This year a ripple of changes has impacted all of our home and work lives.
A recent survey by the Office for National Statistics revealed the average Brit is doing 28 hours of overtime every month. Meanwhile, 7.4 million of us reported that the pandemic has negatively impacted our mental health.
With an unusual festive season upon us, it’s time to show your employees you care. From subtle nudges to thoughtful gifts, we’ve compiled 8 tips on how to care for the wellbeing of your remote employees.
1. Healthy Encouragements
This year, the line between work and home life has become increasingly blurred. That’s why nudging your employees to prioritise work life balance with 'healthy encouragements' can make all the difference. Ask yourself, are your staff taking enough breaks?
Every year, it seems to surprise us how quickly the sun sets, and how little time we have to catch a dose of Vitamin D. Encourage your staff to step out during the day, or to take longer lunch breaks and work a little later to fill in the gaps. Such encouragements prove that you trust your employees to manage their own time, and will curb any feelings of guilt for taking time out.
2. Keep up the Wellbeing Conversation
Once you’ve started the conversation on mental wellbeing, continue building the blocks of a safe and non-judgmental culture by reassuring colleagues that mood and productivity dips are normal, especially given the circumstances. Then, consider what you might do to keep the matter of wellbeing an open and ongoing conversation.
For example, if your team uses Slack, why not create a channel dedicated to wellbeing, where you can post healthy tips and articles. You might also ask employees to do a weekly ‘check in’, where they can choose 3 words to represent how they’re feeling. Dedicating this space also offers a platform for employees to support each other.
3. Listen With Open Ears
It’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming what might best support your team’s wellbeing, but remember that you don’t have to bring all the answers. Every employee is different and what may work for one may not work for another. For this reason, it’s great practice to simply ask your employees what they need to keep them well, be that in your next team meeting or via an anonymous google form.
Once the ideas start coming, listen and be open to experimenting with some of their suggestions. And when the time comes to review how certain ideas have panned out, open a space for employees to share stories of what worked best for them.
4. Thoughtful Gifts
Nothing says we’re thinking of you like a thoughtful gift. At such a reflective and celebratory time of the year, it’s the perfect opportunity to promote healthy mental health maintenance. The social enterprise I co-founded, Lemonade, have recently launched Care Packages to inspire and support employees to look after their wellbeing. Filled with handpicked items and practical guidance, our packages are thoughtfully curated to comfort, delight, and restore teams, particularly over the festive period.
Think soothing, sensory products to stimulate the mind, tips to cultivate healthy routines and self-development, and activity based items so that lucky recipients can try out some of our ideas. It’s also the gift that gives back. Every care package sold helps Lemonade continue running their wellbeing programmes for young people.
5. Tried & Tested Recommendations
Wading through the many resources and apps out there can be a drag, so here’s some recommendations we’ve personally tried that you can share with your team.
To calm busy minds, there are the meditation heavyweights:
For the body:
To ignite the left-hand side of the brain:
6. Reimagine the Christmas Party
The usual festive gathering might not be a goer this year but that doesn’t mean any form of celebration has to be cancelled. It will, however, need a bit of rethinking. This is a reminder to try and reimagine your celebration, instead of trying to simply replicate whatever you usually do on Zoom.
You might ask, how could we make the most of our situation? What can we do this year that’s a little more thoughtful? Well, a Migrateful cooking class or lunch long series of ‘get to you’ games could knit your team together. To inspire some healthy competition, put a creative twist on Taskmaster or opt for Among Us, the game of social deduction.
7. Spark Connections
It’s likely that many of your employees wouldn’t have imagined working without a team around them for such a prolonged period of time. To help forge connections, try creating a buddy system where employees are randomly matched on a fortnightly basis to have a chat or get to know each other better.
Get to know each other’s weird and wonderful music tastes by creating a joint playlist. Break the monotony of your own cooking by sharing recipes. Or for a real energy boost, jump on a Zoom exercise class together!
8. Closing 2020, Opening 2021
With a year like 2020, it feels worthwhile to bring the year to a close with thought and care. The month of December is an opportunity to reflect on big or small achievements, acknowledge the challenges faced, and build a sense of togetherness and pride that your team got through this difficult year.
Try running a reflective session or crafting an end of year email to wash away the 2020 cobwebs, and bring in a little more headspace to feel hopeful for the New Year. Consider how you might inject an extra dose of excitement for what’s to come - is there a new project on the horizon? A partnership proposal? A plan for fresh faces to join the company? A new year is coming, and we can start shaping our 2021 mind set from now!
For more ways on how to improve your employee mental health including wellness discounts on yoga and pilates, as well as a 24/7 online GP, with us.