It’s been seven months since the Coronavirus pandemic changed the way we work in the United States. We all thought that we would quarantine for a month or two, and then things would go back to business as usual.
We are sort of back to normal, but many of us are still working from home, and it’s starting to take a toll on our mental health and well-being. In a KFF Tracking Poll conducted in mid-July, 53% of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the Coronavirus.
Employers are faced with the increasing responsibility of protecting their employees’ mental health. While remote working or a flexible work environment can lessen the strain of working from home, more needs to be done to assist remote workers.
Here are 7 ways you can help boost your employees’ morale and mental well-being:
Openly discuss mental health
Mental health is one of the biggest challenges that employees face right now. The tuned-in business leaders know the importance of empowering employees to achieve a healthier mental state. Leaders must create safe spaces for employees to speak freely about where they need help and how they can overcome the challenges they are dealing with.
Great communication within your organization goes a long way to allaying anxiety for your employees. As you make decisions related to the Coronavirus, share them with you employees as soon as you can. The fact that you have a plan in place will give them some peace of mind. Employers should encourage open communication about any concerns with employees, especially when it comes to the well-being of themselves and others in the company.
Give back a sense of control
Employers can give back some sense of control to employees by being more flexible instead of rigid or overbearing. For instance, parents may need to set flexible hours so they can continue to work and help their children with online learning. Managers can encourage employees to structure their days to provide them with a sense of control, such as how they organize their work, what time they eat, or when they exercise.
Reduce digital overload
Over-reliance on screens has taken a toll on productivity as well as mental wellness. The annual Workplace Productivity Report found that 3 out of 4 workers surveyed were experiencing digital overload. Many workers are returning to using notebooks, sticky notes, or even a walk around the block to refocus and take a much-needed break from the screen.
Unplug from work
Early on in Covid-19, employees became so exhausted by the back-to-back Zoom meetings. “Video fatigue” set in. One of the best ways to relieve stress and create a better work/life balance is to do something that is completely unrelated to your job. For instance, go for a bike ride, clean up your landscaping, get crafty, read a book – anything that will take your mind off of the stress of work and meetings.
Create a sense of community
As an employer, you can help your employees create a sense of community. If an employee is an introvert, he or she may be perfectly fine working from home. However, more extroverted employees may feel disconnected when working remotely. As an organization, create opportunities for employees to get together and have fun. For instance, set up a virtual meeting to play games, host a virtual cocktail hour, or just ask how everyone is doing on the weekly check-in call.
READ MORE: 8 Ways To Keep Your Remote Workforce Healthy
As an employer, if you see an employee who seems stressed about the Coronavirus and remote working, they are not alone. Reach out to any employees that you feel may need some help. Start a dialogue – ask how they are doing and if there’s any way that you can help them. Also make sure you touch base with employees who are quarantined due to the virus. They will appreciate the extra attention and support!
Employers who are empathetic and know how to connect with people can give their employees a sense of purpose. Help them rise to the challenge and give them the tools to protect their mental health. Those employees will emerge stronger than ever from the crisis!
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Book a demo today.