As is often the case, there is no single solution to ensuring your team’s wellbeing there are many aspects to consider during these times, working from home, through any transition phase back to work, and into our previous places of employment. These include a good work / life balance, especially if there are children that need care, personal physical and mental fitness.
Give as much team wellbeing support as possible through your skills as a leader; your team will be looking to you for some support, consideration and guidance throughout these times.
Ideas for this include:
Ensure that each team member has all that they need to keep in touch with each other, including a good telephone system, video conferencing, digital platforms such as Trello or Slack and Instant messaging, such as WhatsApp or Microsoft Teams. Any opportunity to keep in touch with individuals or as a group should be taken to keep up the sense of the team and morale.
For many, this will be an alien environment for work home is for personal time, and some may feel that work is an intrusion of that time and space, especially if there is paperwork and tech invading the home. It is often the case that with the right mindset, comfort and technology, many feel that returning to a communal space is going to be another huge change, so easing the team back may well be as big a challenge.
Much of your working life revolved around routine agreed start and finish times, lunch breaks, etc. Try to keep that routine going with our team while working from home and through your journey out of lockdown. It can be far too easy for colleagues to extend or shorten these hours in a different environment such as home, which can make the team wellbeing transition more complicated. Keep that routine humming.
Continued from above, keep those breaks regular and effective. Set aside specific times for these as they probably used to be part of the working day, and their value should be utilised while at home. Encourage social team wellbeing chat during these breaks to catch up with colleagues while away from the normal working environment.
Breaks and out of work hours can also be utilised as part of a regime to keep energised, fit and healthy. We all need the extra stimulus that exercise can bring. Whether Mr Motivator is your thing, online videos or a dedicated outdoor walk or run, encourage the team to do something regular that keeps the blood flowing.
Easier said than done at times, but working from home can lead to distractions taking over during the day, and thoughts about work during other times. Some would say that they work better in small blocks which a workplace environment doesn’t offer, but the temptation to do other things should be tempered by efficiency and respect to circumstances. Encourage your team to determine what works well for them and consider introducing new ideas on returning to the normal work environment.
Yoga has proven to be a great asset to many in these stressful times. Calm and reduced stress levels helps make any workplace more efficient, but with the extra responsibility of home working, mental health and strength will go a long way to making the transition back to work an easier journey. There are apps and videos available at the usual sites to help with the chosen route.
There can be some nonsense broadcast in the papers, on TV news sources and in social media, that trying to find useful snippets can be like a needle in a haystack. Regrettably, the current situation has brought some of the worst moments of fake news in history. Avoid watching rolling news sources and social media feeds for too long. Pick a source to watch or listen to once a day and approach with caution.
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