With everything going on in the world, many workplaces are making the switch and having their employees work from home. As nice as it sounds to stay home all day, routine changes can take quite a toll on physical and mental health.
Between trying to figure out how to collaborate on projects and find balance between working, online meetings, and being at home, your employees may find themselves exhausted with the process.
Therefore, it’s even more important for brands to encourage their employees to take extra care during this time to keep themselves healthy, happy, and engaged in their work.
The Crucial Importance of Employee Health
Research has shown that when an employee is healthy and happy, their engagement and productivity increases.
It’s important to care about your employees and their well being because now more than ever, looking out for your employees is something that matters to consumers.
To do this right, brands need to help employees look at health matters holistically, both the physical and emotional aspects.
Below are best practices that we’ve compiled to help employees thrive during this difficult time. These tips will help employees to stay motivated and create a healthy, balanced work environment at home. Feel free to share with your own employees!
Tip #1: Establish a Daily Routine
- Get dressed: Make an effort to get up, dressed, and ‘ready’ for the day. Don’t be tempted to work from bed. It will help you to focus if you have a designated area for working.
- Go through a routine: You don’t have to check your emails as soon as you open your eyes. Have breakfast, drink your coffee, get the kids ready, etc. before logging on (if that is your routine). Right now, things are far from normal, and you may have to be more flexible with timing. But where possible, stick to a consistent set of working hours each day.
- Have a set time for lunch: Set down your laptop and phone and take an hour to do something else. Go for a walk or watch that episode that you didn’t have time for last night. Don’t be tempted to work through lunch unless you absolutely have to. Set your Slack status to ‘On Lunch’ so folks won’t expect you to respond right away.
- Set boundaries for others at home: Let your partner/children/roommate/goldfish know when you are available, and when you’re not. Shut the door to signal you do not wish to be disturbed, hang a sign for when you’re on calls, or do anything else that will establish those boundaries. We know this is tricky with young children, but you’ll have a better chance at success if you establish boundaries up front and consistently stick to them. (For example, if shutting the door means “do not disturb” time, then you’ll have to keep it open other times.)
Tip #2: Take Care of Your Mind & Body
- Work with fresh air: If you have a spot outdoors (garden, balcony, courtyard), try working outside. If you’re able, you can also keep doors/windows open and let the fresh air/bird noises in. Creating a peaceful ambiance will help you to focus and relax.
- Get those steps in: Schedule a daily outdoor walk, or even mix it up with a walking phone meeting. Get those endorphins and your daily dose of Vitamin D at the same time!
- Focus on the positive: Make small lists of things you are looking forward to that day/week (cupcake after dinner, virtual yoga with friends, etc.)
- Remember your microbreaks: Take a few minutes every hour to get a drink, get a breath of fresh air or even just swapp your laundry over. This is great for your creativity, mood, circulation, and heart rate. It also helps you to maintain better focus when you take periodic breaks for your mind to recharge.
- Lighten up the mood: If it’s not too distracting, play music in the background so it’s not so quiet. Deep focus playlists can be found on Spotify and Youtube, so find a playlist that works for you!
Tip #3: Virtual Social Interaction
- Set up the right tech: Make sure you’ve got all the communication tools going so it’s easy to keep in touch: mobile, email, Zoom, Slack etc. You can even start a Slack channel for fun interests you share with other co-workers.
- Hang out virtually: Schedule a Zoom coffee with a friend or colleague! It’s healthy to stay connected and support each other.
- Turn your camera on: Always communicate face to face (if you can). Communicating through email can be confusing sometimes, so video calls can help others better understand how you really feel—and keep you from talking over each other.
- Connect on a personal level often: Take the time to be human before getting down to business, and chat about how life is going for a minute. Some folks live alone, while others live with children, so those social interactions with peers are extra important during this time. It feels good to catch up with someone and feel supported.
We’re All In This Together
Working from home is tough. So our advice to brands is to send a clear message to employees with these specific points:
- Remember to take care of yourself.
- Stay connected with your co-workers.
- Take advantage of this time to leverage new technology
- Establish a routine that works great for your health and happiness.
There are many, many more resources out there, but the main takeaway is that by encouraging your employees to stick to a routine, be intentional about how and when they work, and find joy in the small moments, you are really encouraging them to be their best—and most engaged—self.
Employee Health Resources:
- Check out BBC’s Five Ways to Work Well from Home.
- Obe Fitness, an immersive digital fitness experience offers over 100 live classes per week. Use the promo code TINYBEANS for a free month on Obe!
- Ekhart Yoga is offering free online yoga & meditation classes.
- Down Dog is another cool yoga/HIIT/workout resource — their apps are free until April!
- Insight Timer is an amazing app with great meditation/mindfulness techniques for calming an anxious mind.
Helpful Resources for Kids:
- How to Keep a Routine with Kids at Home
- Helpful list of education companies offering free subscriptions while schools are closed
- Free music classes and potty training seminars at Union Square Play
- Jam with Jamie is featuring pre-recorded classes from our talented performers across the US!
- Scholastic is sharing free programs for kids (North America)
- Cosmic Kids Yoga will keep your little ones entertained for hours. (Frozen & Pokemon episodes are the best.)
- Did you know Headspace has a kids section? Great before bedtime.