Mental health is something many people experience, but few people talk about. Now more than ever, several employees (and people in general) are experiencing great challenges and difficulties maintaining their mental health, specifically due to the COVID-19 crisis, and the sudden shift in our everyday lives.
Being that mental health isn’t as prominent and openly discussed in the black and brown community as it should be, we think it’s important to share with our audience whether you’re an employer or an employee working remotely or simply someone that wants to maintain their mental health, here are five ways employers can support their remote employees’ mental health during COVID-19.
5 Ways Employers Can Support Remote Employees’ Mental Health
Make the work meaningful with impactful goals and objectives
As a remote worker during a global pandemic, it’s extremely important to distinguish between work that is actually worth completing and work that is just “busy work” and can potentially be abandoned or pushed back to a later date. This allows employees to focus on tasks that are closer to the company’s goals and objectives, especially during a sensitive time like this.
As an employer, you want to keep in mind that productivity is equivalent to the amount of meaningful work completed compared to the amount of hours spent to complete the task. For the employees’ sake and mental health, assign and delegate tasks that will make the greatest difference to the company’s goals and objectives.
Many of your employees also have families at home, which may include children, pets and a spouse. During this time, you want to make sure you’re working with your employees so they don’t feel overwhelmed. Clearly and effectively communicate your expectations to them, and if needed, incorporate weekly check-ins to ensure all employees are successfully adjusting to the new normal.
With this in mind, being flexible and understanding is key. As an employer, you should offer your employees flexibility needed to maintain their mental health, and the best way to go about this is to find a way to support each employee during this time.
Offer digital therapy subscriptions and check-ins
If your company is in a position to offer your employees digital therapy benefits—now is the best time to implement those subscriptions. There are so many easy accessible digital health platforms that will provide your employees with a tailored online therapy experience. If your company is unable to provide its employees with these benefits, there are several other therapy options and resources online as well as the mediation app, Headspace which offers its audience free content during the COVID-19 crisis.
Make sure your communication is honest and transparent
In a time like this, communication is key—but honest and transparent communication is everything. Open communication is pivotal during a crisis, so as the employer, it is your job to reassure your employees, keep them updated on any company changes, answer any and all questions they may have, and find solutions and answers.
Keep in mind, you don’t have to find the answers to everything on your own, establish an open environment where your employees can share their thoughts and concerns, openly. With so much uncertainty floating around, don’t remain silent—even if you don’t have a direct answer, still remain transparent and honest.
Encourage a sense of community
Sure, many of us initially may have enjoyed the solitude and working from the comfort of our homes, but as time progressed and self-quarantine prolonged, we all at one time or another began to yearn for human interaction. Keeping this in mind, there are numerous ways your team can contribute to encouraging a sense of community during this time:
- Share remote work hacks with your employees
- Ask employees and co-workers for advice on how they’re maintaining during this time
- Keep it fun, but appropriate by sharing jokes, memes you found online, or relatable stories that other co-workers and employees may be experiencing during this time
- Incorporate serious and informative aspects too such as safety measures to take during this time and government implemented rules and regulations
If you found these tips helpful, make sure to share with your family and friends as we all are trying to find ways to adapt to our new normal. #MentalHealthMatters