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Marie Loney

6 Tips for a Healthy Virtual Working Environment

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This COVID pandemic continues to affect us in ways we would have never imagined, taking a toll on every area of our lives. In addition, this is impacting on our mental health and wellbeing therefore, as leaders and teams it is important to understand the wellbeing challenges businesses face and engage in strategies to stay virtually connect whilst working at home.

  1. Encourage teams to lead a positive work/life balance: This is important for all members of the team including leaders. When working at home it’s so easy to work longer hours, skip breaks and not follow a routine. Encourage your team to create a daily work routine with reminders on their phones when to start and finish working, at the same time each day. Take morning and afternoon tea breaks to stay hydrated and a thirty-minute minimum lunch break away from the computer screen. Eat well, sleep well, exercise and meet with family and friends to support your wellbeing.
  2. Scheduled regular meetings at the same time each week: Regular weekly meetings with the entire team is an opportunity for the team to connect and feel supported. Also, look to arrange 1-2-1 meetings as well to touch base with individual team members.
  3. Consider appropriate ways to work: Working at home using virtual platforms is the new normal presenting new challenges that require new ways of delivery in order to communicate. How a team communicates, collaborates and supports each other through this process is important. However, Roman was not built in a day, so allow time to test the best options for you and your team.
  4. Use Technology: Encourage your team to use digital tools that are suitable for communication and collaboration these could include Zoom, Skype, MS team, GoToMeeting, Slack, Trello and Google docs. Use a variety of platforms to avoid continuous screen exposure i.e., vary the use of digital platforms with phone calls or face time meetings.
  5. Identify Supportive Tools: Develop a document with links showing your team where they can find supportive information and signpost where these are stored. If they discover resources that would be helpful encourage them to share with the wider team.
  6. Create a community: Your team is your community, develop a community spirit by organising events outside of work, ask your team what they would like to do. Encourage the community to operate independently to build relationship and discussions within the group. This could be anything from a book club to sharing hobbies.

What tip or tips have you used to support a healthy virtual working environment? It would be good to hear what you are doing or if you have used one or more of the above.


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