How to safeguard your team’s mental health

How to safeguard your team’s mental health

The coronavirus pandemic has forced a significant amount of change and upheaval onto you and your team – in a very short amount of time. We’ve gone from ‘business as usual’ to closed offices, working from home and the full reality of isolation during an emergency lockdown. To combat this change, it’s important to take steps to care for your employees, especially their mental health.

Key ways to take care your teams well-being

There’s no single solution when it comes to taking care of your employees’ wellbeing. For your people to cope with their new enforced remote working life, they’ll need to consider everything from work/life balance, to fitness, exercise or their own mental wellbeing.

As a leader, your advice, tips and support will be vital to your workforce during these testing times. Important areas where you can provide guidance may include:

Getting used to remote working
Switching from working in a busy communal workspace to being isolated in your own home is a huge shift. Provide as much guidance as you can and send your team links to useful remote working resources.

Keeping in contact with each other
Team spirit is a hugely important thing to preserve, even when your people are spread over different locations. It’s crucial that your employees can communicate with each other in real time. Whether it’s instant messaging, or the many different video conferencing platforms, such as Google HangoutsZoomSkype, or Microsoft Teams.

Sticking to some form of routine
A big part of any working day is routine. Having a clear routine provides structure for your employees day. It makes it easier for them to know when they should be working, and when they should be relaxing.

Being conscious of work/life balance
When you work at home, it’s imperative to get the balance right between ‘work time’ and ‘home time’. Give your team a rough idea of what hours they should be working, and between which times, but let them be flexible about how they use that time.

Having frequent breaks away from work
Another very important element of the working day is breaks. In a normal workspace, tea breaks and catch-ups serve to break up the working day, so make sure your team take regular screen breaks. It’s a chance to relax and let your mind recharge.

Taking regular exercise
When you’re cooped up at home, it’s tempting to sit all day. But we all need some form of exercise during the day to keep us energized, fit and healthy. Whether it’s following a YouTube exercise routine, or running around the block, ensure your team does something to get the blood flowing.

Focusing on mindfulness and mental health
Taking measures to reduce stress and become more calm is vital for your team’s mental health. Keep the lines of communication open. Encourage them to seek professional support if stress becomes overwhelming.

Limiting exposure to news and social media 
Watching rolling news reports on the pandemic, or constantly getting notifications from your social media accounts, serves only to add to your team’s stress levels. Suggest that they check the news via one trusted source once a day, but try not to let themselves be bombarded with updates.

Concerned about employee engagement? Check out our post ‘What Is Employee Engagement and Why Does It Matter?’