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March 17, 2020 Amelia Wilcox

The Challenges of Working Remotely

Creative ways to reduce stress at work

As more and more businesses around the world move to a virtual workplace during the COVID19 pandemic, employees are encountering the challenges of working remotely. We know you want your team to feel supported, but as an employer, you may be concerned about keeping your team productive and connected. We’re here to help ease the transition, by identifying the biggest stumbling blocks, and creative ways to reduce stress at work. Turning these challenges into successes! Read on to learn more. 

woman lying down and typing on laptop

It may come as a shock to you, but a report from the United Nations International Labour Organization actually discovered that remote employees are more productive! However, they are also more susceptible to poor ergonomics, home life distractions, feeling disconnected, working longer hours, and unproductive health choices.

The Challenges Virtual Teams Face


Poor workplace ergonomics

Working from home might mean your team doesn’t have a traditional desk, monitor, or a comfortable chair. Without their traditional office space, they may be susceptible to working from uncomfortable positions that put strain on their bodies. 

Some ways to reduce stress at work due to discomfort are to make sure your staff has the means to set up a workstation at home. Perhaps offer an ergonomics budget to each staff member to purchase something that supports their workplace wellness, or encourage them to work from locations that encourage good posture (rather than the living room couch!). Another way to help combat any aches and pains incurred from working remotely is through virtual wellness classes. Yoga and exercise have been proven to improve posture, and massage eases muscle tension. Our virtual classes can offer these benefits to your employees, making them more comfortable in their work from home environment. 

Work from home challenges

Home life distractions

While an office has its own distractions, working from home can mean kids are underfoot, a spouse is present, pets want attention, or someone is ringing your doorbell! It’s easy to get pulled into conversations, helping around the house, child care, cooking… the opportunities for distraction are endless. So how can you keep your team focused?

Setting the boundary of a specific work location and schedule (more on that next!) can help families know when you are and aren’t accessible to them. Having a dedicated work space can make a huge difference in solving some of the challenges of working remotely. If you don’t have the room in your home for a full office, you can still set aside space just for you! Make your own cubicle with tri-fold cardboard so your new ‘co-workers’ will feel less inclined to chat with you. Or perhaps don a pair of headphones while working, so it’s easier to focus on the work at hand. 

Management can help support their team’s ability to focus at home by making sure their team is empowered to take breaks. This will make sure they have time for all those extracurricular activities and can return to work worry-free!


Working longer hours

Surprisingly, working from home often means employees spend more hours working and don’t take as many breaks! As a remote company ourselves, we completely understand the challenges of defining your work day. Since there’s always more work to do, and you don’t have the definite boundaries of arriving and leaving the office, it can be easy to start working the moment you wake up, keep working past 5, and forget to take a lunch break.

Solve this issue by defining your schedule. Maybe your team sticks to a traditional 9 to 5, or perhaps you split it up differently. Whatever you choose, try your best to work only those hours. Support your team in logging off completely after a certain hour, and make sure they don’t feel like they have to answer at all hours of the day (or night!). One great way to make sure your staff takes a break is to schedule a healthy activities led virtually by one of our online trainers! Pick from yoga classes, meditation, massage and more to make your lunch break work for you.

Virtual yoga solves challenges or working remotely


 Feeling disconnected

Going from seeing coworkers in person to working in a virtual office can be challenging for some of your staff. If your team is feeling lonely it might lead to less communication on projects, added stress, and low morale. 

Cheer your team up, and bring back a positive, connected work culture with virtual platforms! Tools such as Slack and Zoom are typical fare in a remote workplace. Use these to your advantage and make sure your staff is communicating frequently. Having team meetings face to face keeps everyone feeling connected. Add-ons such as, a fun platform that allows you to virtually recognize your coworkers with bonus points, can help your team feel appreciated! Another way to reduce stress at work is online classes that you can take as a team. These classes are a great way to connect virtually! A team virtual yoga, fitness or meditation class can be a fun way to have a shared experience.

Related: Releasing Stress in a Stay at Home World

Unproductive health choices

We’ve discussed the challenges of working remotely, such as the poor posture couches could cause, and the long hours your team might end up working at home. There’s also a likelihood of opening the fridge a bit more often that necessary when it’s so close to your desk. And the chance that forgoing breaks means your staff is skipping exercise, or staying inside all day long. Any time your routine is changing it can be hard to adjust, and create healthy, sustainable habits.

Our experts can help your team with this challenging transition, through yoga, mediation and more. This is a time when one solution won’t fit all. Personalized plans, designed specifically for your team members will have a huge impact on their successful transition. Let our staff support your team, answer any questions, and set them up to reach their personal and professional goals. 

If you’re interested in offering our virtual workplace wellness benefits to your remote team, we would love to help support you in this time of transition!  

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Amelia Wilcox

Amelia Wilcox is the Founder and CEO of Nivati, a leader in corporate massage and employee mental health support since 2010. Her high-growth B2B company provides employee stress management tools that arm businesses with actionable data and positive employee experiences to improve wellbeing, boost morale, and increase engagement.

Amelia has exponentially grown her company from a solo living-room service business to an international technology brand.

Recently listed as a Forty Under 40, Fast 50, Inc 5000 Twice awarded National Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year

Licenses, Certifications & Memberships
Licensed Massage Therapist since 2002
Member of American Massage Therapy Association
Served on Utah Worksite Wellness Council from 2012-2015

Attended Utah College of Massage Therapy
Educated in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the University of Utah

Massage Magazine (AMTA's publication)