Making sure your employees are healthy and safe during this Coronavirus pandemic is not only about physical health, but also about mental health.
The Health and Wellbeing Survey at Work 2020 report published recently by CIPD and Simply Health reveals that only 31% of managers have the confidence to provide mental health first aid to their staff. Both organisations are advising companies to make sure their staff aren’t at risk of mental health illness, especially during this COVID-19 lockdown. The fear of getting sick, of losing their job or income and the lack of social contact can have some serious consequences on your staff’s mental health.
Our Bristol health and safety experts have prepared these tips for line managers on how to improve their wellbeing and the wellbeing of their staff while working remotely or from home:
When working from home, people can easily go into overworking and it’s ok if it happens every now and then, but in the long term, it can exhaust you and your team. Make sure you start and finish work as if you were going to the office and take breaks and your agreed lunch break. It would be great if you could go outside for a walk and enjoy a well-deserved break.
Isolation can have big effects on the mental health of your staff, especially if they are quite social people. Having regular chats with each member of your team helps fulfil, at some level the need for social interaction. You could also organise a meeting with everybody on your team as a social online event.
There are several communication/collaborative working platforms that you can use to connect with your team members. We prefer Microsoft Teams, because it’s reliable and 100% secure, but there are several other options out there. Make sure you choose one that is simple to use and secure and don’t give up phone or video calling – it has a more personal note that can create a social connection with your staff.
If you are already providing support to your staff, send them a reminder of where and how they can access it. If this is something you don’t provide, now is the time when it’s most needed. Start by asking your staff what they need and go from there. You can read here more about the Mental Health First Aid Course we provide.