On 23 March 2020, a national lockdown was announced with effect from midnight on Thursday 26 March 2020. Almost a year later ENVASS looks back at our remote working arrangements and how it affected our team. At first, it was a challenge to adapt to the “new normal”, however we as a company and a team responded to this new challenge and quickly adapted to the new working arrangements.
Our response was quick and we put keeping the staff mentally and physically safe as our top priority in these tough times. Below are our wellness tips for remote office workers:
Communication is key when working remotely. Keeping each other informed of projects and deliverables, as well as providing feedback on employees’ state of mind has proven to be vital. The best thing to do is simply ask team members ‘how they are coping’ on a regular basis. Having team meetings and keeping in touch via WhatsApp groups and on online chats is a great way to stay interactive and remain in tune with team members.
From a company perspective, ENVASS giving regular and defined updates on the status of the company and communicating lockdown implications not only prevents uncertainty, but also keeps employees safe and informed.
Encourage employees to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is easy to succumb to bad habits while working from home. Regularly send health tips to your team members and encourage healthy eating, good sleeping patterns and exercise. Standing up and taking a walk outside, or in nature during lunch is a good way to clear the mind and breathe some fresh air. A health mind is a healthy body, and vice versa!
Now more than ever, we must all take care of our mental health and well-being. As an employer, you can support mental wellbeing by applying the following:
Recognise the impact of isolation and loneliness: Working remotely can cause people to feel isolated, it is important to routinely check in with your team, not only about work, but also to find out how they are doing and coping.
Encourage online training: Encourage employee development via online training. It is a productive distraction to focus on learning and development rather than worrying about other issues.
Stay connected: Use the technology available and make use of communication and meeting tools with video, like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, for regular check-ins. This will allow the team to connect with one another “face-to-face.”
Continue to celebrate company successes and events. It is important to maintain a positive culture in an organisation, and have employees look forward to future events. Celebrate success at all times, even the smallest one. Acknowledge hard work and achievements, this will make your employees feel wanted and part of the team. Even when far apart, celebrate employee milestones like birthdays, host a virtual event if all members cannot get together.
In a time of uncertainty, we worked to create stability, we backed ourselves in our culture of professional integrity and depended on our most valuable asset, our team. We hope that you will find the above tips helpful to maintain a happy, successful company and team.