4 Remote Work Practices That Can Improve Performance and Mental Health

A new survey is out by TELUS International, which is focused on working from home and mental health. 

After surveying 1,000 employees that have been working from home since March, they found that nearly 80% of respondents would consider changing jobs if they found a company more focused on mental health.

Furthermore, four out of five respondents said they’ve found it challenging to shut off from work in the evenings. Over 50% said they’ve not taken a single “mental health day” since lockdowns began. 

This article helps to answer the question: How can leaders help their employees find a healthy work-life balance?

Here we go. 

1. Encourage Time Off

When you’re working from home and across time zones, the workday can stretch 24/7 if a leader doesn’t step in. Make sure your staff know that taking time off is highly encouraged and expected.

Furthermore, a leader must lead from the front. Set barriers on your time, so everyone else knows they can do the same. If you never truly take the time to unplug, then you’ll never be operating at peak performance. 

As Cal Newport has said, “Only the confidence that you’re done with work until the next day can convince your brain to downshift to the level where it can begin to recharge for the next day to follow.” 

2. Embrace Flexible Working Schedules

Travelling the world, I’ve seen people working remotely that have had to get up at 4am just to fit into their company’s schedule. Although, that’s not really ideal for anyone. 

If it can fit your business model, try and give your team members the flexibility to work at a time that’s best for them. Ultimately, it shouldn’t be about meeting a rigid schedule but moving the company’s goals forward.  

3. Block Out the Day 

What’s healthy for effective remote teams is laying out blocks of time where certain things are a no-go. For example, you may institute a ‘no meetings’ policy where zero meetings can be scheduled in a certain time slot. 

This would give employees the time to work without interruption, pause to help children, or simply take a short mental health break.

4. Walk and Talk

Constant Zoom calls can be exhausting. What was once easily accomplished through a casual face to face conversation now has us staring at our screens for hours. 

However, it doesn’t have to be like this. What’s a really good practice is taking your meetings on the road with you, walk and talk on the phone, and leave the webcam at home. 

This allows everyone to get outside, do some exercise and not to mention, many people believe you think better while walking. Thus, it’s definitely a healthy practice.