R U OK?
Well, are you?
It’s an important question to ask whether you’re an employer or an employee. And it’s especially important during these trying times.
Whether it’s the uncertainty, the isolation or the stress of having to continue performing with kids in the background, a lot of people are doing it tough at the moment.
This year more than ever, looking after our mental health as well as the mental health of others is critical. And what better time to talk about this than now, especially with R U OK Day right around the corner.
For employers, good mental health means a more motivated team, reduced absenteeism and turnover, and better performance.
And for workers, it means feeling better about yourself and freeing yourself from stress and anxiety.
Of course, given the circumstances, you might think it’s even more challenging to maintain your mental health right now!
As we approach R U OK Day, our recruitment consultants in Melbourne want to share some ideas that you can use to help protect your mental health…
A recruitment consultant in Melbourne explains what managers can do to maintain your team’s mental health
Maintain peer-to-peer communications
You may have set up a communication channel for all of you to use to talk about work-related stuff.
The problem is that these channels are often all business – while they’re great from a practical standpoint, they don’t exactly allow the sort of office chatter and social interaction that a lot of people on your team might need.
Whether it’s a place where people can have small talk without someone looking over their shoulder or the ability to shoot each other messages throughout the day, managers should consider encouraging peer-to-peer comms, to keep employees connected, informed, and simply, up-to-date on each other’s lives!
Attention managers: avoid the desire to micromanage!
We get it, we really do – it can be hard to keep up with where your team’s at while they’re working remotely. The urge to constantly check in with them can be strong.
It’s also one that we strongly recommend avoiding.
Nobody likes being micromanaged – it can make them feel like they aren’t trustworthy, and that they’re always being watched and judged.
And according to some studies, that in turn directly impacts employees’ mental health.
While the urge to micromanage can surge while working remotely, it’s one that you should try to resist giving into.
Check in regularly
As a manager, you aren’t just responsible for looking after your team’s performance and numbers – you’re also responsible for keeping your team healthy.
And that includes their mental health.
There are a lot of things you can do to achieve this – including simple things like checking in with your team every now and again.
Whether it’s a quick phone call once a fortnight or a weekly group chat for everyone to catch up and share how they’re doing under lockdown, small gestures can make a huge difference for your team’s mental wellbeing.
Take the conversation away from work for a while: has anyone read any good books? Learnt a new skill? Or ordered an obscene amount of online goods?
Look out for signs of struggle
- Maybe the isolation is getting to one of your team members
- Perhaps they have to work under less-than-ideal circumstances
- Maybe their responsibilities as a parent means that they’re falling behind on their work
- Whatever it is, some of your team members are struggling.
As a manager, it’s imperative that you keep an eye out for signs that members of your team are struggling. More importantly, it’s important that you accommodate for it.
Is the workload too heavy? Are things starting to get to them? Talk to them, and find ways you can all work together to support them and lighten the load. If need be, refer them to support services.
What can individuals do to protect their mental health?
Limit media coverage
There’s a lot of bad news out there – however, that doesn’t mean that you need to soak all of it in.
There’s only a set amount of bad news you can take in before it starts negatively affecting your mental health. In many cases, one of the best things you can do for your wellbeing is to limit your intake of news.
While it’s important to stay informed – especially in such a rapidly changing situation like this one – it’s also important that you know when to cut the news out when it’s starting to become too much to handle.
So if you find yourself poring over articles, one after the other – try to step back and stick to daily updates.
It can be hard to do so when we’re all distancing – however, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible.
While it isn’t the same as face-to-face interactions – remember those? – it can help alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation.
It doesn’t have to be something super complex – a WhatsApp or group chat where you share updates with one another, post memes or just joke around can go a long way towards helping you maintain your connection with your colleagues.
And more importantly, stay in touch with friends outside of work as well!
One of the biggest issues with working from home is that it can be hard to set boundaries.
It isn’t uncommon to hear about people who start working from home to actually end up working even more!
Many people keep answering emails or working on tasks, thinking “it’s only a couple more minutes… I’m already here, so… It’s not like I’ve anywhere else to go…!”
The thing is, all of this time adds up – some people report working an additional 3 hours every day in some cases!
Not only that, but it’s also pretty common for managers to assume that since you’re still “in the office” so to speak that you’re able to respond to requests out-of-hours as well.
Regulating the amount of hours you’re available can go a long way to protecting your mental health by reducing overworking.
If you live with others, ask them to help hold you accountable that when 5:30 ticks by, you really do switch off.
It isn’t all doom and gloom – get in touch with our recruitment agency in Melbourne today
With R U OK Day so close, it’s imperative that we all take the time to think about what these difficult times have been doing to all of us.
Luckily, there are resources and tactics that you can use to look after your mental health.
One of the biggest stressors during the lockdown? How to keep yourself afloat.
While many have been lucky to keep their jobs or are able to easily carry out their duties from home, not all have been so lucky.
Luckily, there have been a surprising number of permanent and temporary opportunities available to workers (as well as businesses) who need it!
Temporary recruitment consultants
A lot of businesses are making the best of a bad situation by pushing forward major projects – and oftentimes, that means bringing on temporary staff to help meet demand.
Our temporary recruitment consultants have connected businesses and job seekers alike, helping alleviate one of the biggest stressors during these difficult times.
Permanent recruitment consultants
Temporary work, whether it’s a short-term contract or simply helping set up a remote working arrangement, can be a huge help and can boost your mental health.
Of course, the ideal is a permanent position.
Luckily, there are plenty of those still floating around as well – positions that our permanent recruitment consultants can connect you with.
Get in touch with our specialist recruitment consultants
You can also visit us for recruitment agency in Melbourne: pop into our office at Level 5, 437 St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3004, if you prefer a more hands-on approach.