Long before the pandemic unalterably changed the way we work, employee wellness was becoming a buzzword of business.
With the COVID-19 crisis pushing millions to work from home, wellness has been somewhat taken out of the hands of business owners. Yet supporting staff to deliver their best during the crisis is essential to business success. So, how can you manage your staff wellbeing when everyone works from home?
It starts with resilience
We all know people who thrive during emergencies, those that have an uncanny ability to bounce back from setbacks. What makes these people soldier on in the face of disaster? How can they not only survive but prosper in difficult circumstances? The simple answer is resilience.
The good news is, while some people may have innate resilience, it’s also something that can be taught. Those with low resilience can learn to boost their abilities to cope and flourish when things take a turn for the worse.
How to build resilience
If you want to build a resilient work force it pays to lead by example. With remote work removing the delineation between work and life, it’s vital employees are encouraged to maintain a work life balance and switch off. Business owners can lead by example. Rather than pressure staff to stay constantly connected encourage your staff to maintain healthy habits both physically and mentally. Ensure they know it’s OK to switch off from work. Just because they are working at home doesn’t mean they have to always be working. The temptation to answer just one more email or finish one bit of work can be high when there is no clear signal that it’s time to finish work. The risk for employee burnout is higher than ever before Let them know when the workday finishes it’s time to unplug.
Physical health and wellbeing can go hand-in-hand with mental health. If you want to ensure your staff avoid burnout, it’s crucial you also keep their physical wellbeing in mind too. Make it easy for your team to access mental health resources. Create a shared doc or Slack channel to share wellness resources. It could be as simple as favourite healthy recipes, links to fitness sites and nutritional content. It’s also important to encourage opportunities for your staff to still connect with each other outside of work. Host a virtual quiz night, get together for virtual team drinks.
“You can’t just gather around the water cooler anymore. The onus is on businesses to make communication accessible for everyone. Keep everyone on the same page and set clear expectations,” says Anthony Slater, director of customer success at DocuSign during a recent webcast on Kochie’s Business Builders.
“I think at the beginning productivity was good – now burnout is setting in. People wake up they quickly get kids ready for work and then into work. We are seeing mental fatigue. Try to set limits. Separate your work and life. You need to run a marathon not the sprint,”
Remote work is here to stay
When the COVID crisis kicked off, companies were left scrambling. There was a lot of ingenuity in order to figure out how people could work from home and still get their jobs done. But it was short term ways of solving a problem.
“Now I think people realise we aren’t going to snap back – so they are going, how do we make this the new normal for us?” says Slater. “How can we make it more robust and more successful for us so we can thrive and survive? Businesses that are taking the opportunity to think of that framework .of how to make their staff and customers happy, are the ones that will be thriving in the years to come.”
This content is brought to you in partnership with DocuSign. If you’d like to find out more about how your business can adapt to the changing face of work in these challenging times sign up for our webcast series Not Business as Usual.
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