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The way we live and work has changed dramatically over the last few weeks. So much so that even the most resilient and adaptable of your employees are likely to be feeling the strain.
That means it’s more important than ever to focus on employee wellbeing. To help, we’re sharing 8 simple ways you can enhance your wellbeing plan to support your employees while they’re working from home…
Encourage your leaders to lead by example. They should be showing your people that lunch breaks, exercise, and a clear separation between work and home life is more than encouraged – it’s essential for staying mentally and physically healthy through this difficult time.
The HSE have a useful set of guidelines to help workers avoid hurting their posture while working from home – share these with your employees. You should also be making sure your employees have all the office equipment they need for a prolonged period of working from home. If they don’t, let them know how they can request items.
Wherever possible, offering flexibility will be a great help to your employees. For example, would a temporary change of working hours help your employees with children juggle work and home-schooling? Would a change of routine, such as mixing up the weekly meeting schedule, help to freshen up the working week? Find out and be accommodating as much as you can.
Working from home with no water fountain chat or group lunches can be isolating. So, it’s essential you find ways to keep your employees connected – not only for work purposes, but to build a sense of community within your business through this difficult time. Social video calls will help with this – suggested topics include funny things your pets have been doing, great films you’ve been watching, or you could even set up a regular ‘pub quiz’.
It’s all too easy to become sedentary while working from home, and this unhealthy for all kinds of different reasons. Encourage your people to keep moving by launching ‘steps’ competitions, setting up ‘walking meetings’, or even putting on virtual lunchtime yoga.
One of the biggest hindrances to wellbeing right now is the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus crisis. Set up forums to talk about any worries your people may have. These could be through regularly video calls, a group on an intranet or other messaging site, or build this into any regular catch ups your managers have with their teams. Even when you don’t know all the answers, simply giving your people the opportunity to ask questions and share concerns can be very comforting.
Reward and recognition doesn’t have to be put on pause – an early finish, extended lunch break, and an additional day’s annual leave (with a long expiry period) are all great ways to reward your hard-working people during this difficult time. And praise for a job well done can continue on video calls, through email, and publicly on LinkedIn.
It’s important to remind your teams about the wellbeing schemes available to them, highlighting anything that could be particularly useful at this time. But it’s even more important to ask your people what else could help. Set up channels for your employees to let you know how they’re feeling and to make suggestions on how you can enhance your wellbeing offering even further.
We’ll be sharing more advice on employee wellbeing in the coming weeks. Keep an eye our blog and social media for more.Anthony Wolny, April 6th, 2020