The global pandemic has reshaped the way businesses operate, with a shift to working remotely to enable their business to survive. Remote working has its benefits. It allows businesses to continue to function, employees save time and money on transport and potentially increase productivity due to fewer distractions. However, remote working has implications on our mental health and well-being. While some may adapt smoothly, others may suffer the effects of feeling isolated, anxious and afraid about the uncertainty or have difficulties’ switching off’ between work and home life and managing their time.
Worksafe Australia describes mental health as “a state of well-being that allows people to realise their potential while coping with the ordinary challenges of life. Good mental health supports people to thrive in their life, work and relationships with others. Meanwhile, mental ill-health can negatively impact these parts of our lives in a significant way.”
Worksafe Australia provides a guide for the risk factors to an employees mental health. These include:
- Isolated work – For example, employees working from home
- Low support- Employees working in isolation may feel they do not have sufficient access to the support they need to perform their duties, or their work demands have dramatically increased, and workplaces may not be able to offer the same level of support
- Low role clarity – Employees may not be clear on how working from home has changed expectations and the tasks they are required to perform
- Difficulty separating work and home life when working from home (leisure time, time with family, sleep)
- Low recognition and reward or loss of meaning and purpose when working remotely
- Poor organisational change management – For example, if businesses are restructuring or changing roles and responsibilities to address the effects of COVID-19 but are not providing adequate training, information or support to employees
- Stress or anxiety about potential exposure to COVID-19
Accario is well versed in remote based services, having provided remote staff and resources to accounting practices and small businesses for over a decade. We understand that under the right circumstances and given the right tools, employees can thrive.
Some of these strategies that Accario actively implement which may be helpful to your organisation are;
- Reach out to staff and ask for feedback. Identify their state of mind and gather information to give you an idea of how they are coping.
- Use software as a tool’ check in’ on employees well-being and morale. For example https://www.whichemoji.co.uk/
- Create regular feedback and social loops, daily standups, virtual meetings, Friday afternoon tea and coffee breaks over a virtual platform such as zoom.
- Establish a recreation committee to create more online engagement with fitness sessions, gaming sessions, solutions that can be implemented remotely.
- Provide training and a buddy system for support.
- Create job rotation, task variation, activities, and allow for breaks to release tension and monotony.
- Re-position goals and expectations considering the pandemic.
- Regular updates and nationally mandated information from the health authorities are shared, focusing on adequately verified news and not fear-based gossip.
- Provide personal leave support for vaccinations, sickness and death
- Working with a high degree of empathy and understanding. Our goal is to do our best and come out of this TOGETHER.
Help is always available whenever you need it. Reach out for help and support: