Supporting yourself and your team during coronavirus
Dane Krambergar, Head of Workplace Wellbeing Services at mental health charity Mind, explores how employers can address mental health and wellbeing in the workplace as many of us continue to work remotely and how training can benefit you further.
Coronavirus has created a lot of uncertainty for many organisations and their employees. During this time it’s likely that many of us will continue to work from home to help keep us safe. It’s important we recognise how this may affect our mental health and ensure that we are taking care of ourselves and our colleagues.
At Mind we want to ensure that no one has to face a mental health problem alone. We work with a range of employers to ensure they feel equipped with the information, resources and training they need to support better mental health in the workplace.
Tips for supporting employees while working from home
For many of us, going into the office provided a sense of routine and security; it ensured that we got to see people every day and make social connections, which is good for our mental health. Swapping this for staring at your own four walls all day, and dealing with a constant stream of video calls, has taken a lot of us out of our comfort zones.
Coping with change and disruption can lead to challenges with our mental health. Our workplace training can help you to support yourself and your employees. All you need is access to a computer.
Below we take a look at the challenges of working remotely, share some tips for supporting yours and your team’s wellbeing if you’re a people manager, and how our workplace training can benefit you further.
1. Maintain a positive work/life balance
It’s easy to work longer hours and take fewer breaks when working from home. Prioritising your own needs, rather than the demands of your work, is important and will help you to avoid stress and burnout. Try to take at least a 30-minute lunch break and get some fresh air.
It’s important to look after your own wellbeing so you can also be there for your team. Our workplace training course ‘Managing mental health at work’ is for people managers and emphasises the importance of looking after yours and your employees’ mental health. Topics include mental health, the business case and your role as manager as well as conversations around mental health and supporting employees.
2. Check in with colleagues regularly
Depending on your circumstances, working from home right now can be lonely. Evidence suggests that feeling close to, and valued by other people is a basic human need and good relationships are important to our wellbeing. To help you stay connected at work, we suggest scheduling regular virtual check-ins with colleagues.
It’s also important to schedule daily chat time with each of your team members and regular time as a team. Talking about our wellbeing and how we’re feeling can be really helpful. Our ‘Mental health awareness’ training and ‘Mental health awareness at work’ eLearning course, both for employees at any level, offer an introduction to mental health and mental health problems, tips to help you build your resilience, as well as signposts to support and information.
3. Ask your team to create Wellness Action Plans
It’s more important now than ever before to reflect on what keeps us well and identify what can impact our wellbeing during this time. Creating a Welllness Action Plan can help us to do this.
As this is an uncertain time you or one of your employees, whether you have a mental health problem or not, may need some additional support. If there is someone on your team who suffers from a mental health problem, our ‘Mental health and how to support someone’ course will help you to support them. This course provides expert knowledge and guidance, including an overview of common mental health problems as well as signposts to support.
4. Encourage your team to use the support tools available
Many of us are finding it difficult to manage our feelings right now. Whatever wellbeing support your organisation offers, make sure your team knows about it and how to access it. Contact us about our training to find out more about what we can offer and how we can support you and your employees.
How we’re supporting organisations with our training
Taking part in our training is a great way to continue your learning and development remotely. It’s also a helpful way to build morale and bring the team together.
As our face to face training sessions have been paused due to social distancing, we’ve adapted our core courses to now run virtually. You can take part in our virtual courses, including ‘Mental health awareness, ‘Managing mental health at work’, ‘Mental health and how to support someone’ and ‘Customer support and mental health’, via Zoom or another communication working platform where suitable.
We also provide eLearning courses for managers and employees. Some of our courses don’t need to be completed in one setting, so you can complete them at your own pace. Now is an ideal time to sign up as we’re offering 50% off all our eLearning courses until 31 December.
We also have tips and tools to help you manage your mental health at work right now – including more tips for working from home and supporting staff caring for children – on our coronavirus and Workplace hub.
Louise Hosking and Jimmy Quinn on IOSH Presidency
In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, IOSH President, Louise Hosking, and Immediate Past President, Jimmy Quinn, discuss overcoming the challenges of the last 12 months and look ahead to what’s in store for 2022. The conversation points include, equality, diversity and inclusion, mental health and support for veterans and the armed forces.
Click here to listen to this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast.