Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Staying Sane in Your Virtual Workplace

A mini mental health guide for you and your team.

It seems as though just about everyone is ‘working from home’ due to Covid-19 quarantines. Some people enjoy it. I have one friend, Norm, who said “I’ve been social distancing since I was a school boy. I’m not sure who started it first, me or my friends!”

Some of us enjoy the extra productivity, but we are going crazy not getting to “connect”with others in a meaningful way. That leads to sadness or feelings of depression.

We don’t know where this is all headed or how long it will take. But we do know that leaders step up and help people through good times and the bad. Whether it’s remote work deadlines or supporting their mental health during the transition, there are ways a leader can help. Here are a few suggestions from Fast Company and FOWMedia:

Understand that transition is different for everyone. All team members will not “get the hang of working from home” in a week or two. Some may already be crushing it, but those who are change-adverse are probably continuing to struggle.

  • ASK: “I have two questions about working from home: How’s it going? And then, How’s it really going?” “Are you able to be patient with yourself?”

Develop a team routine. On a Monday afternoon check-in, you could make certain everyone is ready for the week.

  • ASK: “What is your priority for this week? How can I help?” Other plans like a weekly sync-up or even a daily check-in could help provide a routine that team members would appreciate.

Set up a virtual hangout. Not sure how to do that? No problem, ask someone on your team. It could be as easy as a Zoom or Skype call. Use a theme (hats, drinks, funniest story they have heard about something that happened on a video call, etc.). This would be to help the team’s social life and interaction.

  • ASK: “Would you guys like to set up a 30-minute, no work, social call to unwind at the end of the week? I’ve heard people are doing theme parties, and other things to decompress and support each other. Any interest?”

Last, but not least: Be outcome-focused. Ensure people are completing their tasks and being successful, not that they were online 9 hours straight.

Again, I compiled these steps from Fast Company and FOWMedia. You can check out both sources for additional thoughts.  

 Working from home right along with you!


Dr. Rob akaThe Robster

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