Keeping in contact with remote-working employees boosts morale 

As senior partner at InHealth Strategies, a population health and well-being consulting company with Baton Rouge operations, Jeff Soileau wasn’t particularly surprised to see that many of his clients experienced an uptick in rates of stress and depression among employees during COVID-19.

Specifically, InHealth Strategies—which primarily helps health care providers with more than 10,000 employees reduce the cost of their health care spending by improving the health outcomes of employees on the plan—has seen at least 75% of each client’s employee base identify as stressed or depressed, with some groups reaching 90% over the past year.

However, the consulting company found that the organizations in its book of business that prioritized reaching out to their teams—communicating about employee assistance programs and other mental health services available—did not see a significant increase in rates of stress and depression within their populations.

The pandemic forced the majority of the workforce into months of isolation, and the lack of regular human interaction, coupled with fears of loss and infected loved ones, has taken a toll on many employees’ mental health. 

However, without daily face-to-face contact, it has been more difficult for employers to assess whether their employees are overworked or taking the right precautions to safeguard their mental or physical health. 

With many Baton Rouge businesses still working remotely, local employers are forced to think creatively and adopt new support tools to keep workers healthy. 

Read the full feature from the latest edition of Business Report, which includes strategies businesses can use to reach out to their employees.