As COVID-19 continues to alter our everyday lives, it’s important to take a moment and consider how you can care for your employees during this time. Working remotely brings with it an abundance of new routines, technologies and norms for everyone. The physical health, mental well-being and technology acumen of your team can help keep your organization running smoothly during this unique time of working.
Advocating for physical health, beyond the obvious protection from COVID-19, is a great way to protect your employees. Here are a few ideas to get started:
- Encourage employees to take morning, lunchtime or evening walks while adhering to social distancing to get fresh air.
- Survey your employees for special skills–maybe you have a team member who can lead a virtual HIIT class or guide your organization through a relaxing yoga flow.
- Create workout challenges in which departments or teams can compete against each other.
Just as important as physical health, but often overlooked, is mental health. Sudden environment changes can result in a declining mental health status due to anxiety, fear and depression. Below are a few best mental health practices your employees can utilize when stress levels begin to climb:
- Encourage employees to connect with loved ones through phone calls and video chats.
- Tell employees to use at least a few minutes a day to relax their minds by taking deep breaths, stretching and meditating.
- Provide options for employees to connect with professional therapists via online therapy options.
- Encourage employees to unplug from watching, listening and reading news stories. (While it's important people stay informed, there is no need to keep the news on all day every day, it can lead to heightened anxiety.
From using a webcam in a meeting to muting yourself when you aren’t speaking, virtual etiquette is certainly a learning curve. Providing clear expectations can help put your team on the same page and quickly create a well-oiled virtual office.
The health of your technology practices is also important during this time. If you have a VPN (Virtual Private Network) ensure your employees know to be on the VPN at all times. Communicating what a VPN is and why they are important can help provide employees motivation to stay connected.
Another technology safety practice to consider is an awareness campaign regarding fraudulent emails. During local, regional, national or global phenomena, many companies see an increase in fraudulent emails regarding the relevant events. COVID-19 is no exception. There has been a major influx of fraudulent emails framed as company COVID-19 responses around the world. These fake messages often include malicious attachments that inflect various kinds of corruption. Keeping your team aware of the possibility of these emails and training them to identify them can help protect not only your organization, but your employees from undue stress during a particularly stressful season.