The way we work has changed drastically over the last year. Where previously we were in an office-based workplace, we’re now finding ourselves working from home with childcare and wider responsibilities adding extra strain to our working day.
To help out, our team have compiled a few tips to help support your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of your team under challenging circumstances.
Take a break
We sometimes need to rein our own teams in. Colleagues may regularly work throughout their lunch break to make up for time lost due to home circumstances. Remind your team that a lunch break is as important as any meeting and time to recharge your batteries during a work day remains vital, no matter the circumstances.
It can be easy to spend all day sat in front of a screen so as well as their lunch break, encourage your colleagues to take a short break several times a day. Use this time to make a cuppa or a take a short walk.
Keeping fit and healthy
Aside from the obvious physical benefits of exercise, there are tremendous mental health benefits associated with regular physical activity. Encourage your team or colleagues to take part in regular exercise - this may be something that you could allow time for during the working day.
Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is also be beneficial to everyone. Point your team in the direction of all the free tips and help for maintaining a healthy diet that can be found online.
Talk to each other
Make sure you’re regularly touching base with your team. We’re all getting used to this now after many months of home working, but it can be something that can slip. A casual chat to check how life is going for a colleague can also benefit your own wellbeing. A whole team cuppa and a catch-up online is a great way to bring everyone together. You can even encourage your team to bring the kids or pets along to say hello.
Take some time for yourself
Even though we’re all working from home it’s still important that colleagues take a break and have some time away from work. Maintaining a good work life balance is definitely more complicated in the current environment, but not impossible. Taking some annual leave will help you and your team to avoid burning out over the coming weeks, especially if people have the added commitments of home-schooling.
Remind your team their annual leave is still available to take, even if they can’t currently use it on a trip to an exotic location.
Staying motivated is going to be challenging for all of us. Try setting some personal goals for your team that go beyond the regular targets you have for work. This may involve personal and professional development goals that will have a longer term benefit in the future. It’s important your team continue to look ahead and not just focus on today’s challenges.
Act on any warning signs
If you’re worried a member of your team, or a colleague, may be struggling with their situation then don’t hesitate to offer support. This could be a soft intervention such as a quick chat or could involve pointing them towards further advice.
If your workplace has an Employee Assistance Programme encourage your team to take full advantage. If you don’t have this available there’s a wide range of support and guidance from mind.org.uk.