How to Thrive in a Virtual Environment


Shannon FlynnManaging Editor at ReHack

Friday, April 14, 2023

Remote working can be challenging for all workers, but particularly for those used to working in a traditional office setting. How can team members remain productive, achieve a work-life balance and be satisfied in their roles?

Article 4 Minutes
How to Thrive in a Virtual Environment

As technology advances and remote working becomes more popular, employees seek new ways to enhance their productivity. Remote working can be challenging for all workers, but particularly for those used to working in a traditional office setting. How can team members remain productive, achieve a work-life balance and be satisfied in their roles?

The importance of a work-life balance and employee satisfaction

Whether working partially on-site or fully remote, employees still want to maintain a high level of productivity, as it impacts their overall job performance and satisfaction. Research from Oxford University's Saïd Business School and telecoms firm BT shows happy workers are 13% more productive than unhappy ones. Job satisfaction and productivity are inextricably linked, meaning employers should take various measures to keep staff happy.

One key component of job satisfaction is achieving a work-life balance. No one wants to work 24 hours, seven days a week, as it leaves no time for them to enjoy their personal lives, recharge their batteries or relax. Sometimes, working in a virtual environment can pose challenges to people seeking a work-life balance.

For example, the US has an “always on” work culture, meaning employers expect employees to be accessible at all times, even outside of work hours. This can lead to symptoms of burnout, which hampers productivity and leads to job dissatisfaction. Therefore, employers need to ensure their workers are achieving a healthy work-life balance, where they can get important work done and still enjoy their personal time.

Key elements to maintain a healthy work-life balance

It’s important that companies do their best to meet their team’s expectations. It can lead to higher productivity, satisfaction, better employee retention and reduced turnover. Here are some useful tips to help workers maintain a healthy work-life balance.

1. Use the right technologies

Looking to maintain productivity and keep people engaged? Consider using a communication platform such as Slack, which allows staff members to communicate throughout the day.

Remote working can sometimes feel isolating, but an instant messaging business platform can help everyone feel more connected. Additionally, these platforms help ensure teams have access to the information they need when they need it, which keeps worker productivity high.

2. Encourage health and wellness

How can people perform well in their roles if they’re not caring for their physical, mental and emotional health? The simple answer is they can’t — employees who don’t care for their physical and mental well-being can often feel less productive in the workplace.

Job burnout is becoming all too common these days and employers must recognize the signs before it’s too late. Encouraging staff members to care for themselves by prioritizing health and wellness is a helpful step in preventing burnout.

3. Communicate well and often

Whether employees work remote, hybrid or in the office, communication remains a key aspect within any organization. Regular and open communication can play a significant role in determining an individual’s success.

Messages at work can often get lost in translation, whether that means workers misinterpret emails or take criticism too personally. Establishing good communication is a critical aspect of modern business. Managers need to encourage employees to communicate well and often to ensure everyone is on the same page at all times.

4. Prioritize mental health

Working remotely can be taxing on a team member’s mental health. Remote work sometimes leads to feelings of isolation or loneliness, as there are no opportunities to shoot the breeze with coworkers, engage in face-to-face client interactions or take a lunch break with a friend.

Employers should let their employees know their mental health needs to be a top priority. A remote worker can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in the morning instead of a commute. Remote work does come with its advantages, such as more flexibility. Employees should be able to enjoy this flexibility to preserve their mental health and remain productive at work.

Learn more: Red Flags in the Workplace: How to Spot Mental Health Problems

5. Host virtual meetings and hangouts

A final way to encourage remote workers’ productivity and work-life balance is by hosting virtual hangouts or happy hours. Inviting staff to join a fun meeting can help them decompress after a long day of work.

A company’s HR department can figure out fun games to play during the meeting, such as Jeopardy! or Pictionary. These activities can help employees feel more connected to their coworkers.

Keeping employees satisfied in the age of remote work

While remote work has its fair share of benefits, it also has downsides. Remote workers tend to maintain the same productivity, which helps companies succeed, but working in a virtual environment is complex. The ultimate goal is for companies to help their team members strike a good balance between their work and personal lives so they can reach their professional and personal goals.

Shannon Flynn

Shannon Flynn is a tech journalist with experience in business technology and consumer IT. She has contributed to sites like International Policy Digest, RobotLab, Finovate and more. Visit for more techie reads by Shannon.


Join the conversation...