October the 10th is World Mental Health day and an important time to take stock with the way we work. On average, 75.5% of adults are in employment, spending one-third of their life at work and there were 12.8 million working days in the UK lost in 2018/2019 due to work-related stress, depression and anxiety.
With businesses all over the country navigating through the Covid-19 pandemic, it is a confusing and stressful time for many. Supporting our own mental health and the mental health of colleagues has never been so important.
A new type of working from home
Before the coronavirus pandemic began, it’s estimated 1.7 million people in the UK were working from home whereas now there are around 20 million people who have relocated to a home office environment in unpredictable circumstances. For some this offers huge benefits, for others they are affected with the pressures of family, local lockdowns and financial concerns. All of this will be weighing heavily on your employee’s minds and that needs to be acknowledged.
Spotlight have provided a list of tips for employers to support their team during this difficult time.
Working from home can be isolating so it’s vital you and your team have regular virtual check-ins. The Spotlight team have a conference call every morning to discuss the agenda for the day, acknowledge performance achievements and most importantly ask each other how we are. Tools like Zoom Communications and Microsoft Teams make this incredibly easy. Keep your Microsoft Teams active during work hours so you can bounce ideas off each other like you would in an office.
Provide access to digital mental health resources
Wellness support of any kind is beneficial so whatever your company has available, make sure your team know about it and it is easily accessible. By offering your employees access to digital mindfulness resources, you can help them deal with loneliness, stress or issues related to the coronavirus pandemic. All these initiatives will improve your employee experiences and, in the long-run, strengthen your employee branding.
A few examples include: Welbot and The Mindful Employer who provide telephone access to NHS Psychotherapists at any time.
Keep staff up to date with government information from trusted sources
According to Ofcom’s annual news report, 50% of adults in the UK now use social media to keep up with the latest news. While it is tempting to share information, having access to good quality information about Coronavirus can help you feel more in control. The World Health Organisation (WHO), The UK Government and the NHS have pages set up to report the latest statistics and guidance to follow.
Be a leader
Remember the days of patiently waiting in your airplane seat ready for take-off? The crew always state how you need to put your own oxygen masks on before helping others around us. You are unable to support your own team, if you are not looking after yourself first. Making time in your day to reduce your own stress and anxiety. Go for a walk, take up meditation, practice mindfulness or get some exercise and make sure you also have your own space.
Flexibility and setting expectations
Right now, your team has a lot going on and regular working hours may prove tricky for some. Pay attention to your employee’s circumstances – are they alone, do they have children, have they moved home or do they have any pre-existing mental health challenges? It is important to understand the pressures that everyone is facing outside of work and be openminded. Rather than focusing on the number of hours worked, shift your attention the number of goals achieved. Have faith in your team, provide flexibility and help them prioritise what’s important.
Teams that are supported by leaders who inspire and listen, will emerge stronger and more able to succeed.
NICOLA MONGON is the MD of Spotlight Recruitment, the leading marketing recruitment agency in the UK since 2008. Read our 5* Google reviews from candidates and clients to find our more. If you would like to discuss recruitment, you can reach Spotlight on 020 3008 4254 or firstname.lastname@example.org.