Mental Health Is Important At Work, Here’s How To Encourage Better Health

The economic shockwave of COVID-19 has already caused much ink to flow. Its impact on the activity of companies around the world is immense. But what about its psychological impact on our workforce? In recent months, many people have been forced to work from home full or part time to comply with social distancing measures. In this context, employers have every interest in helping their teams take care of their mental health and well-being at home. Unprecedented risks to the mental health of workers, Encouraging resilience, flexibility and collaboration must be a top priority to avoid the negative consequences of a possible decline. The mental health of your employees is important. A recent WHO report, Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During the COVID-19 Outbreak, highlights the specific negative effects that isolation can have on our mental health. Even after the fact, in 2021, we are still feeling the effects and it is vital to ensure your mental health and that of your workers is good.

Preserving the mental well-being of your team today can help keep your people in good shape so that they are ready for work again. It will also help you deal with any increased workload as you are now probably dealing with workers back in the office. Here are some concrete measures to help improve the mental health of your teleworkers. Be encouraging and inclusive to all. Business leaders must bring out the best in their employees by maintaining an optimal relationship with them. In the current situation, one of the main challenges for managers will be to avoid the “out of sight, out of heart” approach.

Great communication is key 

Also be sure to take care of your communication. Your tone should show your team that you are the calm voice of reason. But also an accessible leader capable of reassuring employees and responding correctly to all their questions and concerns.

Opening up a dialogue with your employees so that you can share your own telecommuting experience can also help build loyalty. It will also aid in your relationships. But be just as attentive to the unspoken. Creating and promoting an inclusive environment in today’s context will help you build a permanent sense of comfort and trust. This will encourage sharing of long-term issues and challenges.

Plan for social (virtual and physical) interactions

The social aspect of physical community work plays an essential role in maintaining our mental health at home. Keep this in mind during the pandemic. Team leaders must find a way to take advantage of digital technologies to inject a social and playful dimension into the work week. These include virtual cafes or Friday drinks, online group games, themed clothing contests, and the virtual celebration of birthdays and achievements. Creating a WhatsApp group or using video conferencing software can also help. It will instill a sense of presence among your coworkers. All of these techniques to maintain connection and cohesion will prevent your employees from feeling like they’ve lost touch. They do not need to have to completely rebuild certain relationships when they return to the office. You can also begin to add more physical things to the mix too. Whether that is a day trip or perhaps some type of game day, you can all come together again. Perhaps you will want to send them a bingo guide and take them out for a game! Or maybe an afternoon playing table tennis. You can bring the fun to your own premises to keep things safer. The important thing is that people are starting to feel more integrated again. Take the necessary precautions for safety but make sure they can still have a lot of fun.

Be flexible and accommodating

Until now, teleworking itself has been associated with increased flexibility in the workplace. It is used to help to improve mental health and well-being. Today, however, companies must go further and ensure that everyone has the flexibility to optimize their new habits. One of the main reasons you may want to give your employees more flexibility throughout the week is the fact that many parents now have to find a balance. This is between homeschooling and full-time childcare. Allowing your employees to switch to an alternate schedule (or even a condensed work week) will help alleviate some of the stress.  Allow them to still work from home if they are concerned. For example if they have a condition that means their immune system is compromised, or they are taking care of elderly relatives. It is at your discretion to ensure that they are happy. 

Set goals outside of work

According to Australia’s leading mental health organization, Beyond Blue, continuing to play sports and other popular activities is essential to maintaining mental health. Therefore, it may be useful to temporarily add some new actions to the usual goals and priorities, not only to promote mental well-being in the short term. And also to promote a better work-life balance in the long term, and thus improve the productivity of your business.

You can, for example, imagine physical exercises that your employees will perform during the day (walking, cycling or even a home gym). You could also give them time to pursue other personal goals, such as learning a language, or a musical instrument. predisposed to routine. Therefore, one of the biggest challenges of full-time telecommuting is clearly distinguishing between different days of the week. To keep every day from looking the same, try to vary your management style throughout the week to provide some variation for everyone on your team. For example, it could be the perfect opportunity to focus on professional development and skill versatility. You can do this by giving everyone time to collaborate with others on new projects. 

Highlight the (possible) resources of the company

If available, be sure to remind your employees of the existence of resources (internal or external) that they have access to. This may be something such as an advisor or a hotline. On the other hand, if you are in doubt about the resources available, contact HR to identify the most suitable support. Not all managers are able to provide the support that some employees might need with mental health. In this case, it is important that all leaders are able to recognize their limitations and identify the most suitable alternative. In this way, your employees will have the means to take care of their mental health now and throughout the transition period back to the office. When they are using resources well, they can offer better customer service and therefore assist the company further.

Mental health at home, a priority

Telecommuting doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to take a hands-on approach to helping your team maintain their sanity at home. Although it is necessary to maintain a balance and a sense of autonomy at all times, the application of a few unique measures during this complex time will help your employees to maintain their productivity. It will also seek to promote their return in the best conditions now that they are back in the office.

Honesty is the best policy

Before the virus emerged, the mental health of employees was already an important topic for companies. This is because executives realized the importance of ensuring their well-being. Many employers now have to think for themselves about how to adapt their activities in the face of the huge restrictions placed on their staff. So this doesn’t mean that you, as an employee, cannot be concerned with your individual situation. Whether your question is about childcare challenges, feelings of isolation, connectivity or equipment issues, or just feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to bring your concerns to your manager. Do not suffer in silence. Seek appropriate support, just like you would if you worked on company premises. If you are supervising a team yourself, it is helpful to consider the following key elements when it comes to the mental well-being of staff.

 

  • Empathize at all times.
  • Ask the right questions.
  • Listen carefully.
  • Understand the limitations of the affected individual.
  • Tell your employees that it’s important to take care of yourself.
  • Refer the person concerned to specialist support.
  • Understand the limitations of the affected individual.
  • Tell your employees that it’s important to take care of yourself.
  • Refer the person concerned to specialist support.

 

For employees to note

Prolonged or repeated stress can make anxiety and mood disorders more vulnerable or accelerate their development. It is therefore important to acquire stress prevention and management strategies in order to maintain a balanced mental health.

There are many strategies for doing this, but here’s a quick 4-step method:

  • Get to know the signs and causes of your stress better.
  • Identify stress management strategies focused on action (how can I act on the cause of the stress?)
  • On perceptions – how can I see the situation differently? And on the accumulated tension and how can I free myself from accumulated tension.
  • Apply these stress management strategies.
  • Evaluate the strategies put in place.