Guest Contributor

How Management Can Help Remote Employees Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

By | Charlie Fletcher

Businesses have increasingly embraced remote work due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Remote employees have faced various challenges during this time. One of the biggest challenges for remote staff: maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Why Do Managers Need to Prioritize the Work-Life Balance of Remote Staff?

The pandemic forced many employees to quickly adapt to working from home. It gave these workers the flexibility to complete tasks remotely. At the same time, the pandemic caused employees’ work-life boundaries to collapse.

Work-life balance refers to the equilibrium between an individual’s personal and professional lives. Ideally, an individual can find a work-life balance that allows him or her to feel great at work and outside of it. But, when someone works remotely, their work-life balance can suffer. There are many reasons why this is the case.

A remote employee may be tempted to work long hours. This individual may commit their full attention to their work and inadvertently compromise their personal wellness.

As a manager, you need to inspire trust in your employees. One of the most attentive ways to do that is to tend to the health and wellbeing of your remote employees. One of the best ways to do this: encourage a healthy work-life balance.

If remote employees feel their best, they can consistently perform at peak levels. Plus, these employees can resist the urge to work beyond their means and avoid anxiety, burnout, exhaustion, and other mental and physical health problems. 

Now, let’s look at five tips you can use to help remote employees develop and maintain a healthy work-life balance

1. Establish Realistic Expectations

Let remote employees know what you expect from them. Ensure staff members understand the work they are required to complete and when tasks need to be finished. Moreover, provide employees with ample opportunities to ask questions and share concerns. This minimizes the risk of miscommunications that can otherwise lead to remote staff performance problems.

Set goals for remote employees and provide ongoing feedback. Oftentimes, it helps to schedule daily check-ins and weekly or monthly meetings with remote staff. These meetings let you discuss any performance concerns and questions and allow staff members to do the same.

2. Review Employee Workloads Regularly

Meet with remote employees to discuss their workload and performance. If you notice an employee frequently falls behind on work, work with him or her to identify the root cause of the issue. Then, you and your employee can address the problem and prevent it from recurring.

Brainstorm solutions to remote employee workload and performance issues. For instance, you can implement a hybrid work model that lets employees spend some time working remotely and some time working in the office. This model gives workers the option to work where they feel most comfortable. Don’t shy away from outside-the-box solutions to help remote staff members manage their workloads and optimize their performance, either.

3. Offer Flexible Work Schedules

Eliminate the standard 9-to-5 schedule. Instead, let remote workers customize their schedules. Then, employees can complete tasks at times that work well for them. As a result, these workers can maximize their productivity.

Be patient as remote workers try to identify their ideal schedule. And ensure that remote workers continue to submit their work on time and complete it per your business’ standards, regardless of schedule.

4. Encourage Employees to Take Breaks

Educate remote employees about the importance of taking regular breaks. Workers should take several breaks at different points during the workday. In doing so, they can temporarily step away from the hustle and bustle of work. They can also minimize their risk of mental and physical health issues that can arise due to working too much.

Let remote staff members know to avoid any work-related activities during their breaks. Walking, meditating, grabbing a snack, or other non-work activities can help workers refresh their minds and bodies. When these workers return from a break, they can feel revitalized, to the point where they are ready to perform their best once again.

5. Keep the Lines of Communication Open

Promote open and honest communication across your remote workforce. Let employees know they can reach out to you via a variety of communication platforms. Furthermore, overcommunicate with staff members to verify all personnel are connected and working together to achieve common goals. Remain accessible to your remote staff, too. This ensures remote workers can come forward if they have concerns, and you can help them right away.

Invest in remote communication and collaboration tools as well. For example, video conferencing software enables remote personnel to enjoy face-to-face conversations with one another. In addition, Slack empowers workers to share project concerns and questions in real-time. You can even use an online whiteboard to create a collaborative workspace that employees can access from any location, at any time. 

The Bottom Line on Helping Remote Employees Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Do not let remote employees compromise their work-life balance. Help your remote staff in any way you can. From here, your remote workers can feel comfortable in their roles. And they will be well-equipped to feel and perform their best.

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