As companies continue to shift to remote work, many have turned to employee monitoring software to compensate. And while these tools certainly have several benefits, using them to micromanage employees and invite productivity theater shouldn’t be the biggest concern companies have.

Instead, it should be the happiness and well-being of their remote employees. After all, emphasizing employee well-being has a positive effect on productivity and can improve retention

Remote work is great, but it isn’t perfect. Like other employees, remote workers are also susceptible to burnout and loneliness — which is more frightening than it sounds.

If you want your remote team to be productive, you must prioritize employee experience and well-being. No buts.

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Is employee experience the same as well-being?

From a work standpoint, employee experience and well-being offer the same benefits: better work output. However, they are different things.

  • Employee experience is the way your team members interact with work. It’s how they communicate with each other, trust in processes, and perceive leadership decisions. For example, whether an employee feels safe or scared to push a deadline can be indicative of their overall employee experience.
  • Well-being focuses on the people themselves. It isn’t the measure of their capacity to work but their overall physical, mental, and emotional condition. Simply seeing employees finish several tasks efficiently doesn’t guarantee they’re mentally healthy. 

Employee experience impacts well-being and vice versa. A bad employee experience can ruin a person’s well-being, and an unwell person can unintentionally demoralize their teammates or disrupt workflows.

In other words, the two go hand in hand. You can’t focus on just one and expect results. That’s why we’ll share tips to improve remote employee experience and well-being in your team.

Tips to improve remote employee experience and well-being

1. Perform regular check-ins

Employees are hardwired to stay silent. Unfortunately, remote work heightens this issue. That’s why reaching out to each team member is every leader’s active responsibility — but there’s a right and wrong way to perform check-ins. 

For instance, here are two things you could say to check in with an employee:

  1. Ask them when they can finish a task or submit a report.
  2. Ask them how they are feeling and if they need any help.

Of course, the second option is better. Unless an employee isn’t turning in work on purpose, you shouldn’t pull them aside just to ask them, “When can you do this?” There are project management apps for that. 

This type of interaction is closer to micromanagement than a check-in, and micromanagement is never good for employee experience or well-being.

A check-in should be about the employee, not their to-dos. Frequently talking to team members just to ask how they’re doing or if they’re facing difficulties in their personal lives or at work goes a long way.

Ask about their day or let them share their opinions about a subject you’re both interested in. Then, ask them if work is going well. If they are struggling, it will be easier for them to be honest because you made an effort to care about their life outside of work.

This process is easy to do. Forget you’re a manager for a moment and focus on enjoying a genuine, human conversation.

2. Create recreational channels at work

How many communication channels do you have at work? Maybe you have a Slack channel for announcements, another for work-related discussions, and separate ones for each team or project.

But out of all of your team’s channels, how many are not work-related?

Remember that your employees are people with unique interests and hobbies. It’s only natural that they want to share them with colleagues who may be interested in them too. This is still part of their employee experience.

Why not create channels where they can talk about these topics?

Recreational Slack Channel at Hubstaff

At Hubstaff, we have several of these channels:

  • #random – This is the “catch-all” of non-work discussions that do not fit into other categories. Sometimes, we talk about the news. Other times, someone makes dad jokes. You never know what you’ll find in this one. 
  • #adventures – Our team members share stories and photos of the interesting places they’ve been here. As an international remote team, we love seeing different cultures and eye-catching locations.
  • #what-to-listen-to – Team members can share music recommendations and favorites on this channel. It’s a great channel to visit before you hop into some deep work. 
  • #what-to-play – This is where we talk about video game news and opinions or brag about new devices. (We do not support the console wars.)
  • #personal-family – A channel where we share the most important people and events in our lives. Kids, pets, home projects — you name it.
  • #pub-trivia – Every week, we play a game of trivia with colleagues across the entire company. It’s one of our favorite team-building activities. That said, it can get a little competitive at times (in a good way).

It may seem like a small thing, but having these channels reinforces that not every conversation must be about work. Chatting about outside topics is an effective way to build work relationships. This, in turn, incentivizes collaboration, improves employee well-being, and reduces retention. 

The best part? No water cooler needed.

3. Implement an “always available” policy

Since most people’s definition of “available” is available for work, we have to clarify that we don’t mean this in a work-related sense.

By “always available,” we mean that, as a manager, you should always be available to lend a hand if anyone is having a difficult time. Whether it’s because of an overwhelming workload or personal struggles, you must be ready to support them as soon as they need it.

Nobody wants to worry if their managers are willing to listen to them — especially on top of the other problems they’re dealing with that led them to reach out in the first place. Listening to your employees makes them feel valued, which is crucial to employee experience and well-being.

4. Provide allowances for well-being and self-improvement

The tricky part about employee well-being is that the definition of wellness for one employee can be wildly different from another.

For example, Employee A may be unable to stay focused because their office chair provides no back support and wobbles constantly. On the other hand, Employee B could be bothered by the idea that they’re not developing new skills. Both are concerns that affect each individual’s well-being.

Offering a stipend for well-being and self-improvement is an excellent way to address these problems. They can use it for whatever they need to work better, be it ergonomic equipment or training programs. This also lets your employees know you’re willing to invest in them.

5. Set working limits

Employees often won’t stop working when they need to because of an approaching deadline. More concerningly, some employees won’t stop working because they don’t want to.

To address this, set a maximum number of hours they can work in a specific amount of time. For example, you can set an 8-hour limit per day or a 40-hour limit per week. Using a time tracking tool like Hubstaff automates this process so you don’t have to manually watch your team’s hours.

Hubstaff weekly limits report

Setting limits will ensure they have enough time and energy for activities outside of work and protect them from the long-term effects of overworking, like depression and anxiety. This will help you build an employee experience centered around work-life balance.

6. Use the right tools

As a remote team, you’ll have to depend on software of some capacity to help with most, if not all, of your collaborative tasks. There’s no way around it.

However, you can’t just pick random apps and expect things to go smoothly. Bad software can also hurt employee experience. Remember, software should have a positive effect on your workflow. If a tool delays processes or causes misunderstandings between team members, you should replace it ASAP.

Your remote working tools should cover all aspects of your workflow:

  • Communication – Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom
  • Collaboration and planningHubstaff Tasks, Asana, Notion
  • File sharing – Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive
  • Workforce managementHubstaff

A balanced tech stack will enable your employees to excel independently or as a team, so pay attention to reviews and test each tool thoroughly before making a decision.

7. Lead by example

“But if our boss doesn’t do it, why should we?”

Maybe nobody says that exactly. But what good is having several employee experience and well-being guidelines if your team’s role models don’t follow them?

You shouldn’t ask employees to value their well-being if you don’t intend to do it yourself. If you tell employees to take time off for a few weeks every year, that request must also extend to leadership figures.

Think about it. Managers working 365 days a year can pressure employees to work with them even if they’re on PTO. Not convinced? A 2019 LinkedIn survey found that two-thirds of professionals check in on work while on vacation.

If you take well-being seriously, your team members will follow suit. Your actions say a lot about how you want employees to carry themselves at work, so be mindful.


As complicated as remote employee experience and well-being may sound, these concepts revolve around one simple rule: put your employees first.

Don’t do it because it’s better for your profits or because you want to keep retention rates to a minimum. Put your employees first without asterisks. Let them know you’re there for them. The best thing any leader can do is treat their team members as complex human beings, not just cogs in a corporate machine.

If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business. Increased productivity, better retention rates, and better profit margins will follow. 

Category: Management