Among the words that are now commonplace in our lingo – like social distancing, herd immunity and furloughing – wellbeing is the one justifiably jostling for first place.
The welfare of employees has arguably never been so important to businesses.
With many people now working from home, there are significant mental health implications.
There are no more quick chats by the coffee machine, no more office banter and no more football or rugby catch-ups. This is compounded by people worrying about the virus, the economy, schooling and how the ‘new normal’ will look.
Stress and anxiety will be heightened, whether or not an individual has been furloughed. Employees may be living on their own, in relatively cramped conditions not necessarily suitable for working from home.
Communication is key.
Keeping in touch with all staff, including those furloughed, is important.
We recommend that managers and leadership teams have regular conversations with their people, there are endless creative ways to stay connected. A nice thing to do might be to have a weekly video conference with the whole organisation, assuming everyone’s home-working technology is up to it.
Other examples are: virtual cuppas booked into the diary to replicate chats by the coffee machine; collective cookie-baking, Zoom meetings, conference calls with staff and just generally keeping in touch.
Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May) is seeing many businesses run remote mindfulness sessions.
Keeping in touch and caring for employees and generally embedding a positive culture of health and wellbeing throughout the business is very important in these strange times.