Blurring the Boundaries Between Work and Home Part 2:
How to Maintain and Promote Work-Life Wellness as a Manager During the COVID-19 Crisis
In Part 1 of this blog, we explored ways to prevent the boundaries between your work and life being blurred while working remotely during the COVID-19 crisis. While managing your own work-life wellness can be challenging, managing the wellness of your staff or team is an additional concern for managers that often presents its own hurdles. In Part 2 of this blog, we will share a number of practical tips and immediately actionable strategies to ensure that your employee’s know their well-being is top of mind for you, even when you are working apart!
Habits to Promote the Work-Life Wellness of Your Staff:
- Use regular check-ins – establish weekly personal and professional touch-points with your staff members to encourage open communication and information sharing. This will not only improve levels of trust and perceived support from your staff, but will also serve to enhance efficiency by ensuring that you’re accessible to address any priorities or concerns as they arise. Be sure to ask: “how are you doing?” and “is there anything I can help with to make your remote work better?”
- Practice what you preach – help employees feel comfortable creating their own boundaries by “walking the talk” yourself. Some good strategies include setting and sticking to regular working hours, taking breaks and letting people know when you are unavailable, and making use of a delayed send feature when catching up on emails outside of work hours (i.e., if you send out emails on the weekend, people may feel they need to reply. It’s better to set a delay delivery for Monday morning in this case).
- Build a virtual water cooler – create opportunities for employees to share life updates and connect on a personal level. When you take the time to promote employees coming together for social interaction you directly improve engagement, loyalty, and resilience among your team. Consider a virtual team coffee or lunch.
- Establish accessibility guidelines – make information as accessible as possible and define clear expectations for sharing updates, tracking work, and checking in. Even something as simple as making sure your staff know the best way to contact you and each other can help to ensure that things run as smoothly as possible.
- Adjust evaluation – working remotely can mean that it’s more difficult to measure productivity. Consider tracking performance based on concrete results, not time spent working. Not only with this strengthen communication, but will likely enrich trust and work outcomes.
Remote work presents a number of challenges that can blur the boundaries between work and life, particularly in the unique conditions many are working as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. However, there are many opportunities to leverage this flexibility in order to maintain and even enhance your own wellbeing as well as that of your staff. For more information about how to support yourself and your employees with flexible and remote work options, contact us today!
Blog by April Dyrda, M.Sc.
Registered Provisional Psychologist and Industrial/Organizational Consultant
Work EvOHlution has been a world leader in remote work success since our launch in 2014. We are a Calgary-based team of Organizational Psychologists committed to enhancing engagement and performance in distributed workplaces. We offer innovative assessment tools for leaders, teams, and employees based on research conducted since 2003, as well as consulting, coaching, and training solutions. Work EvOHlution specializes in supporting organizations both locally and internationally.
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