Have you noticed a change in your mental health now that you work from home? Are your teams more stressed or less productive?
Are you employees battling feelings of isolation?

Work from home jobs can challenge their mental health. It can turn normally optimistic, productive worker bees into tired, unmotivated, irritable toads.

So before they hit rock bottom, learn how to spot the signs of declining mental health so you can address your next steps.

Resources for employees

With untold numbers of employees now working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, employers are being asked to provide emotional support that can improve employees’ mental and emotional health.

Guiding workers through difficulties using new technology can also reduce employees’ stress levels and help them feel more secure about working remotely for the first time.

Global economies are pummeled and work routines disrupted, employers need to communicate with employees in a manner that makes them feel supported and cared for. 

There are some actions you can take to help alleviate stress and boost productivity from home:

  • Create a routine to ask how they feel that day. Our emotions can change from one moment to another, so it’s important to keep the track of it in person or using technologies. 
  • Use pulse surveys more frequently to gauge how your employees are feeling and identify shifts in attitude, so you can adjust communications plans accordingly.
  • Reach out to the entire company with communications on the situation and allow for real-time employee feedback.
  • Provide weekly guidance on key topics like self-care and staying safe. Use meditation tools to improve their wellness. 
  • Call out relevant company resources such as an employee assistance program (EAP) or hotline, as discussed in more detail below.
  • Tell the workforce what the company is doing, how you’re doing it and what is likely to happen next. Help them feel confident that any scenario has been accounted for.

Employees may be suddenly working from home for the first time and need to adjust to a new work environment or the feeling of isolation that comes with being away from the office.

As schools close, parents may be trying to manage their kids on top of work responsibilities. Even just trying to absorb the news can be overwhelming.

If your company offers access to an EAP, remind your employees of that. EAPs typically have counseling to help with a moment of crisis, digital resources to help reduce anxiety and assistance with identifying backup childcare, for instance.

Company leaders should openly discuss the effect that the pandemic is having on employees’ mental wellbeing.

Leaders should be honest about the strain this is causing and underscore that the EAP is available and ready to help.

Address Tech Worries

Senior leaders need to work together with HR, legal and IT teams to ensure there are proper resources to accommodate long-term working from home.

Employees will feel less stressed if they know that the IT department is there to help them if they have tech problems.

A lot can be accomplished through collaborative online tools. Whether you’re using Slack, Microsoft Teams or some other communication tool, explore tips and tricks for making them work effectively for you.

In all employee communications and interactions, be empathetic to employees’ needs and concerns, and keep the dialogue open.