During the government's announcement this week, it was revealed that those who could successfully work from home should continue to do so. This news may be welcomed by many, but for some staff the prospect of more time out of the office and away from colleagues is disappointing. Therefore, for those of you with employees that need a bit more encouragement and positivity we wanted to share these top tips from iHASCO’s very own HR Manager, Chloe Holland. It may be just what your team needs to keep them motivated!
It is very likely that you have already provided information to your team about managing routines, how to support one another, and what to do if they are struggling. However, it doesn’t hurt to reiterate these messages to remind employees that they are supported. This unusual situation comes with ups and downs and it is important to remember that some things are out of our control. Continued communication really is key to ensuring your workforce is safe, happy, and productive, but equally listening to their needs and concerns will go a long way too.
Here’s the advice...
As we enter a further period of homeworking this will bring a range of emotions. With plenty of proof of an already successful period of working from home, now is a perfect time to refresh the ways we are working to make sure we keep our productivity levels up whilst having a healthy work-life balance.
Reassess your routine
- Get into a ‘daily’ working routine. Be ready and ‘at work’ as if you were in the office. Getting up and ready for the day helps you feel like you are going somewhere and gets you in the right mindset. I even read that some people go and ‘travel’ to work by taking a 15-minute walk before they start!?
- Take your breaks. Get up and move away from the desk- go outside for a breath of air. It's so important that you do this and helps make it feel like a working day.
- Set your expectations for the day – if it helps self-motivation you could send your manager or a work buddy your plans for the day, or pop yourself a handwritten tick list and mark it off as you go.
- Stay hydrated! And not just tea and coffee, keep your water intake up, keep healthy!
- Manage background noise - not always possible to get the peace and quiet we all would love BUT limit this where possible, try having the radio on instead of TV which can be distracting.
- Do something to break up your working day and evening, go for your daily exercise/walk the dog/get out in the garden with the kids - get out and away from the home (if you can) so you are leaving work mentally.
Support each other
- Check-in on your teammates, keep in contact. Take part in Google meets and chat.
- Send positive/motivational messages - it keeps team spirits up! Remember: NEGATIVITY BREEDS NEGATIVITY!
- Share your weekend and evening news! It may not be about the latest festival lineup or love island gossip; but recommend a Netflix series or a film you watched, chat about your bike ride/BBQ/Domino's delivery. Keep the office chat going.
- If you are struggling with anything, speak up. It has been a whirlwind and can sometimes feel like we still haven’t hit the ground yet. It is NORMAL to feel under pressure. Parents are suddenly teachers overnight, families are spending so much more time together, ‘normal’ routine has gone out the window. People are isolated from their families and friends.
- If you have found a new working routine that will slightly amend your usual hours (for example starting time/finish time) speak to your line manager to make them aware.
- Finally - but most importantly...If you, or you notice one of your colleagues, are struggling - please reach out. There are many avenues for support including HR, your manager, and your colleagues who can provide a listening ear. Here at iHASCO, we have an amazing wellbeing support network with MHFA’s and an EAP helpline 24/7- 365 days a year.
Online training for homeworkers
There are plenty of online training courses that can support the safety and wellbeing of your employees. eLearning provides a perfect solution for training, as it can be completed at a convenient time for the learner, from their ‘home office’. iHASCO offers a range of courses including Health & Safety for homeworkers training, Mental Health Awareness Training, Stress Awareness & Management, and Time Management. Training can be implemented through a handy LMS (Learning Management System) which makes it easy to implement and manage training for your employees. You can also store documents and policies, which can be marked as read, if required. This is particularly useful if you have had to create a homeworking policy and want to make it available to all employees.