The drastic drop of the COVID-19 coronavirus has forced almost all companies to allow their employees to work from home. It is true that this decision will limit the spread of the disease, but the mental health of employees will also be compromised. This increased isolation can lead to high levels of stress and depression. As a result, productivity might be greatly affected as a consequence of this epidemic.
You don’t have to be stressed! Spend time with your family, play some free quiz questions for kids and just enjoy life. Here are four research-backed ways to protect your employee’s health in this crisis.
Workplaces should be more flexible
To avoid workers feeling isolated, companies should provide them with more flexibility. As a consequence, employees can adjust their schedule and be free to travel or work remotely as they see fit. In turn, this will increase participation levels in the office and even make new connections outside of it. Keep in mind to also give employees free access to teleconferences, videoconferences or team meetings on Skype or Google Hangouts. Employees might suffer from depression because of unnecessary feelings of isolation and separation from their peers due to living far away.
Promote healthy activities
Taking care of your employees is crucial during these times. This is why companies should promote various healthy activities and programs, such as free yoga classes or free gym memberships to their staff. In turn, this will improve employee’s mental health by giving them a chance to relax and release negative emotions in a safe environment. If you live in an area with cold weather, then encourage them to go skiing or snowboarding as often as possible. This way they will get the opportunity to enjoy the sun while having fun at the same time. Don’t forget that if you live in a hot weather area, then encourage all of your employees to spend time outdoors and play sports on regular bases for there extra physical activity aside from work.
Provide opportunities for virtual socializing
As previously mentioned, employees might suffer from depression because of excessive feelings of isolation. To avoid this situation happening to your staff, you should encourage people in the workplace to host casual conversation on Skype or Google Hangouts. According to a study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, online counseling sessions are successful and can help workers suffering from stress and anxiety. You can suggest your employees to brag out their mind through stories and publish them at sites like The Doe.
Collaborative online training
It is recommended that you train your employees to freely collaborate and work with one another online through free web apps such as Google Docs, Asana or Dropbox. Furthermore, all of your team members should benefit from free tele-courses offered by Coursera which will help them understand the importance of communication between every single member during an emergency situation. This way, they will be more likely to free think on their feet and adjust their schedule according to free demands for time off work. It is vital that all employees have full access to free office spaces (such as free deskspace or free meeting rooms) amongst other perks in order for them to feel a sense of cohesion within the company.
Promote positive coping methods
A great way to help your employees deal with stress is to regularly remind them of all the positive aspects they have going on in their life. There are many ways you can do so, for example by drawing attention to the fact that even though this crisis has a devastating effect on people’s lives around the world, it doesn’t mean we should forget about our basic human rights and freedoms such as freedom of speech or religion which are also essential for each individual’s well-being. By doing so, your company will send out a strong message of positivity and unity among its staff members.
Another behavior that might help your employees during these tough times is using humor as a positive coping mechanism. Every single employee should be encouraged to make use of his/her sense of humor as it is an essential key to reduce stress, conflicts and tensions. Employees should feel free to share jokes or funny stories during your company meetings since this will not only improve their mood but make them more productive as well, leading to higher levels of work performance which is vital for the development of any organization.