The past two years of uncertainty and worry during the pandemic have been a challenge for many, with studies showing that the mental health effects of the ongoing lockdowns, isolation and loss will be felt for many years to come.
With homeworking becoming the norm for many employees, there’s a variety of mental health concerns to consider when preparing for 2022.
2022 – The Year of Wellbeing For Your Staff
A survey of 5,500 workers by Lloyd’s Registered found that 52% of homeworkers feel they have a better work life balance. However, 70% of the survey participants also revealed that working from home had increased their stress levels due to working longer hours, feelings of isolation and heightened anxiety. A worrying 48% of respondents felt that they would be unable to tell their managers about their issues due to fear that it could negatively impact their careers. If employees are anxious and stressed, their work will also suffer as a result.
Make 2022 the year of wellbeing for your staff by supporting their mental health during this highly difficult time. Here are some tips on how to deal with apprehension and anxiety, while also promoting productivity and managing performance.
Plan regular communication with your staff to ensure they know you are with them every step of the way. This could be group team meetings, one-to-one catch-up calls, an online community workspace, or training webinars to keep staff engaged and motivated. A combination of all of these would be most effective to ensure you are keeping in regular contact with staff and they feel part of the company community. Click here for more on remote leadership or leading from a distance.
Open and Honest
Encourage staff to ask questions and give them honest and open answers. Staff may be worried about redundancies, business closures, catching COVID if they come back to work, and various other fears. By encouraging employees to open up about how they are feeling, you are able to talk things through and reassure them, while also getting an insight into your staff’s key concerns.
Assess How Staff Are Coping
Utilise online workplace assessment and support packages which can help gain insight into how your workforce are coping with homeworking, and how you can better support them remotely. There’s a wide variety of employee support packages online to explore, which can highlight issues such as inadequate equipment at home to complete tasks and lack of communication from managers. Some online tools can also send employees wellbeing surveys to assess their mental health while at home.
Adapt As Necessary
Make reasonable adjustments when necessary. In certain cases, if an employee is having considerable mental health problems, it is the law to provide reasonable adjustments, even when homeworking. Some reasonable adjustments include reducing or amending working hours, reducing workload, support with time management, and increased supervision from managers. The most important thing here is to involve the employee in these conversations around adjustments so they feel they are being supported sufficiently.
In these difficult and uncertain times, a bit of support from the workplace can go a long way in reassuring staff. When workers feel like they are being cared for, the results are most often seen through increased productivity and improved performance.
Here at Call of the Wild, we offer a host of training courses aimed at helping organisations improve staff resilience and implement management working practices that can help mitigate the worst effects of many of the issues mentioned in this article. For a full list of courses, click here or call us on 01639 700 388