Financial advisor Drewberry is ensuring all of its 35 employees have access to mental health support while they are working remotely.
Line managers are tasked with checking in on their team members every couple of days to make sure they are coping well and to look out for any signs of stress or anxiety.
The organisation also sends out regular communications relating to any business developments and how it can help them during this current period.
Andrew Jenkinson, director at Drewberry, says: “I think it’s like anything, it’s easy when we’re apart for [communication} to slip but it’s very important for employers to keep those communication lines open, and for line managers to be proactive in keeping an eye on their staff to make sure they are being supported by the business as much as they are being supported by their family or friends.
“Each employee has their own set of circumstances: some employees have an amazing network with their families, have people around them who they can rely on to support them, and we have other employees that are on their own and trying to work through this [pandemic] living solo.”
Drewberry is also trying to lower stress levels by trusting staff to take time off and deal with the complexities of working at home, as long as they get the work done.
The organisation is also modifying benefits where possible to fit in with a virtual world, such as turning the weekly office-based yoga sessions into virtual classes.
Additionally, Drewberry offers all of its employees a 24/7 virtual GP service, which also covers their immediate family, mental health support and access to nutritional consultants. The service has been popular during lockdown with virtual GP appointments doubling in the first six weeks.
“[We’ve] got to be creative and engage employees and keep asking the right questions, and hopefully [we] have the right relationship with [our] staff to be open and honest if they are having difficulties,” adds Jenkinson.
“People need to feel confident enough that we are there to support them and they are confident to have those conversations [about mental health] and use the services on offer. Mental health is still a bit of a taboo subject but it’s getting much better.”