A key theme which emerged from our last series of learning events in June 2018 was the challenge of supporting the wellbeing of staff who work remotely. Many delegates have employees based at home, on sites, or on shifts. These workers can become isolated – a welfare issue in itself - and find it harder to engage in wellbeing initiatives. Here’s some examples of what members are doing to tackle this challenge.    

The challenge can be amplified if these staff are contractors who may be with the member company for a relatively short time. They can find themselves moving from client to client and can ‘fall through the cracks’ when it comes to support for their wellbeing.   

So, what did our members share with each other? 

  • Be proactive and reach out to night and shift workers so they do not feel excluded. For example, at Abellio Greater Anglia managers go out to talk to night shift workers, and other staff visit at night to give health checks and dietary advice – preventing them from feeling ‘forgotten’. 
  • Do roadshows around the country if you have dispersed staff. Or think creatively about how to enable them to come to you e.g. time release, pay overtime/travel. For example, Morson International supplies rail workers to a wide range of clients across the UK. Their safety bus travels to clients’ sites to bring health checks and wellbeing advice to their staff on site. Use technology to connect with staff. Some members are using smartphone apps to share health and wellbeing information with colleagues who work remotely, and Skype and videoconferencing can play a part.
  • Work in partnership with local health services, gyms and charities to provide local support for staff who can’t get in to your premises easily. For example, many gym companies have locations across the UK, so your staff may be able to travel easily to the one nearest to where they are based.
  • Provide support and advice on managing work/life balance for home workers e.g. suggest a cut off time for using electronic devices and checking emails. 

Do you have any innovative ways to ensure you take an inclusive approach to health and wellbeing across your organisation? Share them with us so we can spread the learning across our member community.