Strategies, services and advice to help keep your employees healthy and your workspaces safe.
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Focus on kindness – not just to others, but also remember to be kind to yourself.
Over the past three months working from home has been a huge focus in terms of mental health and wellbeing, and it’s perhaps fair to say that many companies and their teams are probably experiencing challenges they’ve not faced before. Many employees will be trying to juggle the competing demands of childcare and/or home schooling with new work practices, all while trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Expanding on the idea of kindness, here are some of the ways that you can be kind to your colleagues right now.
For work related matters
It can be unproductive for many reasons to check up on your team too often, but a daily 10-minute video call is a great opportunity to check in – to review how they are getting though their ‘to do list’ their list and discuss any issues they may be having that may impact delivery. When we’re working from home, the lines between personal and work will inevitably become blurred, so remember to be empathetic and work together to find a solution that works for everyone.
And where you can, give your people ‘permission’ to work the hours that suit their needs - if they log on earlier than you then understand that they might finish earlier and vice versa. Or if they need to take a couple of hours off during the day to run an errand or deal with a family matter, be okay with that as much as possible.
As people deal with mental health in different ways, it’s not always easy to see when someone is struggling. Keep an eye out for any changes in their behaviour or general demeanour, such as their appearance, or if they are usually quite house proud and their home starts to look untidy - this could be a sign that something is not quite right. If you can, offer your support, and most companies have some sort of employee assistance program that you can refer them to.
We all know that someone who just doesn’t want to use video calling. You can’t force them, so how can you ‘physically’ see if they’re okay? Try asking them some general questions and listen to their responses. Perhaps they aren’t sleeping as well as they used to, or they aren’t taking the time to prepare a decent lunch or dinner anymore, resorting to food that requires no preparation time like cereal. The occasional bad night’s sleep or easy dinner is okay, but if this is occurring on a regular basis, this could also be a sign that they aren’t really coping.
If you don’t feel like your company is wanted, persevere - it’s important that they know they’re not alone, and empathy shows them they are valued. Allowing someone to talk about their feelings or problems can be more helpful than you realise.