As the Prime Minister has said frequently, these are ‘unprecedented times.’ Never before have we required an entire workforce to work from home, with high levels of uncertainty hanging over them. As an employer, it’s your duty of care to look after your staff – even when they are working from home.
Here are some tips:
- Identify any staff who may be feeling vulnerable and who may need additional support.
- Keep in regular contact with your staff, arrange weekly / daily video calls to catch up and get the closest thing to face to face contact. This will help to keep staff motivated and that they are still part of a team.
- Check in on staff regularly, not just about work, to get a better understanding of how they are feeling and the challenges they are facing.
- Encourage staff to take a proper lunch break and regular comfort breaks.
- Be flexible with work hours and times, but come together at set times for the video catch-ups.
- Discourage the sharing of articles, misinformation and other posts about Coronavirus as this can cause more anxiety and stress. Only use official advice channels or verified information (e.g. government websites, BBC).
- Be honest and open about the business and its outlook. Staff will feel reassured if they know you are providing honest updates.
- Be composed and calm. Employees are looking to you as their manager for direction and reassurance.
- Keep staff updated with the latest guidance and advice on how they can protect themselves and what to do if they fall ill.
- Make sure you have a support network to help you as manager. It can feel that at times of crisis that you carrying the emotions and anxieties of your team. Your support network might be family, friends or other managers, even your HR consultant! Find healthy ways like exercise as a way to decompress every day.
- Psychology Tools has created a great guide ‘Living with worry and anxiety amidst global uncertainty’ which is free to download.
- Simpila Healthy Solutions are launching a new Virtual Positive Mental Health Workshop, designed to help companies provide awareness, insights and tools for leaders and managers to provide remote mental health and emotional support to their staff during these challenging times.
- Mind has a number of great resources available for free.
If you would like any advice or support during this uncertain time, get in touch with our team who can help.