The rapid change and disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak demands coping skills that most of us were not prepared for. Your people are experiencing fear of community spread of COVID-19, the loneliness of social distancing and self-isolation, mental exhaustion of routine disruptions, grief for fallen loved ones, and the uncertainty of the future. Now more than ever is the time for organizations to support employee mental health and wellbeing. In fact, research shows that an individual’s employer is the most trusted institution (over media and government) for critical information during this time1.
1. Advise Physical Activity
Allow time for employees to walk outside and step away from their computer, this will help them re-focus and be more productive. Suggest virtual workouts like yoga, boot camp, or cardio & core classes. Even better, schedule a set time for employees to do these workouts together.
2. Host Virtual Hangouts
Being connected with other employees is extremely important, even if it’s virtually. Once a week, host a virtual hang out to discuss topics other than work. Employees can sip on their favorite coffee or tea, you can even turn it into a virtual happy hour!
3. Lead by Example
When employees are working from home they may feel the need to be online at all times. This can lead to mental health and wellbeing burnout. Organizations can amplify these efforts by establishing a routine schedule – check-in meetings in the morning, check-out meetings end of the day to discuss priorities and what was accomplished.
4. Mental Health and Wellbeing Playbooks
Distractions are a natural part of working from home. There are kids and pets running around, dirty dishes in the sink, the picture hanging on your wall is crooked. The list goes on with what is keeping you from your work. Establishing a front and center home base for mental health and wellbeing resources can support your employees while they work from home during these uncertain times. Coaching programs are a great resource for employees and their families for mental health, wellbeing, or wherever they are in their journey.
1Special Report: Trust and the Coronavirus. Edelman. 2020