With a large portion of the country’s workforce logging in from home, it’s more important than ever to look after your employees’ wellbeing.
Workplaces offer sick and annual leave, but many still don’t provide separate mental health days for employees. While work is a good distraction from lockdowns, it can often feel overwhelming and employees can become less productive. If you offer your staff a paid day of mental health leave several times a year, it can do them a world of good – particularly in the current climate.
There are movement restrictions on a lot of the country at the moment, leaving people feeling isolated. Encourage your employees to catch up for a walk and a coffee with each other by organising a buddy system. Your workplace probably has records of home addresses, so (with permission) you can pair a person up with someone in their five-kilometre radius and give them the option to go for a walk. There’s a good chance your employees aren’t aware of how close they live to other staff members, and it can be a great way to maintain team bonding while everyone is working remotely.
Another option for businesses with some spare money is to organise a dinner and drinks package for their staff. Most bars and restaurants are offering takeaway products, so if you can afford to treat your staff to dinner and drinks it’ll do a lot to boost morale (as well as support local business). If your workplace doesn’t have regular Zoom meetings, it might be a good idea to schedule in an optional video chat for anyone who wants to jump on during dinner.
By now, we’re all aware that the most realistic way to move past lockdowns and large-scale remote work is to get vaccinated. Send out an email to see which staff members would like to get vaccinated and organise time slots for employees. It’s great incentive if you can offer an extra day of leave for employees to go get vaccinated – even more so if it’s paid. Encourage staff members to discuss the vaccination process with employees who might be hesitant and don’t be afraid to have open and honest discourse on the topic.
While it’s good to get together for a cocktail or cooking class online, one way to increase engagement and interest in these is to have an event hosted by a staff member. Someone in the office might have a great family recipe they’d like to share, or one of your employees could be a musician in their spare time. Chat to your staff and find out what interests they’d like to showcase and organise a virtual get together where a staff member can lead a cooking lesson, fitness session, crochet class or similar. It’s a great way for your employees to learn more about each other, take part in an engaging activity together and have a laugh.