The time of a global pandemic is an unprecedented situation, and most people still don’t know how to appropriately react to all the changes in our everyday lives. Not only are we constantly surrounded with tragic news and morbid statistical data which evoke the feeling of fear when it comes to contact with other people, but also, there is this veil of uncertainty present in our mindsets. Lack of socialization, combined with everything else we’ve mentioned, leads to a negative impact on our mental health, and we must do everything to try to fight it and stay positive. Employers are facing the consequences of this negativity in lack of productivity and employees’ morale, so let’s see what are some ways to deal with it.
Proper communication is the solution for various problems at work in general, and now it seems to be more important than ever. Allowing people to express their feelings will help everyone connect, as the majority is struggling with loneliness, especially if working from home. It can be easy to slip into the panic mode under such circumstances and to avoid it, employers must regularly update employees. It is highly recommended to dedicate a time slot for answering their questions and responding to their worries on a daily basis. This way, you will show empathy and act as a role model, demonstrating your capability of being a great leader in the worst of times.
Flexibility in working hours
Some companies are offering the possibility of remote work, some others are specifically requesting it, and whatever the case, you need to bear in mind not everyone has optimal conditions for work at home. Even people with home offices can struggle to focus or be productive, so we are suggesting loosening up your working hours. Of course, if there are meetings or deadlines for submitting certain reports, they must be adhered to. But let’s admit it, for various tasks it doesn’t really matter if an employee performed it within nine to five periods or not. Providing flexibility will certainly increase their productivity rate and morale.
Encourage personal connection
This is related to the communication we’ve mentioned, as one of the most common issues is feeling isolated due to overthinking. Connection will help in reducing this, as by talking with you and each other, your employees will realize you are all together in this, and that it is perfectly normal to feel the way they do. For smaller companies, team buildings and events including fun activities with all the safety measures are highly recommended. We’ve looked up some interesting choices for this area, and found the photo booth hire in Sydney, for example. This one and any similar activities are an amazing way to engage your employees and take their mind off the crisis, at least for several hours. If it is still too risky to connect in real life, you should organize webinars and perhaps even virtual parties!
Looking from the bright side, we are living in a technologically advanced period and it is not actually necessary to be in the same room in order to interact. There are various platforms such as Google Hangouts or Zoom, on which you can host meetings and virtual events of all kinds. There are some time limitations for the free of charge option, so you should really consider a paying subscription. Subscribing your company to any other online resource for improving workflow or even something for entertainment will be appreciated.
Another thing you should definitely do is create group chats, both formal and informal, so your employees can discuss everything they usually would, and much more, related to current events. Suggest sharing tips and hacks on how to manage the situation and be productive, as well as movie and music recommendations!
If there is any possibility of increased health insurance for your employees, the timing is perfect. We understand that many businesses are already at loss because of the pandemic, but health is a top priority now. We are strongly advising you to revise your healthcare plan, and try to adapt it to current circumstances. Offer to provide free testing to coronavirus, and for the worst case scenario, coverage of at least a portion of the treatment in a private clinic.
Don’t forget the importance of little things! Celebrating a birthday during a pandemic is already limiting, and to be honest frustrating, so it is even more important to send a gift to the employee in question. Lower the bar for what is considered a reason to celebrate, and mark even the smallest milestone or achievement. It will help people feel worthy, and therefore boost their motivation and morale. And make sure to always do so in a group chat, in order to share their win with the rest of the team.
Everyone is aware that you as an employer are facing numerous challenges for the first time, and that you are making decisions on the way. Diving into the unknown while not being financially stable, not even knowing whether the company will be able to survive the crisis is not a position where your employees would like to walk in your shoes. All great leaders are expected to set an example, but remember to follow that advice yourself. Furthermore, it is okay to make mistakes on the way, as long as you are learning from them!