How to manage mental health in remote work?
The recent pandemic has taken a huge toll on a person’s mental health. But there has been some research going on about it. There has been some data released about it, according to which the US workers are spending a lot of money on their mental health problems in terms of psychiatric visits and medicines.
So, how does remote work affect the mental health of the employees.
Although people have become more aware of mental health now, there is a lot more required. The people should not attach any taboo to the mental health of employees. When people don’t think going to a psychiatrist is derogatory, and then it can lead to positive results for those who are suffering from depression.
There have been reports released by WHO as per which employees sometimes suffer from increased stress due to workplace problems. This can cause a decrease in enthusiasm and result in outcomes like reduced performance, problems with other coworkers, and increased leaves. The companies are then left with no choice but to fire such employees. Also, companies do some checks on the background of employees to know about their mental health issues. Therefore, people with such problems are unable to get employment. But, the solution is the opposite, i.e. employees with such problems should be reemployed to help them recover from this problem.
So, it is kind of a challenge before a company to make sure that the employees don’t suffer from such problems in the first place.
But, with the current situation, mental health has become a recurring problem with employees working from home i.e. the remote work culture. The employees work in a secluded environment with no interaction with their coworkers. The employees don’t have much interaction in a video conferencing call. There must be changes made to remote work to make sure employees don’t suffer psychologically.
How can employees have better mental health?
Although companies do take care of their employee’s mental health, the programs can be different from each other. Some companies try to lure employees into having better fitness parameters like blood pressure, cholesterol and more exercise. So, employees who attain such parameters get incentives. Employees can also get rewards if they cease smoking. But, in the USA, there are counselling websites which the employees can reach out to through chat messengers and video sessions. On the other hand, when the companies have workplace counsellors they are aware of the company’s ambience also so they are better able to guide employees. The companies can recruit such counsellors on a permanent or temporary basis.
Some companies in India have appointed counsellors in these times where employees can discuss their problems. These video chats can be asynchronous where employees have talked about their problems.
For example, Microsoft India is one such company, where counsellors will talk about mental health problems with both managers and employees which can arise with remote work.
Despite counsellors, employees don’t want to get treatment because it’s considered ludicrous. However, they can be educated about its benefits through instructional designing and elearning. Since the employees don’t have access to workplace counsellors in remote work, the company leaders should take their place. They should be able to detect the symptoms of anxiety in employees. They should be able to offer guidance to employees and resolve their problems with empathy. Leaders should be able to listen to problems employees are facing in remote work without having a negative attitude. The leaders can also provide advice to employees about how they can get rid of their mental health issues in virtual work.
Role of elearning in improving mental health
This is the job of the Learning and Development Teams now to make sure that employees don’t have mental health issues when they are working from home. There can be huge effects on a company’s productivity when the employees face mental health problems like depression.
The elearning USA can be a good way to make sure employees don’t feel bad about seeking help for mental health. For example, the elearning vendors or the L&D team of a company can make sure that they develop videos to change the mindset of employees about mental health. They can also make sure that employees are shown elearning videos involving characters and stories about how to deal with their mental health problems. There can also be a communication plan scheduled with leaders for employees to converse about such problems.