How managers can support their team while working from home

Whether it’s with mental health or simply adapting to a new working environment, it’s important for managers to not only help themselves while working from home by staying mindful and active, but also to help their team.

Doing so could help bring teams closer together despite being, literally speaking, further apart than they’ve been before.

Here are a few ways managers can support not only themselves but their teams while working from home!

Actively encouraging a positive work-life balance

If you’ve got your workstation set up at home, it may be tempting at times to log on in the evenings and finish off that last piece of work for the day, or just to check emails.

It’s as important as ever for managers and staff to keep an eye on how their work-life balance has changed since they started working from home.

As a manager, be sure to take the time to encourage staff to take at least a 30-minute lunch break and even get out of the house and go for a walk where possible.

It’s important for managers to remember too that working those extra hours can be detrimental to your mental health even when at home.

Try creating a diary or a plan to stick to for each day, set SMART goals and don’t forget the R and the T. Your goals for the day or the week must be realistic and time-bound.

Recommend mindfulness apps to your team

Whether it’s apps like Headspace, Insight Timer or Calm, meditation and mindfulness apps are easily accessible and free to use.

Just a few minutes a day of practicing mindfulness can have a huge positive effect. Without the usual working environment and office chatter, it’s important to make sure you and your team are taking mindfulness into consideration and how working from home could affect it.

A simple app used once a day for a few minutes could be very effective. Companies like Google and LinkedIn offer apps like Headspace out to employees as an employee benefit which are hugely popular with staff.

Remind your team of the benefits they’re entitled to as an employee

Whether they’re benefits that help with finances or health and wellbeing, make sure your team are clear on what employee benefits they have available to them.

Holiday Trading is a particularly good benefit for helping staff manage their work-life balance and at this time is one of the most popular and useful employee benefits available for managing finances and work-life balance.

The Employee Assistance Programme is also a great benefit that provides employees 24/7 confidential access to mental health support and if available should be communicated out to staff.

The Technology Scheme is also helping parents up and down the country with home schooling and to also afford equipment which could help them when working from home.

Take into consideration the employee benefits that are available to your staff and ensure everyone on your team is fully aware of the options they have.

Have regular catch ups

When everyone is in the workplace its easy to just grab everyone for a meeting or pop round to someone’s workstation.

Working from home is obviously a little different and working without those “how was your weekend?” conversations might not seem like such a big deal, however you can quickly lose that cohesiveness with your team if you don’t communicate regularly enough.

So, while it’s important from a work perspective to have regular meetings and calls, why not have meetings for just a regular catch up while you’re all on your lunch break?

Going a full working day with hardly any social interaction might not sound that bad but it’s a big shift from the usual workplace environment and atmosphere and can have an effect.

Try and get everyone in your team together at least twice a week on a call where possible.

Taking these simple steps could be hugely beneficial for you and your team. Working from home isn’t always as easy or straight forward as it sounds, particularly for staff who haven’t worked from home before.

With such a quick transition, it’s important to be mindful of how this could affect you and your team. Consistent communication is key and being mindful and staying active are equally as important!