This is a very challenging time for our workforce, communities and our economy and with that pressure and uncertainty will come effects on individuals mental wellbeing.
It is really important at this time that we acknowledge and act to support our workforce and here are some things to consider and some resource for you to use as you see fit.
Working Well From Home:
In a time where staff are being asked to work from home or self-isolate for long periods of time it is important to have a robust structure in place to support them where possible.
Tips for managers:
- Why not set up a buddy system for your team, so colleagues can check in with other on a daily basis.
- Managers should also be checking in with their staff daily this includes at least one conversation over skype or phone
- You may also want to set up a weekly team catch up for all colleagues to dial into, feeling part of a team is really important for good mental health.
- Managers also need to promote the importance of not working more than 40 hours a week and ensuring staff take a 30-minute lunch break every day even if they are working from home. This means that as a manager you also need to take responsibility for your own mental wellbeing and self-care.
- If you are concerned about a staff member there are lots of national and local services available- https://localoffer.swindon.gov.uk/content/staying-healthy/staying-healthy-content/mental-health-content-pages/mental-health-services/
Tips for staff
- Keep your structure, get up and get dressed, make sure you have a lunch break scheduled, make sure you set clear working hours, don’t work over 40 hours a week.
- Schedule in your check ins with your team in the diary, whether that’s an email check in, call or skype make sure your in touch every day when you are working
- Keep your online calendar up to date, so people can check when it’s a good time to check in
- Set your priorities for the week so you have focus on key projects with your line manager
- Ask for help if you need it, does your employer offer an employer assist programme, can you contact your line manager or HR.
Looking after your wellbeing
Mental Health is something we all have and we all need to look after, it is important during this time to build in measures to support your mental wellbeing, even if you are forced to self-isolate.
Tips for looking after your wellbeing
- Stay connected- social connections are extremely important for good mental health, consider phone, text, skype, stay in touch with friends, family, colleagues on a daily basis
- Keep active- Sport England have just released some great tips of staying active during self-isolation- https://www.sportengland.org/news/how-stay-active-while-youre-home
- Using this time to develop- is there some eLearning you can undertake such as future learn- https://www.futurelearn.com/ this might help you stay focussed
- Would you like some further advice?
- If you are really struggling with your mental health don’t forget there are people that can help you- https://localoffer.swindon.gov.uk/content/staying-healthy/staying-healthy-content/mental-health-content-pages/mental-health-services/
- Set up peer support, are there other leaders you can talk to, can you support each other
- Are you taking all the steps you can to look after your wellbeing?
- Are you keeping active?
- Are you eating well?
- Are you taking enough breaks?
Leadership and wellbeing
During this time it is really important that leaders look after their mental wellbeing, particularly as you may well be supporting a stressed workforce or have financial pressures that you didn’t have before.
Where possible it is also helpful to keep internal communications structured and factual, but also to include communications around wellbeing and other topics other than the Coronavirus, having positive news where possible will have a big impact on positive mental wellbeing.