Remote employees and the remote workforce are here to stay. According to a recent report, 64% of salaried and 49% of hourly employees are now working remotely most of the time, compared to just 3% and 2% in January. Working from home is saving US employers over $30 billion a day in what would otherwise have been lost productivity when offices were closed due to Covid-19.
And, a recent Gartner CFO survey revealed that 74% of CFOs plan to “shift at least 5% of previously on-site employees to permanently remote positions post covid-19, and nearly 25% of respondents said they would move at least 20% to a permanently remote position.”
The cost savings and productivity gains due to employees working from home are real. It’s less clear how well remote workers are taking care of themselves and staying healthy. It’s important that employers encourage and support remote workers — physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Here are 8 ways to keep your remote workforce happy and healthy:
Set a morning routine
Developing a morning routine is extremely important to starting the day out right. It sets the tone for the rest of the work day. Set an alarm so that you wake up at the same time during the work week. Eat breakfast, go for a walk or run, or try meditating. Create regular work hours — whether it’s 9 to 5 or a different schedule — and get started on time.
Follow a schedule
Start your workday at the same time and end the day at the same time, if you can. Things come up, but it’s best to keep a normal, daily routine. Try to follow the same workday hours as if you were in the office. If you have children, it’s important for kids to have structure in their lives. Spend time with them when you can. Go to sleep at the same time every night.
Separate your workspace
Keep your workspace separated both physically and mentally. Set up space that is used just for work and only work. It can be a spare bedroom, the dining room table, or a corner of the basement. When you walk away from the work space, let your mind close the door on work.
When employees are in the office, it’s much easier to communicate with other employees, managers, and leadership. Employees can provide suggestions, take feedback, and pick up on subtle body language. Virtual meetings are not the same as in-person communications, but they can let your remote workers be seen and heard. Set regular team meetings to discuss work-related projects, but also set up weekly meetings to chat with remote workers, set up a 5pm happy hour, or play games online.
Fit in exercise
Our bodies are meant to move. When we sit for 8 hours a day or more, it takes a toll on the human body. Prolonged sitting and improper alignment can hurt you physically over time. Make it a habit to get up and walk around every hour. Or, take a quick 30-minute walk after the morning team call or right before lunch.
With remote employees working from home, you aren’t far from the kitchen. It’s important to stock up on healthy foods to stave off the munchies and snacking. Here are some snacks to give you an afternoon pick me up:
- Whole grain, high protein granola bar
- Yogurt cup
- Dried fruit and nuts
- Bananas or apple slices
Make time for social contact
Humans are social creatures. Your remote workforce needs to find ways to work in social interaction every day. Call a friend and chat for a few minutes. Walk around your neighborhood, follow social distancing, and check-in with neighbors. Facetime with family or friends that live away from you.
READ MORE: The Digital Workplace Is Evolving, For The Better
Use technology for better health
Games and mobile apps can make remote workers’ downtime more fun. Smart wristbands and smartwatches can help you track your steps, check your heart rate, and remind you to get up and move. Remote employees can also listen to podcasts, play online games, or watch movies and TV shows on Netflix or other services.
With remote workforces growing every day, it’s important remember that remote workers have unique challenges. Emotionally healthy employees are happier, more engaged, and productive and are more likely to be loyal to your organization. Leaders can play a huge role in maintaining the physical and emotional health of remote workers.
At CatalystXL, we want to help you quickly and easily share information and foster collaboration across your entire organization. We can deliver a no code, custom branded enterprise mobile app that unlocks answers and provides insights via our Cardware™ platform — sharing categorized content in a powerful flashcard format. Our mobile app fosters a community of collaboration, engagement, and connectedness for your employees – both in and out of the office.
Book a demo today.