The well-being of remote workers

Remote working has many benefits to employees: there is no need for commuting, which saves a lot of stress and costs, and there is also increased flexibility.

Unfortunately, there are also downsides to remote working. The main struggles are isolation and work-life balance, which can affect one’s well-being.

How can remote working impact well-being?

  • Burnout – Working remotely can quickly become a part of one’s time, feeling that they must contribute more since they are not present in the office. This is a clear example of an unethical work-life balance, which can lead to high-stress levels and burnout.
  • Loneliness and Isolation – Working remotely can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Extroverted personalities gain energy from those around them, which can highly impact them since they constantly have no one to talk to. This will also lead to high-stress levels, ultimately affecting well-being.

How to support the well-being of remote workers

Establish boundaries between work and personal time.

It can be challenging to distinguish between work and personal time when you no longer have the physical break of leaving the office and commuting home at the end of the working day.

Remote workers want to be responsive at any time, as they might need to show they are working just as hard. This can take over and give the feel that they are always in work mode.

Employers should encourage to distinguish between work and personal life, show trust and encourage them to limit their work time.

The importance of breaks.

In the office, you have the usual noon lunchtime break, a quick chat over coffee, and a brisk walk to get some fresh air, all valuable to the well-being of employees during work time.
At home, you can efficiently work for 8 hours straight without any gaps, which increases stress levels and decreases productivity, affecting physical health.
Encourage employees to take time for themselves throughout the day.

Fitness and well-being activities.

Remote working can take over one’s life and make it difficult to remain active, impacting both physical and mental health. Offering your employees free online fitness classes or discounted memberships can help motivate employees to be involved.

Set up regular one-to-ones.

A simple “How are you doing?” goes a long way but is more complicated for remote workers.

Management must work harder to maintain a strong relationship with remote employees; weekly one-to-one video calls are the way to go.

Take the one-to-one as a way of checking up on a friend to ensure they are doing well and to see what’s bothering them. Listen and respond in a manner and helpful way to show that you understand and want to help.

Focusing on the well-being of employees is the key to retaining and keeping them healthy.

Why GCS Malta?

At GCS Malta, our team of Human Resources professionals aims to establish a happy and motivated workforce through the variety of services they offer. So check out our vacancies and contact us today for more information.

Article written by Neil Psaila