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How to Support Employees in New Work Scenarios

Work and where we do it continues to challenge employers as we wrap up year two of the pandemic. Some employees are returning to offices, while others are staying remote or splitting time between the two. Behavioral health and ergonomic issues are just two areas of concern. How can you best support employees in all work scenarios? And how can the right disability insurance carrier enhance your support?

Back to the Office

Setting a date and inviting workers back to their desks is the first step. Employers must also be aware that some returning employees may be struggling with behavioral health issues. These could include anxiety, depression, and drug and alcohol abuse.

Your employees may also be experiencing physical ailments after working in non-ergonomic setups, like the dining room table. You might see an increase in complaints about back, neck and eye strain.

Anticipate more requests for accommodations and follow these tips to help employees with the transition:

  • Continue to empower leaders to decide how to support their teams, like allowing flexible schedules.
  • For employees who will be sharing workstations, provide ergonomic equipment that they can easily adjust. Consider sit-stand desks with settings for people of different heights and needs.
  • Be ready to complete an interactive process for any employee who requests reasonable accommodations under the ADA.
  • Take time to show that you care about employees. Think beyond products and services, and listen with respect and compassion.

Staying Remote

Support for work-from-home employees should also focus on behavioral health and good ergonomics. Remind them to use employer-sponsored benefits to help with stress-related problems. And encourage workers to follow these best practices at home.

  • Get up and move. Watch Ergo Zombies and read about sit-stand desks for tips on working more activity into the work day.
  • Take a break from the screen. Practice looking away from the screen every 20 to 30 minutes to let your eyes adjust.
  • Sit in a neutral position when you’re stationary for a long period of time.
  • Position your computer monitor at an angle and height so your neck is facing straight ahead.

How Your Disability Carrier Can Help

Disability carriers offer services that can help employees no matter where they’re working. Look for a partner that offers:

  • Comprehensive stay-at-work services that can help employees stay on the job, whether they’re remote, in the office or both
  • Robust return-to-work services that can help with the reopening process
  • Expertise in accommodations, ergonomic equipment, and assistive technology setup and training
  • Case-management services to help overcome barriers to returning to the office
  • Management training for supervisors
  • Behavioral health consultations


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge employers. Find a way to view these challenges as opportunities. This may be your chance to create a nimbler and more effective workplace.

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More About Behavioral Health

Employees’ behavior and responses are affected by many factors, including trauma they may have experienced. Read how a trauma-informed management approach could help your company and workers.
The pandemic has turned most lives and workplaces upside down. But for women, it’s been especially challenging. Take a closer look at the crisis. And get tips and tools employers can share to support women — and all employees — dealing with burnout and mental health issues.
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With so many employees now working from home, behavioral health issues can surface behind the scenes. Explore the challenges employees are struggling with during the coronavirus pandemic — and get a to-do list that shows what employers need to be doing now.
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