Improving Employee Well-Being During COVID-19

Improving Employee Well-Being During COVID-19

Improving Employee Well-Being During COVID-19

Starting the year in lockdown 3.0 has been challenging to say the least. Now that many organisations have got to grips with their employees working from home, business leaders are taking a step back and focusing on how they can create a sustainable and long-term way of working that boosts efficiency and productivity, enables growth and maintains staff wellbeing.

There are four key dimensions of wellbeing: physical, emotional, financial, and social. Lockdown, restrictions, self-isolating and social distancing is essential to protect our physical wellbeing, but it could potentially increase the risks in the other three areas.

At TalkTalk Business, our People Team have been doing an incredible job at covering off all pillars of well-being. We have been encouraging daily check-ins, putting on well-being focussed events and weekly yoga, including guest speakers in meetings, incorporated mandatory lunch hours to get people away from screens, and have been closely working with our benefit provider partners to provide staff with the right resources for peace of mind. And those are just a handful of things that they have in store for us!

In this blog we take a look at best practice we’re adopting at TalkTalk Business and how to ensure you’re covering all four key dimensions to support your employees’ well-being.

Physical Well-Being

With the latest winter lockdown many employees will be signing on to work while it;s dark and then signing off in twilight also. Activities your employees may have used to 'switch off' over summer, such as evening walks, are not as accessible due to the weather. And with gym closed for the foreseeable, people aren't as active as they used to be.

Serotonin promotes a sense of happiness and well-being so the more fresh air you have will help to significantly boost your employees' mood. At TalkTalk Business we promote daily walks and find creative ways to help employees to support and encourage each other with physical activity, e.g. 'walk and talk' catch ups as your weekly check-ins.

Mental and Emotional Well-Being

Emotional and mental well-being is so important. How we support ourselves, how we support others within our business or business contacts is crucial. The move to hybrid working makes it harder to keep track of your employees’ wellbeing. That’s why it’s important to arrange regular check-ins to make sure that your people are managing.

Businesses need to prioritise mental health in the workplace and promote an open culture and communication on mental health. Encourage leaders to role model good sleep and work hygiene e.g. reducing evening screen time to tackle stigma of sleep being a ‘nice to have’, incorporate daily catch ups within your teams and provide mental health tools and support.

Financial Well-Being

Conversations about money are never easy, but not opening up that communication can lead to unnecessary worry and stress. If an employee spends hours worrying about their personal finances, you can imagine how much pressure the pandemic is putting on their relationships at home and work.

Reach out to your employees, encourage the conversation, and listen to the support they need. Review any work-related factors negatively impacting employee’s financial wellbeing and take action to mitigate these risks. You can also signpost to reliable information and sources.

Social Well-Being

For all the benefits of working from home, during this third lockdown, the reduction in human contact is something that we all miss incredibly. Being restricted from seeing family, friends and loved ones is something everyone will be struggling with, possibly more than they’re letting on. Whether they’re living alone, with a flatmate they don’t know well, or have a family but are juggling work and home-schooling at the same time (how do they do it?!).

It’s so important to connect and talk to people more than ever. Encourage people to maintain informal conversations. Encouraging daily check-ins, team activities e.g. team quizzes and games, virtual lunches and coffee chats are a great start.

 

While some of the workers were used to remote work before the coronavirus outbreak, it is a big change and challenge for others, especially during this latest lockdown. It’s important that companies create an environment where leadership and employees can stay connected while working from home. By keeping in regular contact with your team, you can identify when people are struggling and take steps to help. Whatever this year brings, we’ll face it together.