22 Feb 2022
Working From Home – A New Way of Getting the Job Done
Although restrictions are being lifted around the world in the coming weeks, and we’re getting slightly more used to the idea of COVID being part of our daily lives, it’s difficult to imagine that some things will ever really be the same again.
Public transport and crowded venues will probably always make us a little more nervous than they used to, and hand sanitizer will remain in our bags and in shops long after we’re completely free of any official restrictions. We’ll continue to find facemasks in coat pockets and glove boxes for the foreseeable future, and shaking hands isn’t something most of us will want to do in our next few business meetings.
One resounding positive change to come out of the pandemic has been people’s ability to better balance their work and their homelife. Due to many of us having to work from home, we’ve spent less time commuting, and more time at home with our partners and families.
Companies have seen that their employees can effectively do their jobs when working flexibly or completely remotely, often proving they can be even more productive, and are reporting to be generally happier than they were when they had to go to the office 5 days a week.
With many companies offering flexible working moving forward, how do employers ensure their staff remain motivated and productive? How do you support them if and when they need it? How do you keep your team working together when they are all in different places? And how do you ensure your staff are putting best practices in place when it comes to health and safety?
Keeping Staff Motivated and Taking Care of Mental Health
Luckily, we live in a time where it’s incredibly easy to stay in touch and manage teams and projects remotely. From Zoom and Slack to Monday.com and Teams, there’s no shortage of ways to talk to your employees and make sure they’re getting the support and guidance they need to get their jobs done successfully, and to continue to feel part of the company.
If you’re looking to do a little more for your staff, why not upload some videos, health tutorials, or workouts to your intranet to let your teams know you’re still taking care of their wellbeing, even from home. You could also run competitions and challenges to help the team feel connected to one another or try a virtual quiz on a Friday afternoon.
Keeping your employees connected and ensuring they aren’t isolated or cut-off is vital when working remotely. Mental health has been a growing concern during the pandemic and spending extended periods of time alone can greatly exacerbate depression and anxiety. A great way to check in with your team is to schedule weekly one-to-one calls which can be work related, or just to make sure they are feeling OK.
Keeping Staff Fit and Healthy
One of the harder aspects of working from home is staying active. Our commute was a great way to get steps in and to get our bodies moving. Popping out to get a coffee or some lunch with coworkers meant we got fresh air and exercise over lunch time, so having everything we need at arm’s reach means we now need to do more to promote health and wellness to the workforce.
Running healthy weight loss challenges, or nutritious cooking classes, is a good start. Also consider having a virtual pinboard where people can post links for workouts and stretching or yoga videos, or tips and tricks they’ve found useful.
It’s also vital to ensure your employees are set up correctly to work from home. We know that sitting on a sofa or a bed while working can lead to back pain and other associated conditions, and offering guidance and, where possible, tools such as correct office chairs or an ergonomic laptop stand can make all the difference between a fully assembled team, and staff absences due to back pain and medical appointments.
Supporting Staff When They Need It
Your employees may need more support now than they did before they worked from home. Whether that’s reassurance that they’re doing a good job, help with a project or task that they’re unsure about, or they’re struggling mentally or physically, they need to know that someone is there to help. It’s much more difficult to have an ‘open door policy’ or ‘office hours’ when you’re not actually in the office, but consider setting aside an hour or two a day when staff can reach out if they need to talk about any issues they may have.
You may also find it beneficial to hire or appoint a wellness officer within your company who can regularly talk to staff and provide anything they might need, including help with medical and mental health matters. Some of your staff may not know how much they’re struggling with their mental health until someone reaches out to them.
Although many aspects of working from home are positive, it’s a huge change to what we’re all used to, and you may find that your employees need more help with issues like mental health than they may have done before. As a society, we’re getting better at talking about our mental health, but it’s still something that many find difficult, and often need additional support, or even clinical intervention, to begin to get better.
Our panel of counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists offer a range of mental health services including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Neuro-psychological assessment, Counselling, and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing to help support you and your employees.
No matter your business, Speed Medical can assist you, your employees, or your clients with medical appointments quickly and without delay. From corporates to SMEs, medical insurers to legal services, our customers continue to use us, because from beginning to end, Speed Medical will be there throughout the entire health journey.