HOW TO PROMOTE MENTAL HEALTH IN A REMOTE TEAM

Though many people around the country have returned to work, much of the nation’s workforce still finds itself working from home and adapting to the many changes and challenges this brings. When leading a remote team, you have a responsibility to make sure everybody copes with this transition as well as possible. Here are three tips to help you do so…

Encourage social interaction

If you’re used to a lively office environment and chatting to your colleagues is a regular feature of your working day, it can be quite unsettling to suddenly find yourself sat alone at home with nobody to talk to. Fortunately, digital technology can go a long way towards filling that particular hole. Apps like Zoom, Slack and Microsoft Teams aren’t just useful for organising and coordinating – they also provide you with an easy way to stay in touch with your co-workers. Whether you’re chatting over video call during lunch or simply exchanging the occasional text message, you and your team may find that the burden of solitude gets significantly lighter.

Don’t let your team overwork themselves

One of the biggest difficulties with working from home is that even the shortest period of relaxation or inactivity can leave you feeling guilty. Many people respond to this by going too far in the opposite direction and overextending themselves, such as by working longer hours than usual or spending their breaks responding to emails. You can help to counteract this by keeping every team member’s workload manageable, as well as by setting a positive example yourself - take a look at our guide to maintaining a healthy work-life balance for more handy tips on managing your workload without overdoing it.

Check in regularly with your team

Arguably the most important part of leading a team is managing the people themselves. Without regular face-to-face contact it can be difficult to spot when a member of your team is feeling down or struggling with their workload, so it’s vital that you check in regularly to catch any developing issues early and resolve them. Try not to be overbearing, but make sure that your team knows they have somewhere to turn to for help – whether that means you, a designated mental health first aider or an external source of support like Mind.

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