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Thriving in the Virtual Workplace: 4 Strategies for Promoting Employee Well-Being

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Thriving in the Virtual Workplace: 4 Strategies for Promoting Employee Well-Being. Have you ever felt disconnected and burnt out while working from home? You are not alone. The virtual workplace has its benefits, but it also presents unique challenges that can impact your well-being and performance. That’s why, in today’s post, we’ll share with you 4 proven strategies to help you thrive in the virtual workplace.

Thriving in the Virtual Workplace: 4 Strategies for Promoting Employee Well-Being | Beyond Sapiens

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Building a Supportive Work Culture in the Virtual Workplace 

Some might think that remote working simply means equipping your employees with a laptop, and unfortunately, this is what most companies do. However, we have to remember that interacting with others is essential, not only for doing great work but to nurture our social nature as Sapiens.

So, if working from home can give you back some hours of your free time, it might make your 8-hour workday less pleasant. In fact, 50% of remote workers feel lonely at least once weekly, and 70% feel left out of their workplace. So, what can you do to foster a sense of community and social connection among your remote teams?

The idea is to try and re-create opportunities for people to connect with each other in informal settings, just as they would normally do over a coffee break at the office or a happy hour after work. For instance, a fully remote company called Buffer has virtual breakout rooms to encourage employees to connect and chat about non-work-related topics.

They also organize virtual team-building activities, such as trivia games and virtual happy hours. Another great example is GitLab, a company that has been operating as a fully remote company since 2011. GitLab has established a unique approach to building a supportive remote work culture by creating a company handbook that documents all of its processes and workflows.

This handbook is publicly accessible to anyone, including employees, customers, and even competitors. By documenting all of its processes, GitLab has created a sense of transparency and trust among its employees, which has helped to foster a culture of openness and collaboration.

To build a supportive remote work culture, you can take similar steps to encourage social connections and community among your remote team. Virtual happy hours, yoga classes, or fitness challenges, the choice is yours. These activities will support overall employee well-being and, as research shows, will also positively impact performance, making it a great win-win for everyone involved.

Preventing Mental Health Issues in the Virtual Workplace 

Company culture is essential in many ways also when it comes to supporting individual mental health. Mental health has unfortunately become an increasing issue, and many working-age adults suffer from different mental health problems, which can be challenging to detect in a remote work setting.

That’s why it’s crucial to have strategies and practices to prevent mental health issues and provide needed resources for your team members. This can be done in many ways, but a good starting point is to foster a self-care culture within your virtual team.

What this means is that you encourage your team members to take breaks, practice mindfulness and focus, and engage in activities that promote mental health, which all can reduce stress and promote overall well-being. Regular check-ins and support are also essential to promote mental well-being, connection, and feelings of value within a virtual team.

To achieve this, you can schedule one-on-one meetings with your team members to discuss their challenges, provide support and resources as needed, and improve their work-life balance. Since virtual teams often face challenges such as overworking and a lack of social connection, these meetings can help prevent such issues and ensure a productive and healthy work environment.

Lastly, you should always set realistic expectations and deadlines, provide clear communication and feedback, and encourage proper downtime by limiting working times and ensuring sufficient time for rest.

Addressing Ergonomic Challenges in the Virtual Workplace 

There are plenty of spaces where your remote employees can rest at home, but the same can’t be said about areas optimized for work. Working from home, in fact, can come with its own set of ergonomic challenges that can impact physical well-being and productivity.

When your employees work from home, they might not have access to the same ergonomic setup that they have in the office. It’s not uncommon to see people hunched over a laptop on their sofa or working at a dining table that’s too high or too low for proper posture. The result can be neck and back pain, headaches, and even more severe issues such as repetitive strain injuries.

To avoid these issues, it’s essential to provide them with an optimal work setup. Ideally, this would include a proper office chair, a desk at the correct height, a monitor at eye level, and a separate keyboard and mouse. This way, you can ensure that their posture is correct and that they’re not putting undue strain on their neck, shoulders, and back.

But what if you don’t have enough resources for all this? The good news is that there are some free things your remote teams can do to reduce their risk of ergonomic injury. For example, encourage them to take frequent breaks to stretch and move their body and to work in a well-lit area to reduce eye strain. These small actions may seem insignificant, but they can make a big difference.

By incorporating these practices into their daily routine, they can ensure that they’re taking responsibility for their own physical well-being. But if you have the budget, directly supporting proper ergonomics is definitely something to consider. Take the GitLab case study I mentioned earlier; they offer a $500 stipend to each employee to set up their home office. By providing support for proper ergonomics, you can ensure that your remote employees are healthy, comfortable, and able to perform at their best.

Nurture Effective Communication & Collaboration in the Virtual Workplace 

As a business leader, you do want your team to perform at their best, so the last step is to ensure effective communication and collaboration. In a remote work setting, it can be more challenging to establish and maintain these critical components of your company’s operations.

To ensure that your remote team is equipped with the right tools and strategies to communicate and collaborate effectively, it’s essential to prioritize them right from the beginning. This means investing in efficient communication tools such as video conferencing software, chat platforms, and project management software that enable your team to collaborate seamlessly.

In addition to technology, it’s also essential to establish clear communication protocols and guidelines that ensure everyone is on the same page. This includes setting expectations for response times, outlining communication channels for different types of messages, scheduling regular team meetings to stay in touch with your team members, and adjusting the systems if needed.

Finally, remember that fostering a culture of collaboration and communication requires intentional effort. So encourage your team members to connect with one another regularly, whether through virtual coffee breaks or team-building exercises, as this will further improve communication and information sharing in formal and informal manners.

By creating a supportive, collaborative environment where people feel connected, you can help your team work more effectively, regardless of their location.

Summary

Remote working is here to stay, and we hope these 4 strategies will inspire you to improve your virtual workplace towards its optimal level. While if you’d like to redefine productivity in your company, we’d love to help with our neuroleadership and peak-performance-based consulting solutions.

You can always book a free consultation call or read more about our business Beyond Productivity assessment. You can find all the info about our service on this page.

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