Hygiene Practices and Mental Wellbeing
on the surface and under your skin
Coronavirus Hygiene Practices
Stick to the basics for hygiene, but do them very well, very thoroughly and consistently to get the most benefit and contribute to the best prevention.
For area cleaning, see the page from the NHS on cleaning. It is aimed as domestic but this can be paralleled to workplaces and also give a very good steer to other areas you will identify in your Coronavirus Risk Assessment.
Where handwashing is not practical because handwashing facilities are not available, using alcohol-based hand gel is an alternative until hand washing can be done. The video from the World Health Organisation shows their suggested technique.
Mental Wellbeing During Coronavirus Pandemic
Are you or your team feeeling the ‘corona blues’? It is critical to maintain the right level of mental wellbeing during this coronavirus crisis. To do this having a little understanding of the causes of corona blues and some simple steps to help keep them at bay is really important; both for managers and staff members.
Fixed Working Routine
You may have employees that are 100% office based, accounts, telesales, reception and those sorts of roles that get their daily variety from the social interactions with their colleagues sat near them in the office. For employees in this category working from home can be very lonely and isolating; even with Teams, Zoom and other video calling, it is not the same.
There are other employee categories that fall between these two, but these represent the main types that are likely to still be working from home.
Some people have a home office space, others are making do with what space they have. Not everyone is used to working from home and the separation between work and home life becomes more blurred and this is not an easy shift for some people.
Then you have individual characteristics that play a part – some people are self starters and very motivated; setting a personal routine is easy for them and they can stick to it and compartmentalise work and home without too much issue. Others need continual guidance or reassurance and left to their own devices they worry, procrastinate and push around the work that needs doing…then they worry more about what they haven’t done and may hide their challenges.
Mobile Working Routine
If you are out on the road visiting customers and this generates reports, sales quoting and other written information, then a blend of home working, a bit in the office and customer sites is quite a normal working practice. People in this category will probably adjust a little better to being restricted to only home work because they are used to working from home and being flexible.
It’s a complex balance – when we were free of social distancing and lockdown, an extra day working from home was a bonus allowing a bit more work life balance… now it’s a ball and chain for some that they can’t escape from, with a new feeling – the ‘corona blues’.
To add into all of this, employees might be worrying or wondering about furloughing – what is it, is it bad, will it stop, why me, this is great and so on. Beat the corona blues and look after your own mental wellbeing and that of your staff – read our ideas below.
Need Help with an employees mental wellbeing?
Call us on 01793 852951 or use one of the contact forms to get in touch
What Can I do to Help Improve Mental Wellbeing?
Keep in Regular Contact
Use Microsoft Team, Zoom, phones, WhatsApp or any other digital communication means to stay in touch. Encourage staff to contact each other for a catch up, coffee break, over lunch, a team quiz. It’s the small things that count. Get used to using a webcam too – we like to see the people we are talking to: it helps to reconcile that we are not alone.
Exercise and Movement
Encourage staff to take regular exercise and set them fun challenges which they can share with each other. If you have the in-house capability someone could even run a daily exercise/warm over Zoom for everyone!
Talk to Your Team
Talk to your teams about it – together or individually. Most things verbalised are diluted and anything shared is halved. Its the cheapest process and one that is often missed.
This very much applies to any staff furloughed – explain the reasons, bring your employees into the process so they understand what it is and why its being used – Employers didn’t ask for this, it was situation put upon them that needs managing and fast. Keep both employed and furloughed staff in the picture then no one will worry by speculation.
Beyond these, you may want to consider some more structured checks, advice and support on people’s wellbeing, particularly if home working remains for a while. These could include –
- Wellbeing questionnaires
- Direct them to your mental health first aiders, if you have them
- Publicise an EAP program you have for staff
- Your Employer’s Liability insurers may offer a helpline as part of their service for staff to use
- For anyone struggling with their mental wellbeing you may want to consider an Occupational Health Assessment which can be done over the phone or video link in these times
Do your Employees need more Help?
If you feel your employees are not coping with the isolation, working from home or lack of contact and you have exhausted how you feel you can help, they may need some counselling or an occupational health assessment.
If you would like Safewell’s help with this, submit a contact form or pick up the phone to discuss with the Occupational Health Team on 01793 852951.