Returning to work: managing employee mental health.

July 10th, 2020

It’s safe to say that the last few months haven’t exactly gone to plan for most of us. Sadly, the pandemic out the brakes on a lot of great projects and at its worst, put jobs have sadly been lost. With an ever expanding conversation around mental health, how do we manage our wellbeing as we navigate through this next stage of either returning to work or going about applying for new positions? 

Communicate with your staff/employer.

Everyone’s personal circumstances are different. It’s therefore nearly impossible to expect everyone to have the same reaction to returning to work. While some will be excited and ready, other employees may be vulnerable, or living with someone considered vulnerable or at risk. They therefore may have a lot more reservations, particularly if they’re public facing or returning to a crowded office. 

It’s critical to have an open dialogue and find the best possible solution that will benefit both your business and your employees, not sacrificing one for the other. Are there some simple adaptations that can be made to accommodate those feeling confident? 

None of us have ever had to find our way through a situation like this before and it’s only by working together that we can move forward with everyone feeling safe, confident and listened to. 

Lean on your network. 

In The Northern Affinity, we’re so proud to have brought together such a community of partners. Throughout the entire lockdown period, communication has been strong and there has been a real sense of support and purpose. 

If you are feeling apprehensive or want to talk through some concerns, lean on your network. The chances are you’ll find a number of people with the same thoughts and also people who can offer advice or solutions to the challenges you face. Fundamentally, it’s about remembering to talk to others about what you’re going through. As business owners, we face so many challenges and responsibilities and it’s important to share and learn from others; it’s how we grow and evolve. 

Remember to take a break. 

Finally, remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. We’re all bound to hit a bump in the road and other obstacles but it’s important to take things day by day. If lockdown taught us all anything, it’s to remember to take a step back and to not sweat the small stuff quite as much. 

Hopefully, we all found the thing that brings us some calm in the weeks at home (even between juggling work and childcare in many cases). Now, with the country reopening it’s doors and encouraging us to go out and enjoy it, we can now start doing the things we enjoy again away from work. If you’ve been finding it hard to switch off, try to find the thing that makes it easier to shut the laptop at the end of the day. Without breaks, we can’t hope to give our all to our beloved businesses so finding that balance is crucial

None of us can know what’s to come in the next six months. All we can do is continue to follow the government guidelines to the best of our ability, support our peers and our local businesses. Communication will continue to be a key player. If you’d like to find out more about becoming a partner of The Northern Affinity, we’d love to hear from you. Join a group of like minded business owners as we all find our way towards a new and better normal.

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