Impacts on my work

Tips for supporting your mental health as we adjust to new ways of working during COVID-19
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Working from home

COVID-19 has changed the way we work, and with Omicron now circulating in the community, many of us are having to work from home. Below are some tips to keep us connected with our colleagues and boost our mental wellbeing when our home and workplace have merged into one: 

  • Keep a routine to create structure in your day. Whether that’s putting on work clothes, chatting (virtually) with colleagues over lunch, or doing your after-work yoga session, keeping up with routines is great for our mental wellbeing because it creates pockets of normality and predictability – our brains love that! 
  • Where possible, set up a dedicated workspace with suitable equipment and create a routine that includes start and finish times, breaks and getting out in the fresh air. This will help you to maintain a boundary between your work and home environments.  
  • Stay connected with your colleagues by checking in with them regularly. Instead of emailing, have a chat with a teammate on the phone or video chat. 
  • Consider new ways that you can connect as a team – try virtual morning teas, Zoom karakia in the mornings or email chains sharing favourite songs or recipes. 
  • If you can safely meet up with your colleagues, organise to have a walking meeting.  
  • Find ways to take notice of the world around you, like looking at nature during a walk or practising a mindfulness exercise. 
  • Compliment a colleague who is doing amazing mahi.  
  • Find new ways to keep learning. Try reading an article or watching a video about a new topic you are interested in.

Managers and business owners

There’s so much for managers and business owners to think about right now and having to care not just for your own wellbeing, but for the wellbeing of your employees can feel overwhelming. Here are some tips and resources to help you create work environments where people feel safe, calm, connected and hopeful throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

How to support your staff from afar

As managers and workplace leaders you can have a direct impact on the wellbeing of your employees. With many employees currently working from home, there are steps you can you take to support your teams in a remote working environment.

Creating a positive work environment during COVID-19 

Demonstrating leadership, clear communication, knowing your team members and having regular check-ins are all essential aspects of providing a supportive environment for your employees. 

Minimising and managing stress

This is a stressful time for everyone, but too much long-term stress can lead to burnout and ill health. Increased sickness absence, arguments, decreased performance and higher staff turnover are just some of the signs that individuals or teams may be experiencing stress in the workplace. There are things you can do to help your employees to minimise, manage and recover from stress in the workplace:

  • If you notice changes in someone’s behaviour, thinking, feelings or reactions, ask them ‘how are you, really?’ and listen.
  • Review your team’s allocated work tasks, individual needs, social environment, workplace relationships and organisational culture. Are any of these factors impacting on the mental health and wellbeing of the team?
  • Identify what changes can be made both immediately and in the future.
  • Consider how to get the team engaged to achieve change.  

Practising the Five Ways to Wellbeing at Work

The Five Ways to Wellbeing are simple, proven actions that workplaces can take to help their people find balance, build resilience and boost their mental health and wellbeing.  As we adjust to working from home and the continued uncertainty of COVID-19, these actions are now more relevant than ever, and can be used by managers and leaders to support their people in tough times. The Five Ways to Wellbeing are: 

  • Connect 
  • Be active 
  • Keep learning 
  • Take notice 
  • Give