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Six Top Tips to Help Your Employees Stay Connected While Working from Home
Six Top Tips to Help Your Employees Stay Connected While Working from Home
In these very challenging times, looking after your employee’s mental health and supporting their wellbeing is as important as providing a safe place for them to work.
These changes we’ve seen in everyday life have the potential to really blur the lines between work and home so it is vital that employers act to prevent any side-effects this may have on the mental health and wellbeing of their employees. 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.
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. Burnout is a real problem which is only becoming more common in the current climate.
With this in mind, we’ve pulled together six top tips that we’ve been trying at TalkTalk Business that can help your organisation with employee well-being and to stay connected with each other while working from home:
1. Daily chat and coffee catch ups
Working from home has no break room to hang out in, so it’s important to encourage your employees to take regular breaks to help improve their productivity. While you can’t meet up at a coffee shop right now, you can schedule virtual coffee breaks with your team to stay connected while homeworking.
Either schedule a daily check in to catch up whilst having a coffee break or let them know you’re free and invite your team to join you. Stay online, forget about work, and chat for a few minutes – about anything, but most importantly, make sure they are managing. At TalkTalk Business, we have team daily check-ins, so if anyone wants to have a chat, they can just jump on the call and catch up with their colleagues.
2. Encourage group chats
For all the benefits of hybrid working, the reduction in human contact is something that we all miss.
Even though everyone is working at home, that doesn’t mean your staff wouldn’t appreciate the chance to connect with co-workers with similar interests. So, set up virtual groups to facilitate conversation. For example, you can create a group for people who like crafts or cooking so they can share recipes and projects. You can also create a parent group (single parents, parents of multiples) to share tips and advice on home-schooling.
3. Question of the week
A way to keep conversation, whether in your team or with others, is to post a random question in your group chat once a week. The questions can be any topic with the aim that it will encourage conversation, e.g. What TV series are you watching at the moment? What are your top three favourite movies, and why?
You’ll probably get some interesting answers and learn a lot about your team in the process. The benefit here is that everybody doesn’t have to be online at the same time. People can pop in and answer whenever it’s convenient and read through the responses when they need a break. The importance here is that when your team does communicate, it’s not always about work or the current pandemic – always good to have #bants!
4. Virtual lunches
Like coffee breaks, lunch is another time when employees bond. Under normal circumstances, remote employees can meet their co-workers for lunch. Or they can head out for lunch with family and friends.
Of course, these are not normal circumstances. So, encourage staff to have a virtual lunch together. It’s not quite like lunching with colleagues at a restaurant, but, for some, it’s better than eating alone.
5. Company quiz
If there’s something that has become popular during lockdown, it’s a team quiz. Whether you organise one with the whole company, putting people from different departments in teams – a great way to get to know people they don’t normally liaise with – or just within your team, it’s a great way to encourage fun for your staff.
If you’re all quizzed out, some teams at TalkTalk Business have been playing games, such as ‘Through the Keyhole’ where your employees will guess whose house it is from their team, or ‘Would I Lie to You?’ where your team guess who is lying or telling the truth.
6. Virtual workouts
With the latest winter lockdown many employees will be signing on to work while it’s dark outside and then signing off at the end of the day 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. Also, gyms are closed and therefore people just aren’t being as active as they normally would. Consider organising a group fitness break during the day, such as yoga, chair stretching, or even a meditation session to keep everyone fit and healthy.
We’re all in front of the screen more often these days, TalkTalk Business have been switching up our catch ups with ‘walking one-to-ones’ over the phone. It’s perfect for reducing screen time and getting some fresh air and exercise while you’re at it.
By keeping in regular contact with your team, you can identify when people are struggling and take steps to help. At TalkTalk Business, we have a fantastic People Team that have been doing an incredible job at covering off all pillars of well-being. They have been putting on well-being focussed events and weekly yoga. Our teams have been having daily check-ins and incorporated mandatory lunch hours, just to name a few things! Steps like these give your employees more opportunities to let you know about any problems they’re experiencing, and also means they’re more likely to remain motivated and productive.