The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are far-reaching and can be an overwhelming issue for many individuals and organisations.
One major challenge that is consistent across the globe, is the shutdown of standard business operations, with almost all workers confined to working from home.
For many teams in this environment, this can produce a list of challenges to productivity and success. Issues from remaining organised and productive, maintaining a work-life balance and time management. However, there is no issue as important as the mental health of the team.
Research into isolated individuals and a sense of loneliness has shown substantial negative health effects on not just mental, but also physical health. With some researchers suggesting it takes the same toll on the body as regular smoking.
“Social relationships, or the relative lack thereof, constitute a major risk factor for health—rivalling the effect of well-established health risk factors such as cigarette smoking, blood pressure, blood lipids, obesity and physical activity”
With the unprecedented level of workers operating from home in response to the global pandemic, it's more important than ever for teams to foster and nurture connection.
To aid organisations in maintaining and promoting positive mental health in the workplace, apply the following six principles:
Maintain regular communication with the members of your team and the wider organisation. Stay connected with the members of your team whether that be over the phone, video calling or messaging.
Keep team members up to date about your business’ response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Make sure your team and the wider organisations are aware of the support available to them such as an organisational Employee Assistance Program. If you’re concerned about a colleague, make sure to check-in, have a conversation with them and encourage them to get the support they need.
If you feel it necessary, approach your team leader to inform them that a member of your team may need support.
Don't forget to take time to look after yourself too.
Seek support for either yourself or a member of your team through internal or external support services.