With businesses working more and more from home, some enjoy the change, whereas some struggle with the work/life balance of setting up their laptop in the same place they have breakfast in the morning. But why is it so important, now more than ever, to monitor your team’s wellbeing?
It’s no secret that a happier, healthier team member is more likely to be productive and engaged in their roles; working from home is no different. So, when team members find themselves distracted by their children who would usually be in school, or in contrast lonely as they are isolated and alone, is when emotional and physical well-being can start to suffer.
This again can affect work productivity. Here are some basic procedures to have in place to support your team from anywhere:
- Have everyone on your team’s contact details and emergency contacts up to date.
- Familiarise your team with who to contact if they suspect that they, or someone they live with has symptoms of coronavirus. If a team member was to have symptoms and self-isolate, they need to know what leave and sick pay they’re entitled to.
- Forward relevant government coronavirus updates to your team.
- Check on your team, communicate with them and see if they’re okay!
Now for the procedures that take a little more preparation for team members working remotely:
Tip 1: Get the right software and technology
Make sure you have the right software and technology in place for teams to effectively work and communicate with each other from the comfort of their own home. Team members must know how to use the software and technology to work successfully. Email is a simple and well-known contact method. However, conversations can be misinterpreted when typed out, so introducing other elements like face-to-face Zoom calls or phone calls can be easier and quicker to do as many people receive hundreds of emails throughout the day. And if a team member is isolated at home, that face-to-face call may have a significantly positive impact on their mental health.
Tip 2: Stay connected
Regular contact and words of encouragement for your team are more likely to maintain the productivity and flow of work. Every team member should be contacted by management or HR regularly. Team members may struggle with less support, so it’s important to maintain regular contact with them to keep them connected and prevent them from feeling overwhelmed. So, if a team member has been MIA for a while, it could mean they’re struggling. Regular team catch-ups could benefit a team; each member can discuss and share any challenges they’ve faced.
Tip 3: Keeping up with your team member’s physical health.
Not everyone has an office space at home, so providing your team with keyboards or, providing you could afford it, office furniture to make their workstation as familiar as possible would stop the possible pain of sitting at a kitchen table or sofa. Encourage your team members to exercise. Fitness apps and YouTube video workouts are booming since lockdown was announced, many are free and accommodate people at home with no gym equipment as well as ‘apartment friendly’ workouts with no jumping. Encourage your team members to take regular breaks, whether it’s just to wake your legs up after sitting down for prolonged periods of time or making yourself a drink to stay hydrated.
Tip 4: Don’t forget about mental health
We’ve talked about Zoom meeting calls and team catch-ups but that’s all about business. It’s important to also encourage your team members to be social and talk about stuff other than work, like they would on a lunch break. You could have virtual lunches together, coffee talks, meditation and yoga sessions via Zoom to create a more social atmosphere. Make your team aware of links to mental health support websites and make sure everyone knows that it’s normal to struggle working from home. Managers should stay calm and confident and the team members will most likely follow.
Tip 5: Now maintain it!
We don’t know how long teams will need to work from home, or if it will happen again, so it’s important everything you’ve learned from the previous tips can be maintained consistently over the next period of however many weeks or months. Feedback will help identify if the measures you’ve put in place are working, and if they aren’t you can change and adapt to what works better for your team. Sending out team surveys is a great idea to find out how they feel.
Strive for a happier, healthier and more connected workforce
All these tips will help you monitor your team’s wellbeing so that you can strive for a happier, healthier and more connected than ever workforce despite the physical distance between everyone.