EAP Corner

Helping Your Employee Work Remote

Working from home is a big change for the employer as well as the employee. Change is hard, but when you add the pandemic situation, it can be very trying times for everyone involved. Employees who have never worked from home are trying to find their way being productive at home and in some cases balancing it with family members and pets being present. Employees that have worked from home previously now have children home 24/7 creating changes for them as well.

Our families were previously balancing all of the outside activities and work, which many times created higher levels of stress.  Now that has all changed rapidly.  It is a new balancing act. As your employees begin to find their way new stressors are popping up.

In the article Working from Home: Tips for Productivity, Mental Health and Staying Healthy it helps us realize that staying health mentally and physically is as crucial as getting the work done.

A United Nations report found that 41% of remote workers reported high stress levels, compared to just 25% of office workers.  In a report from the 2019 World Economic Forum (WEF), it was believed that being ‘out of sight, out of mind’ increased the tendency for managers to become more task focused and actually attempt to micromanage more than before going remote. (SHP Safety and Health Practitioner, 2020)

How do you as an employer help your employees? First of all what will your communication with them look like? It can be easy to begin to feel isolated if there is not a lot of communication.  Written communication is great to have available through email and text, but it will be equally important to have some verbal communication and video communication for the employees that need more social interaction. If you haven’t had a conversation with your employee to see what helps them the most, now would be a good time. It may mean you need to make a morning and end of day call or video chat. Even checking in at the beginning of the week and end of the week would be good if they have self-driven positions.

In the article, Coronavirus: How to work from home, the right way, it suggests not wearing your pajamas all day just because you can and to set up a work space rather than lying in bed with a laptop. (Lufkin, 2020). You should encourage your employee to start the day just as they had in the past, getting up at the same time, eating and dressing for work. It may be more casual attire, but it is important to get dressed. Having a work space and keeping your schedule structured will help be more productive. It will be important for your employee to take breaks and step outside, since they are not going out of the house each day to drive to and from work. It would be helpful to leave the house some too. Getting plenty of sleep and not watching the news constantly is going to help maintain a better balance.

In addition it will be important to check in to see how they are handling it all emotionally and remind them they can contact Wholeness Healing  at 308 -3825297 to set up a Telehealth appointment. If your company has Wholeness Healing EAP you can remind them it is free and confidential and to mention the company they work for when calling to set them appointment.

Works Cited

OH&S Occupational Health and Safety, March 19 2020. Working from Home: Tips for Productivity, Mental Health and Staying Healthy https://ohsonline.com/articles/2020/03/18/working-from-home-tips-for-productivity-mental-health-and-staying-healthy.aspx?m=1 . Accessed March 26, 2019

SHP Safety and Health Practitioner, March 26, 2020. https://www.shponline.co.uk/lone-working/home-working/ . Accessed March 26, 2019

Lufkin, Bryan, March 12, 2020. Coronavirus: How to work from home, the right way. https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200312-coronavirus-covid-19-update-work-from-home-in-a-pandemic. Accessed March 26, 2019


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