Lockdown is an uncertain time for everyone, and each time it happens it brings huge changes to every part of our lives. Depending on your business, there’s a chance your staff are working fully from home – or are required to adhere to a bunch of new working practices if they are on site.
This shift brings both physical and social challenges for your employees and it is critical that you show your staff extra support to get through this lockdown successfully.
Try our top 5 tips for supporting your staff during lockdown:
Tip 1: Keep communication lines open
Maintaining regular communication with your staff during lockdown will let them know that you’re still supporting them, even from afar. Try to check-in with each team member via text or email, or organise a team zoom meeting or two as a chance to catch-up on both work and life. Chatting to your staff face-to-face, or screen-to-screen, via an app like zoom allows you to maintain a great connection with them without physically seeing them in the office. If they are working on site under Covid-safe restrictions, make sure they fully understand what they are required to do and feel comfortable with it.
Tip 2: Ensure your team is work from home ready
If you haven’t done so already, check your staff’s working-from-home set up is suitable and allows them to work effectively. Working from home comes with physical challenges as your staff must move their permanent work setup to a more temporary working space at home. If your staff work on laptops then this is an easy fix, but for employees that need to access a monitor or multiple screens it’s important that these are relocated to their home, or alternatives are arranged for them. Keeping employees’ home setup as much like what they had access to in the office will allow them to continue working productively and bring a sense of familiarity to such an uncertain time.
Tip 3: Respect work-life balance
Remember that being at home for a lot of your staff means extra responsibilities such as teaching or looking after their school-aged children, and making extra meals for their family each day. And that is hard work. You may think that your staff will have extra time to smash out their work, but it’s important to respect that they still have busy lives outside of their work duties and work-life balance is more important than ever for lockdown survival. Encourage your team to continue taking their designated lunch break, get outside for a walk in the sunshine and to log off from their work computer after working hours.
Tip 4: Focus on the positives
While lockdown certainly brings its fair share of challenges to the workplace, it’s important to remember that there are some benefits to both you and your staff working from home. Your staff will save time not having to commute to and from work each day, the usual distractions of the office won’t be present and the flexibility of working from home will allow your staff to manage their own time, while spending more time with family. In fact, 78 per cent of Australian staff believe they’re just as (or more) productive working from home.
Tip 5: Keep an eye on your own mental health
Finally, it’s impossible to support a team of staff without making sure that your own mental and physical wellbeing is on track. This is a tough period; be gentle with yourself. Maintain catchups with your own manager, or other members of staff, for a chance to check-in on how you’re going during this uncertain time. Get outside, spend time with family, and make sure to step away from work each day to just relax.