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Five Questions Managers Should Ask Employees Working from Home to Help them Manage Stress

Being able to work from home has a lot of perks but it also comes with a lot of stress, especially with all the added anxiety that the pandemic caused. Case in point, a survey by Mental Health America and FlexJobs, revealed that 42% of employed people are experiencing either high or a very high level of stress.

This is where managers can step in to facilitate the opening discussions about stress management and mental health. To go beyond simple small talk, here are some questions managers should ask their employees.

Checking on Loved Ones

George Rudy/Shutterstock — A sick family member may cause an employee to be distracted from work

Many people who work from home live with other people be it their family, a romantic partner, or roommates. Managers should make sure to ask employees about how these people are doing as well during check-ins.

With the boundaries between work and home being blurred, an employee’s direct environment and the people they interact with would have a big impact on their day to day mood and productivity.

All that’s Needed

Another thing managers should ask employees is whether they have everything they need to do their job well at home. Not everyone can easily adjust to their new work arrangement and it doesn’t help if they haven’t improvised a proper workspace yet.

Help them reassess their situation and find ways to make their environment more conducive for productivity. Some workers have determined that working remotely would be their reality for the foreseeable future and have transformed a space in their home where they can focus without distractions from work.

Work-Life Integration

Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock — Many workers are having a harder time balancing life and work now that both are done in the same place

Managers should also ask their employees about how their work-life integration is going. Working parents may have a harder time keeping up with regular work hours.

See which times of the day they need to take care of their children’s needs and consider avoiding scheduling your Zoom meeting during those hours.

Last Day Off

Ask them when their last day off was and when they’re planning on taking one again. Make sure to emphasize the importance of taking time off so they can recharge and keep stress at bay.

Assure them that they won’t be criticized for taking a break.

Life Outside Work

pikselstock/Shutterstock — Encourage employees to spend more time doing their hobbies with the extra free hours they have

Don’t forget to ask about an employee’s hobbies or passions outside of work. Remind them that it’s the perfect time to devote their time to activities that relax them or bring them joy due to the flexibility of their work hours.

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