09 Nov How To Keep Your Remote Team Healthy
At first, we were fine working remotely, says Melissa Afterman, an ergonomics consultant and environmental health and safety specialist at the University of California, San Francisco. But after about three months, she recalls, “I started getting a lot of phone calls. Being desk-bound in a traditional office can cause “micro-damage” to the body over time. However, Afterman says that long periods of working in awkward positions–propped up in bed or perched at the kitchen counter, for instance–can heighten problems further, leading to pain or even long-term damage.
Tie this physical compromise in with feelings of alienation and anxiety brought on by the isolating working environment that many find themselves in and it’s clear to see why it’s more vital than ever that we invest in our teams’ health, both physical and mental. You can do this by encouraging them to talk more, ask for help and to reflect on their current lifestyles. But how do you communicate these messages sensitively to your team? Here are a few tips to make it a little easier.
Lead by example
If you’re constantly working late into the night and looking visibly burnt out, that sets a precedent for your team’s attitude towards their own work. Simply looking after yourself and your own health can go a long way in promoting a healthy work culture and therefore healthy staff.
We all have those friends or colleagues that can completely alter the vibe of a room when they enter it, depending on their own mood. This influence is inevitable with those in leadership roles. If you’re a good leader, people will look to you as an example and if you are constantly unhappy and stressed, they will feel that energy. Personal life permitting, exercise, good food and relaxation time will always equal a better headspace and so it is your responsibility to live a healthy lifestyle in order to successfully lead by example.
Encourage open discussion about what your team need
Create an environment, both digitally and physically, where your team feel comfortable to share their thoughts, feeling and worries. Setting aside some time specifically for this can help. For instance, planning an open forum or anonymous questionnaires every few weeks can allow you to gain some feedback on what you can do better as an organization to support your staff. Again, leading by example is important and you can encourage these kinds of discussions yourself on morning calls and catch-up meetings by sharing some of your own personal thoughts and feelings, in order to open the door for others to do the same.
Offer to foot the bill
Investing in your employees’ health financially will save you money in the long run. Avoiding preventable health issues can mean less health insurance costs and indefinite time off and a more productive team. For example, offering to pay for new desk chairs for your team can help in preventing neck and back issues and creating a more comfortable and professional work environment for all. However, do your research and suggest a chair that is ergonomically and orthopedically sound so that this money isn’t squandered on something colorful and ‘retro’. Alternatively, if you want to focus on your team’s mental health you could offer an allowance each month for mindfulness, yoga and gym memberships in order to show your team that you’re invested in their wellbeing and encourage them to think more about their individual lifestyles.
Investing your money into the right technology can also help to nurture your team’s mental health and overcome the issues of isolation and alienation that we have come to associate with post COVID working conditions. At Laduma, we know that traditional video conferencing tools don’t facilitate natural communication and collaboration. That is why we’re creating something unique, that will connect your team and make it easier for them to get back to their best. We can transform your current physical spaces into digital hybrid workspaces, allowing you to free yourself from your computer screen. Our technology allows you to work on your walls like a whiteboard, leaving only a digital trace, while your remote team writes and draws on those same walls using stylus-enabled mobile devices. If you want to hear more about our room mirroring, user profiles and round-the-clock support, among other features, contact us using the form below.
The most natural way of working for the post-COVID world is almost here!
Laduma is coming to a room near you in February 2021.