Since the pandemic is likely to continue well into 2021, it’s important to encourage your employees to take their mental health seriously as they continue working from home. As World Mental Health Day is coming up on October 10, take these tips and help your employees cultivate a better work-life balance while work is still happening at home.
1. Connect them with other employees.
Although some of your employees have probably enjoyed the extra comforts and convenience of working from home, many will also miss the camaraderie of the office. The chemistry that builds over this time spent together in the office not only helps with collaboration, it can also lower stress and make work more enjoyable.
Though you can’t bring back 100% of the chit-chatting that happens throughout the normal day with work friends, you can make up for some of this lost time with virtual events and active messaging throughout the day. Virtual cocktail hours, board game rooms and even online escape rooms (like this) can help things to feel a little less alone, especially for those people who live alone or are otherwise unable to have social interactions in person.
Remember: This doesn’t have to be the most extravagant, expensive or thoroughly planned event in the world. People will be happy just to talk with one another about something other than Q4 goals while trying to maintain their best Zoom poker faces.
2. Recommend that they take breaks and work standardized hours.
One of the best ways to support the mental health of your employees while they’re working from home is to suggest that they put boundaries on their work time. Without these time boundaries, it’s easy for some employees to work many more hours than normal just to fill the time, or to work at odd hours where they’re out of sync with the rest of your company. This approach to time management blurs and can even destroy the division between work and the rest of their lives – this can make it feel like they’re hamsters on a wheel.
While they likely have the freedom to work whenever they’d like to, hearing leadership say that they should take a short break every few hours or that they should try to avoid working after hours can go a long way. It’d be even better if leadership modeled this attitude. Taking a few short breaks throughout the day can make the day less monotonous and may even inspire more creativity.
3. Point them back to your resources.
Do you offer virtual counseling sessions, PTO for mental health days or app subscriptions that can help people build their mental health muscles? (This app even features Harry Styles reading a bedtime story.) Resources like these are great – as long as employees know about them.
Make sure that everyone knows what’s available to them by calling these things out by name on your intranet, digital signage and through an additional email blast. When it comes to mental health resources, you can send a quick message through a lot of channels quickly and easily.
Keep in mind that there may be people who never considered using these resources before, but it takes more effort to keep up their mental health while working from home than it did when they had a set routine and people to see every day.
Interested in supporting your employees’ mental health? Tribe can help.