Supporting Staff Wellbeing

The effects of Covid-19 have caused many uncertainties of employee wellbeing whether you remain to be working from home, or have returned to the workplace. Employers face a crucial role in supporting the wellbeing of their staff, as mental and physical health becomes more important than ever due to the recent global challenges. Employees could be facing financial worries regarding their job security, suffering mentally from ongoing uncertainty or even be facing physical wellbeing concerns during and after the lockdown period. Whilst the economy also strives to recover from a tough period, it's important to put employee retention and presenteeism at the forefront, to ensure a strong workable team.

In this blog, we share our advice on how employers can support the wellbeing of their team to strengthen employee morale whilst creating a robust team culture, throughout the ongoing crisis.

Supportive communication

Create a welcoming environment, where employees feel comfortable enough to share their concerns and discuss the help they may need. People with mental or physical health issues may be nervous to talk to their employer about their situation, therefore it's crucial that employers take the time to ask their team how they are doing regularly. Even if your staff are still currently remote working, make them aware of your support and encourage casual chats to identify any underlying issues. This will aid the monitoring of staff wellbeing and allow you to take the relevant actions to help.

Workload concerns could be on the rise as the economy starts to recuperate. It may be beneficial to ease your team back into their projects and offer regular support to review their progress, giving you the opportunity to identify those who may need extra help or flexibility with their workload. This could help eliminate staff burnout and reduce the chances of absenteeism.

If you haven't already, you may also want to invest in suitable education and training on how to deal with mental and physical wellbeing in the workplace. This will not only raise awareness on the importance of communicating wellbeing concerns but also provide your team with the tools on how to access help. 

Increased flexibility

Many employees will be facing different challenges at home, whether they are self-isolating or caring for family members who may still be at risk. Offering more flexible hours to accommodate for other commitments may take the strain and stress off of your employees and in turn, welcome increased productivity. If possible, you should offer your team a choice of where and when they would ideally like to work which will complement their home life, allowing them to effectively manage a healthy work-life balance. Being able to adapt to employee preferences to reduce the chances of ill health will aid job satisfaction and limit fatigue or stress levels.

If your team are working from home on a permanent or temporary basis, check out our blog on Keeping your team motivated from home.

Team culture

It's important to encourage a strong team culture to maximise collaboration and support throughout the team. Remote working can increase isolation and anxiety for many people so keeping morale up is essential. Many of us have been participating in video calls throughout lockdown, which has been a fantastic way to see friendly faces and be a part of a team. Strong working relationships are not only crucial for employee happiness but also benefit the company in the long run, improving the quality of projects and encouraging supportive teamwork.

Although being a part of a team is highly important for effective teamwork and interactions, having the option of a quiet area or breakout room as we have at Stafffinders is perfect for those who need some alone time throughout the day. Remember that if most employees have been working from home for some time, transitioning back into an office environment may be overwhelming.

These times are tricky, but keeping the momentum and team culture up as best you can, will really make a difference to employee productivity and wellbeing. 

Physical health

Physical wellbeing is a prominent factor in the overall wellbeing of employees, especially in office-based organisations where 90% of the day is spent behind a computer screen. It is regularly noted that positive physical wellbeing also sparks an improvement in mental health by reducing stress levels and enhancing productivity. 

You should encourage employees to take a walk for fresh air every day, whether they are in the office or working from home, to clear the mind for the rest of the day ahead. It is also recommended that employers encourage their workforce to switch off at an appropriate time to advocate crucial self-care time and avoid burnout. As well as making sure employees take their lunch breaks and step away from their computers for short breaks each day. All of these small adjustments and encouragements play a part in improving physical health, reinforcing the importance of wellbeing and promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Read our blog which explores how employers and employees alike can achieve a healthy work-life balance.

Physical and mental wellbeing is becoming more and more prominent in the workplace due to the effects of Covid-19 and it's crucial that employers take the necessary steps to support their team the best they can. However, it's important to remember that most of us are not experts in this field, therefore, providing your team access to legitimate resources and helplines is essential. Offering solid and genuine support via regular conversations, encouraging more movement to aid physical health and creating a healthy team culture are all ways to contribute to positive wellbeing.

A huge catalyst for mental health issues is stress. Discover our blog dedicated on ways to combat work-related stress effectively.