The fact that Mental Health Awareness month is during the COVID-19 pandemic is particularly fitting. With the current social distancing and stay-at-home orders, it is very important to check on employee’s mental health. A recent poll of 2,190 adults by NORC at the University of Chicago found the majority of Americans have felt anxious, depressed, lonely or hopeless in at least one of the last seven days in April. Now more than ever, employers need to enhance communications and stay connected with employees – focusing on their safety and increasing their trust in your company. Constant and transparent communication is crucial for ensuring continued productivity while working remotely.
Enhance Communication with Employees
Poor mental health can negatively affect job performance and productivity, engagement with one’s work, communication with co-workers, and physical capability and daily functioning. It is important to encourage employees and managers to reach out, keep communication flowing and even add fun events into the workweek. Remind employees that taking a few minutes to step away, and get some fresh air or take a quick mental break, can drastically improve mood.
Sending email communication regularly to employees helps, especially if including tips to assist them through this time. Appropriate emails at this time can include tips on how to stay focused, links to online resources or helpful mobile apps, or simply comments reinforcing the value of your company. An email just to show that you care and are here for everyone would have a positive impact on morale, as well. Check out the resources below that can be helpful for managers, HR, and employees during this time.
- Online Resources:
- Working Remotely during COVID-19 – tips for your mental health and well-being during and how managers and HR professionals can support workers during this time.
- 60 Digital Resources for Mental Health – a list of comprehensive resources for mental health issues including research portals, blogs, nonprofits and phone hotlines.
- Digital Accessibility and Other Best Practices for Remote Work – make sure that your employees with disabilities are included in all aspects of remote work.
- Invite a llama or goat to your next meeting – for less than $100 you can support an animal sanctuary and have a cameo from a llama, goat or other farm animal during your next online meeting for some fun.
- Aromatherapy – Aurora health has some great tips on how essential oils to enhance our well-being.
- Working out – tips and ideas to keep you active and fit despite being stuck at home amid the outbreak.
- United We Stand – blog post encouraging us to rally, knowing we’re all going through these unprecedented times together.
- Mobile Apps:
- Breathe2Relax – simple app you watch a dot grow and shrink on the screen and breathe with it. Mesmerizing and provides a time to focus on breathing and relaxing.
- Sanvello – clinically validated techniques for reducing stress and treating anxiety and depression
- Harmony Hypnosis Meditation – reduce anxiety, tension and stress, gain more confidence and inner control, save time and achieve goals more easily.
- Relax Melodies – provides melodies to relieve stress (can choose what type of music/sounds), has breathing techniques and even includes a lot of sleep options as well.
- Happify – a brain-training app based on research showing that some types of activity can help you combat negativity, anxiety and stress while fostering positive traits like gratitude and empathy.
- COVID Coach – for everyone, including veterans and service members, to support self-care and overall mental health during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Brainwaves – more than 100 quality isochronic tones and Binaural beats for Relax, stress reduce and more.
- 5 Minute Yoga Workouts – excuse-proof app and press start to kick off the sequence of the day, and you’ll see a photo of the move, a description of how to do it, and a minute-long countdown clock for how long you should hold each pose.
These suggestions are of course just a short list as there are a ton more online! During Mental Health Awareness month and beyond, we hope that everyone stays safe and keeps mentally healthy.
If you are looking for more tips, join our free webinar June 27 focused on Increasing Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace.