Adjusting to Working from Home
Implementing social distancing and isolation to control the spread of the virus has been a dramatic change to how we go about our daily lives. The switch to working from home has had an effect on people who are used to their daily routines of getting up and heading out to the office. While being able to wake up later and maybe not having to dress as formally as you would for the office might sound great at first, after a while your team may feel lost without their routines.
In a study conducted by Thrive Global, over 80% of workers surveyed stated that they wished their employer did more to help them adjust to pandemic-related changes. 85% of employees also stated that they wish that their employers took greater action to address outbreak-related changes.
Employers should be encouraging their teams to stick to a routine similar to the one they held when they were going into the office. Working from home can lead to a decrease in your employees’ physical activity. Instead of the time it would take an employee to commute to the office, encourage doing some kind of exercise to start the morning, such as a walk/run or yoga session to ease into the day. It’s important to be active not only for your physical health, but for your mental health as well. Getting outdoors safely during lockdown is possible through social distancing and wearing a mask when required by local authorities. If it’s not easy or accessible for your employees to get outside, suggest getting up from their workstations every 30 minutes to stretch their legs.
Your staff may be balancing working from home, while also caring for family members or homeschooling at the same time. Acknowledging what your staff is going through in their home-life and being understanding of those individual challenges can help relieve some of the stress your employee may be experiencing. Discuss ways to set up a schedule or how to create a dedicated workspace within their homes, if possible, as a way to help create some normalcy in your teams’ situation.
As employees made the adjustment to working from home, the way people communicate also changed. Technology allows companies to easily be in contact with one another, whether through various video conferencing services or instant messaging platforms. It’s important to check in with employees throughout the day, the same way you would be conversing as if you were sitting across from each other or walking past each other in the hallway. Having a coffee morning during the week with different teams and suggesting to the individual teams that they have a social chat or happy hour is a good way for everyone to keep in touch and talking through issues they may be facing outside of work. This pandemic has seen people’s living arrangements and financial situations change, and it is important to make sure that your employees feel supported no matter what the issue is.