Managing Employee Anxiety While Remote Working

April 8, 2020


Rebecca Batisto
Managing Employee Anxiety While Remote Working

April 16th is Stress Awareness Day. Occupational stress and the general anxiety of being quarantined are starting to melt together, leaving a potential for more workers’ comp claims than ever. As we’ve reported, telehealth workers are available for people stuck at home, but getting appointments can be difficult at this time as the number of people needing an outlet for their anxiety grows.

Now is a great time for employers to provide ways that employees can relieve stress while remaining loyal to the employer. So, we decided to take a look at the main stressors and offer ways to relieve those stressors. Feel free to share these methods with your employees.

Feeling Overwhelmed/ Scattered

The office provides a structure for the day. There are always tasks to do, management to give immediate feedback, and few distractions in the way of completing work. Not so at home. There’s homeschooling, laundry, cleaning, cooking, and the lure of Facebook, or Netflix in the living room. And then there are the constant news reports. But let’s stay on track…

We need a way to stay focused and feel like we have completed something at the end of the day. No method is going to be perfect, but this is not a time for perfection, this is a time where good is good enough!

The Pomodoro method is very good.

This method (that has been around for several decades), times you while you work in blocks of 25 minutes. Then, you get a 5-minute break and back to work. There are four rotations before you take a 25-minute break.

If you’re trying to homeschool, you can try training the kids to work independently for 25 minutes before earning a 5-minute break where they can ask questions. This won’t work for all kids, and it won’t work every day, but it can help. And, at the end of the day, you’ll be able to see what you completed. That will give you a fantastic feeling of accomplishment!

If you are not homeschooling, you’re still probably feeling overwhelmed. The Pomodoro method app will help you to stay structured throughout the day and earn the reward of Facebook or Netflix during your 25-minute break.

Feeling lonely

No matter how hard we work, the office environment provides the opportunity to socialize. Even if you’re in a house full of people, the home office is not the same kind of social. Many of us miss our friends and coworkers, and we appreciate the new conversation that seeing new people generates.

Social Times

To help employees get “out,” set up extracurricular activities (completely optional, of course), like happy hours, book clubs, or recipe swaps through your virtual meeting app. Our friends at Abask Marketing are doing a virtual happy hour via Google Hangouts, where they swap hosts each Friday, and each host is responsible for creating a new cocktail and bringing conversation topics that are NOT news-related! This method would also work for recipe swaps or book clubs.


Another way to socialize virtually and stave off loneliness is by creating fun contests. These are also entirely optional, and the winner gets bragging rights only.

Contests we’ve seen:

  • Fitbit steps tracking
  • Most unusual coworker
  • Fanciest cake/ best-looking bread
  • Funniest photo of the day
  • Best dressed to the virtual meeting

As we all learned in high school, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs shows that we require human interaction to be happy. Quarantine is different for every employee. Whether you have a house full of people or live alone, we could all use an ounce of normalcy. Let’s get back together, even if there’s a screen between us.

At Normandy Insurance, we take the health and wellness of our clients and their employees very seriously. If you have questions about health conditions that can lead to a workers’ compensation insurance claim, please contact us today:

Learn about becoming an agent: Becoming An Agent | Email Us: | Call Us: 1-866-688-6442

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