HR professionals know by now that remote work is here to stay. But after two years of this setup, is it possible for HR to transform the current state of remote work into something better? 

The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) points out that organisations can start by focusing on the challenges of remote workers: mental distress. Though remote work increases employee savings and productivity, NatCen discovered that it also heightens stress levels. As such, there may be a greater need to offer perks that can improve worker well-being, starting with these essentials below: 

Mental health support 

As we reported previously, mental health charity Mind found that 300,000 employees lose their jobs annually due to poor performance because of mental health issues. Without these workers, the UK economy loses £74-99 billion each year. 

As such, it’s crucial to raise mental health awareness in the workplace through things like virtual training programmes. This allows team leaders to spot warning signs and offer much-needed support for their team members. You can also offer flexible working hours so that workers can get adequate breaks. 

Home office equipment 

While equipment is already provided for in-office workers, many companies don’t offer the same tools for remote employees. Unfortunately, this can affect both the well-being and productivity of your employees. 

Ordinary furniture may seem like a good substitute for home office equipment, but a guide by Pain Free Working points out that ergonomic work accessories can relieve any body pain caused by the wrong working position. To illustrate, providing standing desk converters can help remote workers in minimising pressure on their lower bodies, and even getting a bit of exercise in during their work day. By subsidising workers’ home office equipment, companies can minimise the lost productivity and mental distress caused by body pain. 

Childcare assistance 

Since remote work offers greater flexibility, parents can spend more time looking after their children at home. But while this is an advantage, People Management points out that numerous parents end up maximising their leaves to juggle childcare and working responsibilities. Unfortunately, leaves are limited, leaving parents to worry about their children while they work. 

Becoming a working parent is never easy, which is why organisations need to provide childcare assistance. This benefit can cover daycare expenses, which will leave your employees free to work without worries. 

Virtual mentorship programmes 

Mentorship programmes can boost a worker’s career satisfaction and reduce their stress levels. However, a survey by YouGov revealed that more than 60% of senior leaders believe that it may be difficult to develop young professionals without in-person mentorship. The disparity in opportunities for development because of this barrier could further distress those who work remotely. 

The good news is that it’s possible for HR professionals to launch virtual mentorship programmes. The organisation can make use of apps like Mentorlink or eMentorConnect, which facilitate mentor matching, goal-setting, and progress monitoring. 

Remote work has a lot of great perks, but it comes with its challenges as well. Should HR managers offer the above benefits, it becomes easier to ensure that remote employees can remain healthy and productive at work. 

This blog post was written exclusively for HRTech247 by Tamara Tyler.