In uncertain times like this pandemic, our natural response is fear. With the growing number of cases of COVID-19 worldwide, things are becoming more and more difficult, taking a toll on both our physical and mental health.
This has been an employer’s concern for some time now, but with the current situation, this has heightened. To prevent the spread of the virus, many businesses have moved to work from home set-up. For others, the set-up could be perfect, as they are at the comfort of their home. However, it may not be favorable for everyone’s productivity and emotional well-being, noting that family circumstances are not always inevitable.
In times like this, it is a great challenge for a company to take care of its employee welfare. We noted 5 ways to support your employee’s well-being at this difficult time.
1. Provide transparent communication
Lack or poor communication in organizations, especially now that everyone is working at home, can make an employee feeling tense and overworked. When communication is unclear, it causes issues and often creates unnecessary questions and frustrations. Unmet expectations, missed deadlines and delayed projects are some of these. At this time, communication should not only be about transmitting the message from the sender to the receiver, but also having a clear understanding of what is provided, may it be updates, changes, or workplace policies. In return, this creates trust and physiological security for both employees and companies.
2. Stay connected
Everyone is still getting used to the ”new normal”. It’s important to think about ways to prevent employees from feeling isolated while working remotely. So what does human resources management do in this situation? One way for the HR to stay connected is to hold up a virtual meeting for one hour every now and then. This could help alleviate the stress that your staffs are experiencing. It does not necessarily have to be a virtual meeting on work or updates. It could be a time to share what’s in everyone’s mind lately, or a virtual dinner, or even a virtual drinking session together. Anything fun keeping them away from work for a while.
3. Encourage to take breaks
Burn out, feeling of exhaustion, strained eyes and mind, and high stress levels are some of the effects of poor physical and mental health. This results in low productivity, low enthusiasm, or even absenteeism at work. At some point, even if you work at home, you still feel stressed. That’s when you need to pause. Employees or even employers have to take time to clear their heads. When you take a break from your computer and all the papers on your desk, you feel more energized and focused. You are more likely to be on track with your tasks. This is why encouraging your employees to take breaks is essential to support their well-being. Establishing a strict and boundary between work and personal time is a must.
4. Offer flexibility
Working from home could be a real challenge. Everyone has different situations and responsibilities. That’s why employers should openly discuss when work can be accomplished without compromising the employees’ ‘personal’ time. Other than that, the company can also offer reduced working hours, compressed work for a week, or even a leave of absence. With this, employees won’t be pressured in juggling both work and household responsibilities. Having an understanding organization or team contributes to the improvement of the employees welfare.
5. Set a good example
We all know that it is easy to get tempted and fall into unhealthy ways when working remotely. So, how do you make yourself a good example? You can do this so by making work-life balance your priority. Not checking your emails when you’re out at work and taking your work breaks on time are just a few of the ways to be a model. This will enable your employees to do the same. In doing so, both employers and employees can enjoy their ‘personal’ time without being interrupted.
To sum up, businesses should not just emphasize the welfare of each employee when an outbreak occurs. Attention should be given attention on a regular manner, starting from the onboarding throughout the whole stay of an employee in a company. The management should encourage each employee to prioritize self-care so that they can be more resilient at difficult times.
What steps have your organization taken to improve your employee welfare? Share it with us in comments!