Working from Home: Managers Role in Employee Wellbeing

Fri 22 Jan 2021

The way we work has changed dramatically since the pandemic in 2020.

Where previously we were in an office-based workplace, we’re now finding ourselves working from home, with childcare and wider responsibilities adding extra strain to our working day, which can impact employee wellbeing.

To combat this, employers and managers should encourage:

  • Taking breaks
  • Keeping fit and healthy
  • Talking to each other
  • Personal development/motivation
  • Acting on warning signs immediately

Recent data states12.7% of full-time employees work from home, while 28.2% work a hybrid model. However, research shows 81% of younger workers say they would feel more isolated without time in the office.

One of the challenges for managers who work with remote teams is ensuring employees are working well, their needs are met, productivity is at a sustainable level and employee mental health is supported.

To help out, our team has compiled a few tips to help support your own wellbeing and support mental health in the workplace under challenging circumstances such as working from home.

Read on to discover our tips to improve remote employee wellbeing, and how a CMI Management and Leadership qualification can equip you with the knowledge to effectively manage a team.

Take a break

We sometimes need to rein our own teams in. Colleagues may regularly work throughout their lunch break to make up for time lost due to home circumstances. Remind your team that a lunch break is as important as any meeting and time to recharge your batteries during a workday remains vital, no matter the circumstances

And don’t just take our word for it! Research shows, 90% of employees who take regular breaks reported a boost in their mood!

It can be easy to spend all day sitting in front of a screen, so as well as their lunch break, encourage your colleagues to take a short break several times a day. Use this time to make a cuppa or take a short walk. 

Not only is this good for employee mental health and productivity, but it’s also good for employee retention. Data shows 81% of employees who take regular breaks are less likely to leave their jobs!

Read more: CMI VS ILM: Which Course is Better

Keeping fit and healthy

Aside from the obvious physical benefits of exercise, there are tremendous mental health benefits associated with regular physical activity, such as increased serotonin. Encourage your team or colleagues to take part in regular exercise - this may be something that you could allow time for during the working day.

Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is also beneficial to everyone. Point your team in the direction of all the free tips for maintaining a healthy diet that can be found online.

Some other ways to keep health while working include:

  • Regular breaks and movement
  • Healthy snack choices
  • Staying hydrated
  • Mindful breathing exercises
  • Ergonomic workspace setup
  • Social connection with colleagues
  • Time management and prioritisation
  • Mental health check-ins
  • Physical exercise routines
  • Work-life balance awareness.

Talk to each other

Working from home can be isolating, especially for those who live alone and may rely on work as their only form of social interaction with others through the week. 

It’s important to communicate with managers and employees to regularly interact with colleagues who are working from home. A call once or twice a week with the team can help develop social connections between colleagues and encourage them to talk about their day/week.

Trained managers  should be able to help build a positive workplace where teams are social. 

Here are some questions/cues to boost social interaction on video calls for remote teams:

  • "Let's start by sharing one interesting thing that happened to you this week"
  • "Is there a book, movie, or TV show you've come across that you'd recommend to others?"
  • "Let's discuss any interesting articles or news topics that caught your attention recently"
  • "Who's up for a quick round of 'Two Truths and a Lie' to get to know each other better?"
  • "What's one thing you're looking forward to this upcoming weekend?"

Stay motivated

Keeping a team motivated when working can be difficult when managing remote teams. However, motivation can foster a positive mindset in employees, as it can improve self-esteem and give a sense of purpose.

Here’s a few things you can do to improve mental health in the workplace through boosting motivation:

  • Regular recognition of achievements help foster a sense of belonging and purpose
  • Setting clear goals can empower team members to take ownership of their work.
  • Encouraging breaks and fostering a healthy work-life balance prevents burnout.
  • Virtual team-building activities and social interactions create a supportive environment and strengthen bonds.
  • Offering opportunities for professional development and career growth
  • Rewarding employee development with a salary increase.

Act on any warning signs

If you’re worried a member of your team, or a colleague, may be struggling with their situation, don’t hesitate to offer support. This could be a soft intervention, such as a quick chat, or could involve pointing them towards further advice.

It's vital to foster an environment where team members feel comfortable discussing their mental health concerns with managers. Implementing an open-door policy encourages employees to reach out for support when needed. 

If your workplace has an Employee Assistance Programme encourage your team to take full advantage. If you don’t have this available there’s a wide range of support and guidance available from

Gain a CMI qualification with MOLA CMI course with MOL offers managers a chance to supercharge their skills in leading remote teams while championing mental health. 

Learn top strategies for remote management, boost team unity online, and spot signs of mental health concerns among your team when you complete the CMI manager course. 

Enrol with MOL and discover the benefits of doing a CMI Management and Leadership course.