Supporting Your Remote Team’s Mental Health

In the new world of work, managers are juggling fully remote employees, employees returning to the office, and some operating under a hybrid model of the two. This can mean that managing employee mental health and wellbeing is becoming more complicated.

According to Nuffield Health, working from home and the potential to return to the office has created its own challenges and anxieties for some employees:

  • 80% feel working from home has had a negative impact on their mental health
  • 36% feel they have to be at their computer to respond to messages quickly
  • 25% say they are finding it difficult to cope with loneliness and isolation from colleagues
  • 30% find it difficult to separate their work and home lives
  • 27% reported difficulties switching off at the end of the day or working week

This means that managers need to juggle the different needs of their employees and how they work. Understanding what can impact remote employees’ mental health and remain available to offer support when needed will not only increase your employees’ happiness and job satisfaction, it will also improve your company culture, keep staff turnover low and improve your employer branding.

Spot the signs of anxiety about going back to work in the office in your team

With hybrid models, part or full-time work in the office on the rise, many employees see this as a source of anxiety and something they will need time adjusting to.

Anxiety is a complex issue and can manifest differently depending on the individual, but a few signs to look out for amongst members of your team during the adjustment of the return to the office are:

  • Reduced productivity
  • Decreased performance
  • Increased mistakes or errors
  • Taking more time off than usual
  • Changes in behaviour

What is professional anxiety?

Professional anxiety refers to anxiety that arises from a range of workplace factors, such as:

  • Starting a new job
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Heavy workloads
  • Tight deadlines
  • Responsibility
  • Workplace conflicts
  • Working long hours
  • A lack of support from colleagues or management
  • Having a lack of direction on tasks
  • Feeling a lack of control
  • Job uncertainty

How to improve mental health in the workplace

Although anxiety is complex by nature, there are many practices you can put in place as a manager that will reduce the professional anxiety your team feels towards their roles. It is no secret that a workforce who feels their mental health is supported is happier, healthier, and works harder.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that employers implement a couple of strategies to improve mental health in the workplace:

  • Make health and wellbeing a priority for management  

This can mean anything from encouraging healthy eating, providing fruit or healthy snacks in the office, to virtual coffee catch ups. It’s about focusing on wellness and coping with the stresses and anxieties of working life in healthy ways.

  • Value the strategic importance and benefits of a healthy workplace

We have already mentioned that having a strong mental health support policy can improve your turnover rate and employer branding, but this can also have a tangible impact on your bottom line as, according to Deloitte, on average, businesses who invest in mental health initiatives will see a £5 ROI for every £1 invested.

  • Encourage a consistent, positive and preventative approach to employee health and wellbeing

By laying the groundwork to prevent your employees from becoming overwhelmed too often by their workloads, they will be less prone to professional anxieties about their performance and their standing in the company.

  • Include employee participation in planning and implementation of wellbeing strategies

Encourage feedback and idea generation from your team, it will allow your wellbeing strategies to be more tailored to their needs and, ultimately, more effective.

At Barclay Simpson we value the importance of positive mental health in the workplace and promote this philosophy amongst our own team, as well as our clients and candidates.

We are an international recruitment consultancy that specialises in recruiting professionals for the interrelated disciplines of Governance, namely Information/IT Security, Risk, Resilience, Audit, Compliance, Legal and Treasury.

When you’re looking to secure your organisation for the future, Barclay Simpson can help you quickly build a technically proficient team.

Get in touch for support in creating a culture of wellbeing