Our personal, everyday lives and routine have been turned upside down in an instant.
We’ve had to adjust to new ways of working and enjoying leisure time, whilst at the same time our thoughts have been filled with concerns regarding health and finances.
However, we should not be paralyzed, as our daily life keeps rolling and our work needs to be done.
In addition to our own well-being and that of our loved ones, those of us in key roles in companies also have a duty to look after the well-being of our employees. How can we succeed in this situation?
Make plans, despite the uncertainty
Right now none of us know exactly what is to come, and the situation is changing every day. Even so – or for that very reason – it is important not to give up on structure. It is impossible to change a plan in the light of changing circumstances if it has not been made in the first place.
In such an exceptional situation, there may not be time or resources for in-depth research and analysis – that will come later, but you should not forget the principles of workplace leadership.
So take a quick look at the current situation, think about the issues that need special attention now, set goals, and implement them. A good plan will allow for a quick response and will allow you to reach your goals, even if it may be via a slightly different route than originally thought.
Batteries need to be charged
Everyday life is a balance between stress and recovery. Sometimes the battery of the body consumes faster, sometimes slower. And, just like with a phone, the more load, the faster the battery drains.
It is possible that changes in our everyday life and the uncertainty surrounding Coronavirus may cause an increase in stress for a lot of people. This means that more attention should be paid to recovery right now so that employees do not become overloaded and completely exhausted.
So give your staff the tools to find the balance between stress and recovery. The rhythm of work, self-management, interaction, knowing your body and mind…there are many factors that influence balance – and fortunately many of them can also be influenced by the work community.
We need to find new ways
Many familiar hobbies and ways of relaxing are on hold and workdays are now new. Fortunately, our body is adaptable. It will learn new ways to cope, as long as we give it a chance. It is important to help and encourage employees to look for new ways to relax and find what’s right for them. For one person it might mean calming down in the evenings and turning off news or social media. For others, a morning walk in the wild might do the trick, and some might recover with an online coffee break with colleagues.
By measuring their own body reactions in this new kind of everyday life, employees can track whether working from home breaks arrive at the right time and whether their sleep is truly restorative.
When it comes to stress, every employee’s response will be individual. For some, communicating via email, instant messages or video messaging clients like Zoom or Microsoft Teams can be less cumbersome than work in the busy office. For others with a continuous online meeting schedule it can be a stressful experience as they battle technology and new ways of collaborating. Whilst some staff may have one eye continuously on the uncertainty in the world and feel stressed as a result.
In exceptional circumstances, it is all the more important to respect workers as individuals. The same solutions do not work for everyone, so it would be valuable if employees could be afforded the opportunity to, where possible, work in a way that promotes their well-being. Whether it is a restorative daily walk, a play day with the kids, or starting a workday a little later to ensure they get enough sleep. Here, too, mutual trust and interaction are the foundation of everything.
Indeed, to help work our way through the current climate, the most important asset of the company is a prosperous work community. While many of the familiar workgroups are now physically dispersed, they can’t be allowed to disintegrate mentally. Virtual morning coffee, lunch walks, or fun-filled challenge activities are a great way to stay connected and refreshed.
We need stress
It’s good to remember that stress is not always negative. It’s what makes us effective, innovate, and survive even under pressure. And this is what is needed right now!
So, let’s help our employee’s stay active, create new ways of working, and share their ideas and tips with the work community. Who knows what kind of great ideas might come from your teams in these times?
Of course, in the same breath, positive stress still needs to be accompanied by recovery. So even the best ideas need to be put into perspective and good quality sleep should still be appreciated.
Show that you care
None of us have ever been in this situation before, so no one knows exactly what the right way to react and respond is. However, we are all here to help each other, regardless of titles, roles and job responsibilities. So, let us act as examples to one another and not forget to take care of ourselves and each other.
Original blog in Finnish: https://www.firstbeat.com/fi/blogi/miten-huolehtia-tyontekijoiden-jaksamisesta/
Do you want to support your employees’ well-being in tough times?
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