Support Remote Working
Over the last year or so, metal health and well-being have rightly been raised to the top of agenda in all areas of business and society, with World Mental Health Awareness day on Saturday 10th October we share our top tips to help support mental health in the workplace, looking at ways to help reduce feelings of isolation and keep connected with colleagues whilst working remotely.
Getting set for the day
Lie-ins - Not having the commute, may mean the option of that extra hour in bed! However, try to get up around the same time as you would normally and this way you will feel less tired, more alert and find it easier to concentrate.
What to wear? As tempting as it can be to work throughout the day in your PJs, get dressed as this will help you to get into the mindset that you are at work.
Where to work - You don’t have to have a fully dedicated space to work in, such as a home office, but having a work area separate from your bedroom will put you into work mode and at the end of day easier to switch off.
Be Tidy - Try to have keep your desk free of clutter and set up your equipment to avoid physical strain. If you don’t have a chair with back support, you could add a firm pillow for additional support.
Be Safe - One of the great benefits of working at home, means that you can always work from the garden or the kitchen table, or even the sofa (but we wouldn’t recommend this for any length of time!). But remember to check each working area to ensure that it is safe and appropriate when working for extended periods of time. You can do a self-check using the guidance from the NHS.
Remember to move
Now you don’t have commute to work, that doesn’t mean that you should go straight from bed to your desk! Going for a walk, run or cycle before your start the day can help you to feel like you have mentally ‘arrived’ at work. Doing the same when you finish your working day can help you to leave your work mindset behind and switch off.
Working remotely means that your communications with your teams needs to change. With so many ways to connect, here are some of our favourite ways to keep in touch:
Video calling is great, but don’t forget you can always pick up the phone as a change
Daily Huddles or quick calls to see how everyone is doing
Weekly “bring your own lunch” video meeting
Virtual tour of our work areas / gardens (pets and children are optional!)
Create Spotify playlists which the team can listen to together or an online book club for everyone to read
Celebrate birthdays and anniversaries even via a video call
Start a company / team challenge that everyone can participate in such as walking 100km during the month as a team
Make time for non-work chats as you would in the workplace, we love to have a virtual coffee break during the day.
Remote conversations can easily be misinterpreted as it’s harder to read body language, tone of voice and other visual and audio cues. Try to remember this when you need to deliver difficult messages or feedback. Challenging times call for greater sensitivity and kindness.
If you’re unwell, take leave and do your best to give an update or handover on urgent work. As a manager or team leader, encourage people to take time off if unwell and model the behaviour yourself.
Be clear about when your working day begins and ends. Make sure that your team and clients know your schedule so to as avoid being called when you have finished work. Having a clear end time, means that you won’t be tempted to send just one more email!
Remember to take regular breaks and a lunch break as well – and move away from the desk.
At the end of the day, shut off the laptop and pack up – just as you would in the office. This way you can clearly distinguish between work time and home time.
Support for others
Open Communication Channels – ensuring employees know these exist and how to use them. This could be something as straightforward as a regular check in with the individual or perhaps an employee wellbeing support line.
Be aware of changes - It can be difficult to notice changes in people especially when you only meet virtually. But having structured check-ins and taking feedback from others, noticing any dips in performance or engagement.
Provide the right information – with so much fake news around if you are sharing information make sure that you are confident on its source and content, share information on the business, community activities or whatever.
Remain flexible - it is important that we all remain flexible in our approaches to work, family and life. If there are ways to accommodate flexibility requests around start times, childcare then these should be considered
Remember yourself - One of the elements that as business owners or leaders we sometimes forget are ourselves – when you are looking out for everyone else who is looking out for you? Remember that you too need support and whether that is from your family or other business leaders make sure you take care of yourself too.
External resources available
Being separate from your family, friends and colleagues can make some of us feel isolated, anxious and feeling isolated. Keeping in touch using technology can be a tremendous help to support during stressful times.
If you are feeling isolated or anxious, there is support available to help you:
Crisis Text Line - If you’re experiencing a personal crisis, are unable to cope and need support. You can text “Shout” to 85258 for free, confidential support, 24/7 via text
Side by Side is a supportive online community where you can be yourself in a safe place to listen, share and be heard.
If your business has remote workers and you need any guidance or support, please get in touch with Lodge Court.
About Us – We enrich businesses by instilling our passion for developing people and organisations. Using our diverse experience and extensive knowledge, we flexibly support businesses with a pragmatic but personable approach to people management.
Disclaimer – The contents of this blog do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information purposes only. We can only advise on the basis of specific client instructions and are unable to offer legal advice by email to anyone who are not our clients. To find out more about becoming a client of Lodge Court please talk to us.