The social isolation caused by the coronavirus brought a new reality for work and relationships. The feeling of uncertainty, anxiety, frustration, fear, boredom, are some of the feelings that people have experienced when practicing social distance.
When work and home become one place, it can be difficult to maintain the boundaries between both of them. Problems with getting out of work can lead to diminished personal relationships and a waste of time that usually involves leisure or relaxation activities.
Another detail that must be considered during the home office, is that the isolation of the workplace can also mean the isolation of important information and positive cultures of the company. This will not only limit efficiency, but can also compromise the sense of job security.
What to do to maintain mental health during social isolation?
As an employer, it is your duty to protect the well-being of your employees, without forgetting your own well-being. With that in mind, what can we do to ensure that our work environment is conducive to health and productivity?
Create a professional space
Like it or not, you will not be productive at work sitting in bed with the TV on. Create a professional workspace, with a chair and table that won’t harm your posture. You also don’t have to spend money, but it is important to separate work and home, even if you dedicate a corner of the room to it.
Keep a regular schedule
Create and maintain a routine and schedule. Set up a designated space for you and everyone in the family to work and learn. Don’t forget to include periodic breaks in your schedule.
Stay connected with family, friends and co-workers using technologies like FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangout and other video calling options. Talk about your fears and concerns with people you trust. They are probably feeling the same way.
Exercise and stay active
This is not only good for your physical health, but also for your mental health. Periodically, get up and walk around the house. Walking, running, stretching, whatever works best for you to reduce stress and increase endorphins. Exercise at home or on the street while maintaining social distance and following protective measures.
Knowledge is power, and it is good to keep up to date on the progress made in fighting the virus. Stay informed about the latest updates from trusted sources. But it is important to limit the consumption of this information. Avoid continued exposure to news, media and social media that can increase anxiety, stress or panic.
Distract and redirect
Get involved in activities that benefit your well-being, provide joy and distract you from existing challenges. This can include meditation and yoga, often offered for free online classes. You can also enjoy a diary, reading, art projects, cooking new recipes, doing breathing exercises, listening to a podcast or soothing music.
What can managers do to support their employees?
With many organizations requiring employees to stay out of the office, it is more important than ever to encourage and facilitate regular communication with employees.
Here are some tips for managers and human resources professionals in supporting employees to stay connected to the workplace:
Show empathy and be available
Understand that employees are probably feeling overwhelmed and anxious about the circumstances surrounding the pandemic. Make yourself available to your team to talk about fears, answer questions and reassure them about work and other issues that may arise.
Stay connected with communication and meeting tools
Use virtual video meeting options, like Zoom or JoinMe, for regular check-ins and to allow teams to connect “face to face”.
Recognize the impact of isolation and loneliness
Working remotely can make people feel isolated, so it is important to check with your team routinely, not just about the work product, but also how they are doing. Loneliness can lead to depression and other mental health problems. Be aware of the significant changes you may see in your team member’s personality or work product, because it can be a sign that a person is struggling.
Encourage online training
This is a great time to encourage employees to aprimorate their skills with online training. It is also a good distraction to focus on learning rather than worrying about other issues. Find online training and new learning opportunities to recommend to employees.
Make sure you and your team are close by. Facetime or Skype can help with this if you are working remotely. There is a great responsibility for companies to be more inclusive in their meetings, so communicate daily, be present and show what is available.
Take the opportunity to use management tools to improve collaboration and keep your workflow organized and under control. Managers can also take advantage of a virtual team and keep productivity under control with Gamefic.
Use a tool that allows you to record information, organize work and engage the team in a more collaborative way. Try it for free here.