Working Remotely During COVID-19
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is presenting new and unique challenges, making it important to find new ways to work and interact while also taking care of our mental health and well-being.
Many are teleworking full-time for the first time, isolated from co-workers, friends, and family. Disruption in our usual routines may result in anxiety, stress, and strain—physically, mentally, and
financially. Now more than ever, we all must take care of our mental health and well-being. As we protect ourselves against potential exposure to the coronavirus, keep in mind that social distancing does not mean social isolation from each other or our coworkers and employees.
What can managers and HR professionals do to support employees?
With many organizations requiring employees to stay out of the office, it is more important than ever to encourage and facilitate regular communication with employees. Here are tips for managers and human
resource professionals in supporting employees in staying connected to the workplace and each other:
Show Empathy and Be Available
Understand that employees are likely feeling overwhelmed and anxious about circumstances related to the virus. Make yourself available to your staff to talk about fears, answer questions, and reassure them about work and other issues that might come up.
Stay Connected with Communication and Meeting Tools
Use virtual meeting options with video, like Zoom or JoinMe, for regular check-ins and to allow teams to connect with one another face-to face.
Recognize the Impact of Isolation and Loneliness
Working remotely can cause people to feel isolated, making it more important to routinely check in with your team, not only about their work product, but also to see how they are doing. Loneliness can lead to depression and other mental health issues. Be aware of significant changes you may see in your team members personality or work product, because it may be a sign that a person is struggling.
Encourage Online Training
This is a great time to encourage employees to sharpen their skills with online training. It is also a good distraction to focus on learning rather than worrying about other issues.
Find online trainings and new learning opportunities to recommend to employees.
Check in with your EAP and Health Plan
Check in with your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to
confirm their availability and to coordinate support for employees. Remind the staff that the EAP is
there if they need support and can connect employees with behavioral health support, if needed.
More information: http://workplacementalhealth.org/Employer-Resources/Working-Remotely-During-