The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the office workers’ environment, with working from home now the norm, and a hybrid structure likely the office of the future.
Whilst working from home has provided some benefits, the existing health, safety and environment management systems were simply not built to support full time remote working, which has led to an increase in wellbeing issues.
Unity, the remote working wellbeing platform, has launched a set of standards that have been designed to help organisations foster healthy remote working environments that can help workers thrive both mentally and emotionally.
The current reality is that anyone who can work remotely will do so for the foreseeable future and employers need to both understand and prepare for this by providing guidance, support and exercising a duty of care towards their remote workers.
Working alongside remote working experts in the fields of psychology, wellbeing and HR, Unity has created the Remote Working Charter, which sets out 8 standards that employers of remote workers should work towards when building their wellbeing strategy.
Dr Shane Hodgson, Head of Business Psychology at Unity, said: “We believe that the world of work has changed permanently as a result of the unprecedented challenges we are facing. The slow drift towards flexible and fully remote working has been dramatically accelerated, and we need to think long term and invest in supporting the wellbeing of all our people. For any organisation looking to attract and retain the best talent, now is the time to act.”
The Remote Working Charter
The standards, which are underpinned by extensive research, are that an organisation commits to;
- Prioritise the wellbeing of all their remote employees, helping them to adapt to new ways of working.
- Support the inclusion and integration of remote employees into their organisation.
- Reward the ability to produce required outputs while working flexibly.
- Encourage the sharing of knowledge and support collaboration, both inside and outside of their organisation.
- Help their remote workers manage the boundaries between work and home life.
- Develop their remote employees so that they feel an integral part of progress and the organisation’s future.
- Communicate constantly and actively solicit feedback.
- Provide access to the tools, learning and coaching that their remote employees will need.
Each standard describes key organisational practices that need to be in place, to ensure the wellbeing of remote workers is effectively protected. You can find out more and commit to the Remote Working Charter here.