your staff members can be a big deal to them. Regular check-ins help employees feel that they’re not alone and that they’re valued members of the team.
More importantly, you get to touch base with them and see if something’s weighing heavily on their minds. During the check-in, ask them if they have any questions or concerns regarding their tasks, and if there are things they need help with. If they open up and share their personal woes, listen to them and thank them for the trust they’ve given you.
Don’t shut employees down because their issues are not work-related, but rather recognize that personal troubles can negatively affect one’s job performance. Encourage them to prioritize taking care of themselves because resolving their issues will help them return to work more focused and able to do their best.
Clarify with employees that they do not owe the company anything for the privilege to work remotely
There are many perks to being allowed to work remotely. We don’t need to suffer long commutes or spend extra eating out. Additionally, we get more time to do errands, bank runs, what-have-you.
Feeling grateful for these perks is good, but feeling the need to repay the company can actually be harmful. This is because feelings of indebtedness can make staff work too much. There’s a fine line between providing extra value to one’s employer and burning out, which does no good to anybody. Therefore, you must explain to your staff that their responsibilities remain the same as when they were reporting to the office.
Provide staff with what they need to do remote work properly
When our PCs in the office conk out, it makes us want to pull our hair out. Technical problems when working from home cause the same effect, too. Therefore, if employees live in areas served by unreliable internet service providers, provide them with pocket Wi-Fi.
You may also have to issue them new laptops and subscribe users to cloud-based productivity software such as Microsoft 365. Not only will doing these provide tools to staff members who don’t have any, but you also avoid the ill effects of shadow IT and implement greater cybersecurity controls over your company’s data.
For more information on how to improve your IT infrastructure for the sake of your remote employees, consult with our tech specialists at Complete Technology. Contact us or call 816-326-1143 today.