May 22 2020

Remote working and supporting staff mental health

Remote working and supporting staff mental health

Time to read: 4 minutes

Advice for Managers

Work happens in many locations and as a manager, you have an important role in helping to protect the mental health of your staff. By doing so you will help them cope better with changes and support their capacity to carry out their roles effectively.

Supporting Staff Care

Offer regular check-ins to ask employees how their mental and physical well-being is. Consider the needs of staff who may require additional support such as staff with personal stressors or mental health needs; staff with disabilities; and staff who are caring for children, people with underlying conditions, or older adults.

Encourage employees to have a routine, regular work rhythms and to take frequent breaks.

Emphasise that working from home does not mean overworking; encourage staff to maintain time boundaries for work.

Consider implementing flexible schedules for workers who are directly impacted or have a family member impacted by a stressful event. Ensure you build in time for colleagues to provide social support to each other.

Strive to maintain a sense of unity and solidarity during this unique period, to encourage teamwork and support all team members.

Make sure that your staff are aware of where and how they can access mental health and psychosocial support if needed.

Communication

Keep up regular meetings via teleconference. Use team meeting agendas to include time to communicate with staff on information updates and provide a space for staff to express any worries or uncertainties that they may be facing in this situation- - either during team meetings or as a separate regular check-in meeting.

Consistent communication. Share as much information as possible to increase transparency in this uncertain time. Seek accurate information and keep team up to date on any changes in logistics or work arrangements.

Leverage Technology

Encourage virtual collaboration.

Ask employees to exchange information via phone so as not to overload emails. Maintain boundaries with any communication on personal mobiles.

Manager Skills

Consider having brief online training to improve your skills as a manager in supporting the mental well-being of your staff.

As a manager, you may experience similar stress as your staff and likely additional pressure due to your role. Ensure that you take care to implement self-care to mitigate stress during this time. Managers are key role-models for their staff.

This article is a modified version of a UN paper

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