In the age of digital transformation where everything is high-tech, high-touch and high-speed, it’s more important than ever to focus on improving well-being and employee experience—especially when it comes to remote employees. Without in-person interaction and the buzz of office life, remote workers can be more susceptible to feelings of loneliness, isolation and burnout.
But with so many tools and digital solutions at your fingertips, there are plenty of ways to improve employee wellness. Here are three ways your organization can level-up employee well-being and the remote worker employee experience in 2023.
1. Prioritize work-life balance
Without a doubt, work-life balance is one of the biggest contributing factors when it comes to a positive remote worker employee experience. So, it’s no wonder that it’s one of the most important priorities for both employers and employees. In fact, 47% of employers and 51% of employees named it the top priority in company culture, according to a 2023 Forbes Advisor survey.
As it turns out, though, work-life balance is like the white whale of the corporate world: everyone’s obsessed with chasing it, but no one can ever quite capture it. Here are a few ways that your organization can help both in-office employees and remote workers find that ever-elusive work-life balance:
- Discourage overtime and after-hours emails. Enforcing company-wide shut-down times and email-free weekends are a great way to establish clearer boundaries between work and home life. As a bonus, creating a hard stop at the end of each day is likely to boost employee productivity.
- Encourage or require employees to use PTO. In the age of hustle culture, it’s all too common for employees to avoid taking time off at the expense of their own well-being. By encouraging or even requiring employees to use their PTO, you can help curb burnout, improve productivity, reduce turnover, and create a safer, more supportive work environment for your employees.
- Try out a four-day work week. More and more companies are piloting the four-day work week, and for good reason. Research has shown that employees who work only four days a week tend to be happier, healthier, and more productive than those working a full week. The model is so successful, in fact, that 92% of companies who tested it out in a U.K. trial decided to continue the four-day week after the trial period had ended.
2. Offer more flexibility in where and when employees work
It’s no secret that hybrid working—or, working both remotely and in-office—is here to stay. But it’s possible that even the most generous hybrid work models (as in the ones that require the least amount of time in-office) still aren’t cutting it for your employees. Now more than ever, employees are demanding more flexibility in where and when they work.
For more and more employees, the ability to work from home is quickly becoming a non-negotiable. According to a 2022 survey from ZipRecruiter, 14% of job seekers would even accept a pay cut if it meant they could work remotely. But that’s not all they’re looking for. Desk-based employees and frontline workers alike are focused on finding more flexibility in their work schedules. For desk-based employees, this means breaking out of the traditional 9-to-5 workday. And for frontline workers, flexibility means more control and stability in their work schedule.
Providing employees with more autonomy over when and where they work doesn’t just improve employee satisfaction and productivity (and wow, does it really help with those things). Flexibility also helps companies attract new talent and reduce employee turnover. No matter what your organization’s digital transformation framework looks like, there are plenty of technologies or tech features out there to help enable a more flexible, work-from-anywhere workforce.
So, if you’re looking for a good way to boost well-being and improve the remote worker employee experience in your workplace, consider loosening the reins on when and where employees can work.
3. Expand the focus on mental health
According to a 2021 Mental Health at Work report from Mind Share Partners, a whopping 84% of respondents said workplace conditions contributed to at least one mental health challenge. And in a more recent survey from the American Psychological Association, 81% of employees reported that they’ll be looking for workplaces that support mental health in the future. Needless to say, it’s a big deal to your employees.
When it comes to supporting mental health in the workplace, start small. Here are a few ways that you can create a more supportive environment for your employees:
- Remind employees about your Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Most EAPs offer free, confidential counseling services and other mental health resources. But chances are your employees aren’t using them. The more you can educate employees about your EAP and how it can work for them, the more likely they’ll be to seek the help they need.
- Schedule regular check-ins between employees and managers. Establishing a line of regular, open communication can directly improve employee productivity and mental health. It also creates a safe space for employees to share their feedback and concerns. Check-ins are especially important for remote workers who are less visible and lack opportunities for in-person interaction at the office.
- Provide managers with mental health awareness training. Managers who receive mental health awareness training are more motivated to promote available policies, benefits, and resources that support employee mental health. More importantly, they’re also more likely to recognize the signs of stress and mental health issues in the office and among remote workers.
If you’re looking for even more impactful ways to level-up the mental health support at your organization, consider swapping your employer-provided health insurance plan for one that covers comprehensive mental health treatment and services.
If you’re looking to improve employee well-being and remote worker employee experience within your organization, know that even the smallest changes can have a meaningful impact for your employees. And when you’re ready to communicate about your new wellness initiatives, ask us how we can help.