How to support your workforce remotely this January

Amy Tomlinson, Head of HR at MetLife shares some tips on how you can show your workforce that you’re there for them as they continue to work from home this January.

“A supportive workplace is essential. Happy employees are more engaged, creative, and open to making constructive suggestions that can help the business prosper. It’s important to maintain momentum to regularly check in with colleagues and employees, particularly in the uncertain times we continue to find ourselves in. It’s likely that members of your team may not know how to share that they are struggling, so use the start of a new year as a reason to have a more personal conversation to see how you could help.”

1. Employers should make mental health a priority: Introduce ‘no meeting zones’ or regular break times. In the new world of virtual meetings, it’s easy to feel constantly in demand. Meeting after meeting can easily happen so support with diary and time management can be critical to minimising overwhelm early on in the year. Managers should lead by example, for instance, blocking out an hour over lunch – a no meeting zone – can be hugely beneficial, it gives staff a break away from their work and chance to go outside, so that come the afternoon they are more refreshed.

2. Check-in on your co-workers, even if it’s to say a quick hello over video chat: Everyone’s home life is different, and someone people in your organisation might experience extended periods where they haven’t spoken to anyone. Frequent communication can be a great help, and an open workplace culture leads to higher productivity as people tend to feel supported.

3. Start a charity fundraiser: With a new year, many organisations are partnering with their newly chosen corporate charity and planning fundraising ideas for the year ahead. Many local charities have been affected by the pandemic as they have seen a decrease in donations, so help to kick start donations for the new year and start a charity fundraiser that brings staff together. A bake off with healthier options could be something new to try as many take up dry January or Veganuary challenges.

4. Let those around you know how much you appreciate them: In the isolation of home working, sometimes we might forget to tell those around us what a great job they are doing. Send a quick message to an employee or co-worker and let them know that you appreciate their efforts. An online card for a birthday or special occasion can go a long way.

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