When it comes to being a business leader for any business, it’s important to promote wellbeing. Whether you’re running a brick-and-mortar company, getting Shopify dropshipping ideas, or running an online digital marketing business, you always have to think about your employees. But there’s something extra challenging about that online aspect. After all, in an actual office, you can physically see if your employees are having a rough time when they’re feeling overworked or stressed. And you can quickly do something about it. But when it comes to running an online office, it’s a bit more challenging to know when something’s going on.
Luckily, there are still some great ways you can promote well-being in your remote office. It’s all about knowing how to reach out to your employees and encouraging them to stay healthy despite the distance–and here’s how it’s done.
Allow for clear communication
One of the most stressful things for any employee is feeling like they can’t be heard in the workplace. Especially when it comes to being able to discuss issues openly with you, if you don’t make it a safe place for them to express themselves, they’ll feel like they’re constantly walking on eggshells anytime they reach out to you over Slack. Whether the issue is related to drama with another colleague, a raise, or simply asking for a couple of days off, stress is going to be high in your workplace if you don’t show the value of clear communication to your employees.
Back in 2016, 43 percent of American workers spent some time working remotely, so your employees are going to expect you not only to allow for clear communication but also to make it part of your policy.
Give your employees paid time off–and flexibility
When your employees are working remotely, it’s easy not to want to give them any paid time off. After all, the remote work world is full of contractors and freelancers, and they get paid by the hour, not an actual salary. Often, remote employers, even when they have employees working full time, still won’t give their employees paid time off, because it’s so common in the online economy.
But if you want your employees to be happy–and therefore more productive–you need to offer paid time off. They’ll be grateful to you, and they’ll also be less stressed. There’s a reason why 70 percent of Americans are disengaged from their workday, and that’s probably because of how little vacation days they’re getting compared to the rest of the world. An additional benefit is that you’ll be taken more seriously as an employer, which means that you’re going to end up with the best talent out there.
The same goes for flexibility. If an employee needs extra time on a deadline, whether it’s because of a problem with depression or because they’ve had to drive their kid to the E.R., give it to them. Plan your work schedule with extra space in case anyone needs extra time; that way you won’t disappoint your clients in the process.
Encourage healthy behavior
Many offices with their staff physically present can have breaks for yoga and serve only healthy food in the office. But how do you encourage healthy behavior, without having your employees right there with you? While busy employees may feel they don’t have time to learn about wellness, teams can consider it when setting deadlines and arranging schedules if the company defines a set amount of time. There is no need for employees to feel guilty about improving their mental and physical health. But how do you encourage healthy behavior, without having your employees right there with you?
That’s where the power of data comes in. By offering financial rewards for employees joining the gym or doing a certain number of steps in a day, you can track their activities (with their permission, of course) and encourage healthy living. The same can go for having a certain number of veggies a day or going to the doctor for preliminary checkups. Considering that 4.3 million employees now work from home at least half the time, there are plenty of apps out there to make the logistics of this easy.
Inform your employees about their options
Finally, don’t forget that knowledge is power. If there’s a health insurance plan you think would be especially useful for your company, let your employees know about it. The same goes for online therapy and other health-related programs such as Weight Watchers. By keeping your employees informed, they’ll start to care about their health–which is the first step in being healthy.
77 percent of people are already more productive working at home, and chances are this is because they’re happier and healthier. So remember that you already have a healthy work environment–but this is just another way to make it even healthier!
These are some of the best ways you can promote well-being in your remote office. What other strategies do you think would work for your employees?