Over the last few years, remote work has significantly increased and has been seen as the way of the future. When the pandemic hit in 2020, it led many businesses to switch to hybrid or remote work, allowing their employees to work from home. This increase in remote work has led to a rise in productivity and the overall well-being of employees. Working from home has provided more flexibility than before. It’s allowed employees the opportunity to find ways to better balance their work and personal lives.
The ability to work remotely has increased employee happiness by as much as 20%. The adjustment to remote work has been beneficial, but it has not come without challenges. While productivity levels have seen an increase as a result, there is now a higher level of burnout than before. Now more than ever, it’s important to find ways to help keep employees engaged both in the workplace and in their personal lives. Continue reading to learn more about how employers can best support their employees and help them achieve a strong work-life balance.
Invest in Personal Development
When hiring new employees, on-the-job training is vital to their success. It’s important that employees have a full understanding of their roles and how to best carry out those roles and responsibilities. On-the-job training should cover all responsibilities that are required of the role. Having an in-depth training program will set employees up for success and allow them to come off of training feeling confident and ready to jump into their new position.
In addition to providing training surrounding their role, it’s important to also provide support in other areas as well. Providing opportunities to continue learning outside of an employee's role will allow them to grow both personally and professionally. Providing mental health and financial resources is a great way to encourage employees to broaden their knowledge and learn about different ways to improve decision-making for long-term financial stability and a better quality of life.
Implement Wellness Resources
As a result of the pandemic, people are putting a larger focus on their health, causing the desire for health and wellness programs to increase. Ways that companies can include different types of wellness programs can be through offering different stipends for employees. These stipends can be put towards a home office setup, gym membership, or even productivity assistance options such as music subscriptions, internet, or transportation expenses.
Financial benefits are another great way to show support for employees outside of the workplace. Investing in financial resources provides employees with the opportunity to learn more about how to manage their personal lives and better understand their finances. Some financial resources that can be offered to employees include personal budgeting, credit building, debt reduction, student loan repayment management, and financial goal setting.
For employees who are looking for additional financial assistance to make larger investments like purchasing a home, providing them with the opportunity to learn about different mortgage options is a great step to take to encourage financial stability. For instance, encouraging your employees to research FHA loan requirements can help them make an informed decision that’s best for their financial situation as this loan requires less strict financial requirements with a lower down payment and credit score threshold. This type of loan also provides you with a flexible option as it allows for a choice between a 15 and a 30-year mortgage payment, as well as a fixed or variable interest rate, which can be helpful for your employees to understand when committing to a mortgage. Additionally, understanding your credit score and what you’ll need to get approved ahead of time can help instill confidence in employees as they navigate the home-buying process. Other types of financial assistance programs that can be offered include tax preparation help, financial webinars, and debt management services. Implementing a variety of both health and wellness resources as well as financial resources will help employees feel more educated and secure in their personal lives, which in turn will improve their capabilities and confidence in their work.
Encourage Work-Life Balance
The shift to remote work has led to an increase in productivity in employees by cutting out some of the daily tasks that they had to account for such as their commute and getting ready in the morning. While it’s nice to have the ability to work from home, employees now have a more difficult time separating their work from their personal life. The struggle of shutting down their computer when work has ended has led employees to become more susceptible to burnout since they’re not allowing themselves to stop working at the end of the day.
Companies that participate in a remote work environment should create a culture in which their employees are comfortable logging off completely when their work day is finished. A study by Mental Health America states that 75% of remote workers have experienced burnout at work while 37% of employees are working more hours at home than necessary. Due to the ability to work from home, there has been an uptick in the workload that employees take on. This increased workload has led to stressed employees who now feel guilty for logging off once their day is done, even though they shouldn’t be working past their normal work hours.
Employers should communicate their expectations for working hours so that employees log off once their day is done. There also shouldn’t be an unnecessary increase in the workload to justify remote work, as it will ultimately lead to an overworked staff. Companies should take time to promote clear and effective communication strategies to their employees surrounding both work and non-work-related topics. It's important to encourage both types of communication as a way to not only be productive but also cultivate good working relationships.
Other ways that employers can help alleviate employee burnout and promote healthy work habits are by encouraging employees to use their vacation days, instituting flexible schedules, making time for breaks, and working to create a comfortable work environment at home. An employer should work to stress the importance of putting yourself first. While work is important, if employees are neglecting their health and wellness and overworking themselves, they’re not only hurting themselves but also the company. Encouraging employees to make time for themselves will allow them to feel more comfortable taking time to relax and recharge so they can focus on their mental health. Promoting ways to improve employee well-being will help to set them up to be more successful both at work and in their personal lives.