Looking out for the mental health of your workforce during lockdown

Looking out for the mental health of your workforce during lockdown

Sean Fielding

29th May 2020  |  Remote Working

As lockdown and social distancing measures move into yet another stage for workforces across the country, concern for the wellbeing of the million’s of office-turned-home workers is on the rise.

According to research from LinkedIn and the Mental Health Foundation, ‘blurring boundaries’ and the pressure to be available mean those working from home are putting in 28 extra hours a month and experiencing higher levels of stress.

Following last week’s extension in the lockdown period, many workers are feeling the mental toll of working remotely from their team or under new conditions. With over half (56%) of those surveyed feel more anxious or stressed while working from home.

With this in mind, we are sharing our tips on how to positively engage with your teams and encourage positive mental health measures across your workforce:

  1. Regularly check in with your workforce and focus their workloads

With communication between teams operating differently under remote working, It can be easy for managers to fail to notice the stress induced by rising workloads.

To help tackle workers’ concerns about their level of output, we suggest asking your teams about how they are finding the tasks. It may seem simple, but asking team members if they need any help with aspects of their work can often lead to productive discussions about how to prioritise their workload or ways to make them easier to complete.

By focusing on how to improve tasks and overall workloads for your team, this will help them feel more confident in sharing their concerns about their work, therefore reducing their stress and allowing them to focus on tackling their workloads more productively.

  1. Encourage them to stick to a regular work schedule

When working from home, many team members may feel the pressure to always be online and available to their colleagues, with fears of appearing ‘lazy’ or ‘ineffective’ should they miss an important email or request from their team.

With many workers not knowing how and when to switch off when remote working, they are at a higher risk of experiencing work-related stress and potential burnout.

To help reduce the anxiety involved in working remotely, encouraging your teams to stick to regular working times or hours could help them to focus their efforts into set work times and allow team members to effectively ‘switch off’ at the end of their shift. 

Many clients utilise the shift management features of Connex One to monitor their staff’s shift patterns to make sure they are not working overtime or returning to tasks outside of their assigned shift times.

By removing the pressure to be available outside of set working hours, workers will be more likely to unwind and relax after their working day ends and not feel anxious about the messages or tasks that they may be missing.

  1. Organise online meet-ups and activities

All work and no play makes remote working less enjoyable. While some workers may enjoy the freedom of remote working, removing the all important social aspect of working in an office environment can be very demotivating for many team members.

Helping to build and encouraging working relationships within teams is a positive for your business, as teams that know each other well can communicate better and work together more effectively.

To help your team stay social and engaged throughout the lockdown period, it is important to bring them together online and encourage an aspect of team building even when physically distanced.

At Connex One, we encourage our clients to make the most of our Gamification module, which allows them to set goals for both teams and individual workers, and reward them with prizes and recognition for their performance. Managers and staff can also view the progress of the rest of their team through our leaderboard feature, which allows them to see who may need their help and encourages peer support.

Whether it’s online quizzes or ‘Friday drinks’ through a shared conference call, activities focussed on improving team connections and not just work tasks can be very beneficial to workers mental health and boosting overall team morale.

If you would like more advice on how to achieve team productivity during lockdown, check out our latest blog on How to drive team efficiencies when working remotely.