COVID-19 has forced many of us to change how and where we work and as we near the end of 2020 we are finding ourselves continuing to work remotely. This national WORK LIFE BALANCE week has never been so important, focusing employers to support their employees’ in striving for a work-life balance, encourage healthy and sustainable ways of working.

Working mindset are hearing many of us are saying that we are really struggling to separate our work-life from our home-life. This is having a huge unwanted impact on our mental health and family dynamics.

How to support your employees:

1) Check-in with your employees personally 

We can no longer have those impromptu chats in the kitchen, or at someone’s desk, so realising our employees are struggling is now much harder. We need regular check-ins with our employees where managers can be curious about their employee’s work-life balance. Your managers may need support and training to give them confidence in facilitating these types of conversations and spotting the signs of mental ill health.

2) Check-in with the whole organisation

It is critical to also look at your entire organisation to see how employees are doing on multiple dimensions. Engagement surveys can be predictive indicators of what is to come. Acknowledge publicly that employees who are caregivers are doing double duty (at work and at home). Showing appreciation can go a long way in maintaining the loyalty of staff.
Along with employee surveys, other ways to measure wellbing is looking at access to employee well-being services, annual leave/sick leave, and unexpected time off. These are all signals of how well staff are managing the stresses of caregiving during Covid-19.

3) Offer Autonomy and Agency

Employees who are caregivers are carrying a lot, employers need to give greater agency as well as autonomy. That means offering flexibility into their hours. A flexible schedule allows the employee to care for their children and gives them time to deliver on their work.

4) Mandatory Breaks 

We need to be helping people take breaks, such as coffee and lunch breaks. Try to not book meetings over lunch times and help encourage employees to take some sort of daily exercise. 

5) Create a workspace 

We know how important a designated workspace is and as we face further uncertainty of how long we may continue to be at home trying to work, we need to support our employees to set up adequate home-working spaces. We need to supply office chairs and laptop stands for example.

6) Implement a wellbeing strategy 

A wellbeing strategy has never been so important. Not only will this help to improve our employee’s wellbeing, it can also positively contribute to business performance.
A wellbeing plan should cover all aspects of workplace wellbeing, from flexible working hours to mental wellbeing, fitness and nutrition support.