2020 has been a challenging year for everyone and no less for business owners and their employees, who have been forced to make difficult decisions and changes within their business, as well as adapting to new working environments.
In light of World Mental Health Day, we offer some guidance to support managers and business owners in ensuring their employees feel content and safe in their working environment during these uncertain and unsettling times.
Returning to working life
Normal working life changed significantly when lockdown began, meaning employers and employees were forced to adapt, either to being placed on furlough or changing the way they work and operate their business. With eases to lockdown, our working lives have changed again as businesses have reopened with new regulations and operations in place. However, there are still many concerned about the potential safety risks to themselves and their families as returning to work becomes vital.
It’s advised to approach the return to work like any other long absence as much as you can. Slowly pick up routines and gradually stop doing the things you picked up whilst being on furlough. Also, reconnect with work colleagues within the social distancing rules – jumping on a call, meeting up for a walk or even sending a quick text can make you feel more connected!
Check-in with your team
As a business owner or manager, it is important you check-in with your staff regularly. You will be able to grasp how they are feeling, where they are up to with their work and to help overcome any problems. It also helps your staff build trust with you and understand that you are working with their best interests in mind. Be honest and acknowledge the stress the ongoing pandemic is causing.
Arranging virtual socials can also be a good way to keep the spirits up within your team; you could arrange quizzes, birthday celebrations or even just a catch up over coffee, not work related!
Mental health affects everyone!
We all deal with things differently and the Coronavirus outbreak has impacted people in different ways. A good working environment can help maintain mental health and it is important managers try to keep this up through the pandemic. Some are at greater risk of poor mental health; when you plan to communicate with staff, consider how it may affect different members of your team and adjust accordingly.
Get the small jobs done
If business isn’t as it usually is or you are having to work slightly differently, allowing you more time, it is a good idea to catch up on those jobs you might have been putting off. This can assist for when business does return to normal. You could also encourage staff to take part in charity opportunities and community support; this will help build team morale but also have the added bonus of positively impacting your business’s PR.
Health insurance to support your employees
If you and your employees do need support through these challenging times and beyond, mental or physical, Equipsme is an affordable health insurance plan, providing 24/7 GP access, stress support and physio sessions, as well as other benefits.
Equipsme allows you and your employees to benefit from prompt diagnosis and qualifying treatment, helping to reduce the amount of time people may need to take off work if they do have any issues. Plans are available to all businesses from the self-employed to SMEs, all the way through to larger businesses. You can find out more about the plans, here.