The climate of today’s workforce not only allows for remote work, it even encourages it. More and more employers are opting to seek and accept remote positions that allow them location flexibility and new opportunities.
While remote work carries many exciting benefits, there are a few drawbacks of this type of work that can cause health concerns. Here are some of the challenges remote employees may face and how employers can work to promote daily healthy habits for their workers.
As a remote employee, your home is not only where you cook, clean, and sleep, it is also your workplace. For some, it can be challenging to separate their professional hours from their personal hours—resulting in frequently working overtime or potential burnout. While this may not seem like a big deal at first, a survey from Deloitte showed that 91% of the survey respondents claimed that having an unmanageable amount of stress or frustration negatively impacts the quality of their work.
Encourage employees to stick to their working hours, take breaks away from their computer as needed, and have open and honest communication with their managers or supervisors to ensure that they are achieving a healthy work/life balance. As remote employees are not present in the office for quick desk drop-ins, remember to prioritize check-ins with these workers.
Blue light protection
Many jobs require employees to spend time on a computer or phone to complete their daily tasks, and this is especially true for remote workers given their working circumstances. Unfortunately, looking at screens for extended periods of time can lead to digital fatigue and other vision issues.
To help keep remote employees’ eyes fresh and focused, suggest blue-light blocking glasses. These lenses can be combined prescription lenses or worn on their own to filter out the harsh blue light emitted from computer screens and limit both long-term and short-term effects from overexposure—like headaches, dry eye, or retinal damage. Additionally, these types of glasses also help promote better sleeping patterns for employees as blue light disrupts the body’s natural sleep cycle. By wearing these glasses employees will feel more comfortable, well-rested, and less stressed during the workweek.
Encourage social interaction
Human beings are social creatures, and interacting with others is important to help people feel connected. The same idea goes for one’s place of work as bonding with coworkers and staying in touch can boost productivity and help motivate individuals.
Studies show that 20% of remote workers struggle with loneliness, so based on the logistical limitations that remote employees face companies should spend extra time ensuring their remote employees are engaging in social interaction with others. Whether this means weekly virtual meet-ups or investing in collaborative platforms for employees to use, find what works best for your office and your remote employees’ mental health.
As mentioned previously, remote employees share their place of work with their home. Whether they have the luxury of having a personal office or are using a shared living space to complete their work, it is still a notably different atmosphere than a traditional office setting.
It can be easier for remote workers to neglect keeping their workspace as tidy as it might be in a shared office environment. But remote workers should remember that there are benefits of keeping an office tidy, including increased efficiency and reduced stress and fatigue. Encourage employees to create a welcoming and productive workspace for themselves to help them feel both productive and professional at home.
Remote employees face unique challenges and companies can help promote healthy habits for their workers as a sign of appreciation for the hard work they do and the people that they are.