Social distancing, self-isolation and working from home where possible are just three of the ways governments across the world have said can ultimately help slow the rate of infection of COVID-19. However, in a different working environment, many employees can find it challenging to maintain BAU while keeping a good work-life balance as well as positive mental health and wellbeing.
With this ‘new norm’ being for the foreseeable future, Matthew Dickason, Global Managing Director at Hays Talent Solutions, has looked at steps employers can take to make lives easier for their team in times of crisis.
Addressing anxiety with aligned leaders via daily huddles
In a constantly changing environment there is no doubt increased anxiety about the future, in terms of both personal- and work-life. Being mindful about this anxiety and showing support for not only staff’s physical well-being but perceptive of any increased mental stress is crucial during these times.
While events continue to unfold, one of the biggest causes of anxiety will be mixed messaging meaning frequent communication is important for any company, so employees are not left uncertain about what to do. It is imperative that a leadership team has only ‘one single source of truth’ for staff to reference in the form of a central intranet page, containing updated policies and information on things like sick leave, quarantine procedures and remote working practices.
Management teams should be in constant communication to share updates on the impact and actions being taken, as well as discussing any updates from official health organisations and government websites. Without this alignment you risk having teams working to different assumptions and making tactical decisions.
Ensure open lines of communications with your employees to unite remote workers
In addition to daily huddles, a clear communication channel and protocol should be set up to allow easier management of teams in various locations. In times of mass remote working employers need to consider frequent communication, not only formal communications such as reporting but also general engagement. To avoid the isolation that can come with working from home, especially for those not used to it, teams should be encouraged to create virtual water-cooler moments as well as their usual daily stand-ups.
Make sure your team are aware of the most important points of contact
While there may be multiple people to contact regarding various things on a normal working day, its vital that your team know the most key people to contact, who will be dedicated to answering specific points. This includes
- Questions on company policies
- General questions about leave, absence and pay
- Resources to support remote working and well-being
As many businesses have had to quickly transition into remote working producing tips, tricks and advice for working from home can also help members of staff adjust to their new way of working.
Sending these out in the form of e-mails, guides and reminders on how to stay active and healthy when working from home, how to get access/make the most of collaboration tools and set up your home office for optimum productivity and well-being are just a few ways to help employees through unsettling times.