Looking after Mental Health for a Remote Workforce

Mental health struggles amongst adults have increased substantially in the UK as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic by 8.1% on average. It is, therefore, more important than ever right now for business’ to ensure that employee and owner wellbeing is a key focus. 

We have recently seen Tom Blomfield, CEO of Monzo step down due to the effect lockdown had on his mental health, which is a prime example of how vital it is to put ourselves first. 

Although remote work has some great benefits, many remote workers are facing challenges in the current climate. This could be anything from missing the office banter and feeling like there is no separation between home and work, caring for elderly relatives, home-schooling or worrying about losing jobs. 

Here at AYKO, we have taken, and continue to plan in numerous measures to ensure our entire team feels supported during these unprecedented times. I have put together this short guide with things that we are doing, to hopefully provide ideas on how to manage your teams whilst working from home, and keep everyone feeling positive and motivated. 

Keep in Touch

Daily check-ins are extremely important, not only to make sure everyone is on track work-wise but to also make sure people are coping and have someone to talk to. Many take it for granted that we have people around us to talk to, but sadly that isn’t always the case, and a lot of people don’t. Utilise Slack, or other messaging apps to create group chats where team members can communicate with each other. Create Whatsapp Groups for chats outside of work to keep the banter alive.

Socialise Virtually

Another idea that we’ve put to good use is online socials. Of course, these aren’t always everyone’s cup of tea but for many, this is the difference between spending another Friday night alone or being out for a few hours with friends. We have planned in monthly socials a mix of things like quizzes, games nights and cocktail making to try and include something for everyone.

Create Working From Home Guides

We can all Google ‘Guide to working from home’ and read the same results, but these won’t always be relevant to your workforce. Create your own internal guide that team members can access at any time to keep refreshing on. This was one of the very initial steps we employed back in March 2020, when the UK first went into lockdown, and have continued to utilise and reference ever since.

Celebrate each other

Providing incentives and celebrating employees’ achievements can go a long way in showing them that they are appreciated, boost morale and create a happy employee. Even something as small as an email or a quick text to say “good job” goes such a long way. We send out Gift Vouchers for Work Anniversaries to celebrate success and let our team know they are valued and appreciated for all of their hard work, and continue to give shoutouts on Slack for birthdays and any special occasions so that we can recognise and celebrate them together. 

At a time when employees are balancing work with children, homeschooling, or looking after an elderly relative (all whilst in the midst of a global pandemic), confidence inability to do a job well can drop, so these small things can sometimes make all the difference between a good and low day. 

Make sure any new-hires are welcomed on their first day, especially if onboarded remotely. Introduce them to the entire team, and ensure they are excited to get started and feel valued right from the beginning. 

If you can take anything away from this, it is to act now. Now is the time to take the mental health of your team seriously. Deploy some of the steps above, no matter how big or small, and they will make a huge difference in your remote workers’ lives. Create and maintain open lines of communication, trust your employees, and celebrate them at any and every opportunity because they absolutely deserve it!