Technology has a key role to play in supporting employee wellbeing, inclusion and accessibility in a remote-working world.

Across the globe, more people than ever before are now working from home. In 2020, Microsoft Teams saw a new daily record of 2.7 billion meeting minutes in one day. This experience has revealed some positive benefits of remote working: a flexible working day, no commute and a chance to spend more time at home with family.

However, concerns around extended periods of remote working have come to the surface- pandemic burn-out, loneliness and working longer hours.

The challenges of remote working: physical and mental health

When organisations work remotely, there is a risk of people feeling lonely and cut-off from their team and the wider organisation. With face-to-face interaction removed, it can be hard for people to maintain working relationships and feel connected to the community of the organisation. Loneliness can negatively impact mental health and employee wellbeing.

Without the physical meeting rooms and breakout areas of an office, many people are now spending their entire working day in front of a screen. With busy workloads and back-to-back meetings, it can be hard for people to carve-out time in their day to step away from their screen. Being stationary for long periods of time is physically damaging and continuous computer use can lead to onscreen and cognitive overload. Research shows overwork and stress are significantly higher in video meetings than non-meeting work.

Is it working from home or living at work? With the division between work and home life blurred, many people are working longer hours. Work-related stress and fatigue are a real concern for remote working teams. Amid the pandemic, workers have reported increased burnout and rise in work chats between 5pm and midnight.

There are many reasons why a home environment may not be conducive to productive working. Having home-schooling or childcare commitments, a disability or impairment, or simply lacking the space and equipment due to flat-sharing and living situations, can make working outside of an office challenging.

How to support wellbeing and accessibility remotely

What are some of the ways you can tackle the challenges of remote working?

Isolation – create time for social interaction

To help prevent people feeling isolated or lonely, organisations should create time for social interaction. This can be as simple as creating meetings which are solely for conversation,

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