Coronavirus – looking after your team

The challenges of staying at home and managing your team whilst they all work from home will be new to many of us.

As well as juggling working from home with home-schooling, shopping for essential groceries and looking after your family, you have a team of staff to look after and manage. It’s likely that the current situation will continue for a while yet to keep everyone safe during the coronavirus pandemic and this can affect our mental well-being. So, as well as looking after your family and your business, it’s important to take care of yourself and your colleagues.

Here we share some great tips from Mind on supporting your team’s well-being as well as your own whilst working remotely.

Maintain a positive work/life balance and encourage your team to do the same

It’s easy to work longer hours and take fewer breaks when working from home. Try to make the working day as normal as possible with coffee/tea and lunch breaks. If possible, get some fresh air and encourage your team to do so as well.

You might find our article on working from home useful to review and share with your team.

There’s also a useful video guide produced by the HSE to make sure you and your team have your office workspace set up correctly to avoid creating issues such as back pain.

Keep in regular contact with your team

Working from home can be isolating and lonely. Put in a structure to make sure you and your team have regular check-ins. Schedule in calls on a one to one basis as well as team catch ups. There are several online platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Gotomeeting and Zoom that can provide virtual meetings and conference calls. Make sure conversations include everyday topics as well as work-related issues – just as they would if you were all together.

Create Wellness Action Plans

This is an uncertain and worrisome time for many and some of your team may need additional support.

Wellness Action Plans (WAPS) are an easy, practical way of helping you to support your own mental health at work, and if you are a manager, helping you to support the mental health of your team members.

Everyone can complete a WAP, you don’t need to have a mental health problem in order to feel the benefits. It just means that you already have practical steps in place to ensure you are supported when you aren’t feeling great.

Mind have two free WAP guides available which can be downloaded for free by registering here – one for line managers and one for employees.

Encourage your team to use the support available

Whatever well-being support your organisation has available, make sure your team knows about it and how to access it. Some employee benefit policies, such as Group Income Protection often include an Employee Assistance Programme – or you may even have a separate policy for this. Remind your team of what’s available and how to access it.

If you’d like to find out more about Employee Assistance Programmes or HR Support, do not hesitate to contact our team.

Where to find more support

We know that this is a worrying time for everyone with lots of uncertainty and potentially difficult choices for both employees and employers. Mind offer  more guidance via the Mental Health at Work coronvirus toolkit which brings together a selection of helpful online resources to support people at work with their mental health during this period.

We’ve also put together some great tips and advice on mental wellbeing whilst staying at home in our recent article on this topic with links to the professional support that’s widely available.

Stay safe and keep well.