After one year of working from home and thousands of hours of Zoom calls and endless meetings is not a big surprise that 76% of employees affirms to have experienced burnout at least sometimes during 2020 according to Gallup studies.
Employers are under enormous pressure to make structural changes and provide tools to encompass the difficult times we live in. But not every single company has the budget and resources to build a wellness program. So, what can be done? Simple: start with small changes and quick wins.
We have identified some small things you can encourage people to do that will help them improve their wellness:
Company-wide working agreements:
These are guidelines that define how different teams want to work together, what they want in the working environment and from each other to feel safe and free to learn, explore and discover.
This can include:
- No meeting days and Focus time: is a day for focused work. It’s essentially a day each week with no meetings, so everyone can focus on getting things done.
Also, another great practice is booking Focus Time throughout the week. A block of 2 hours inroad that allows concentrate without benign disturbed
- Working Hours: A lot of teams are a mix of early birds and night owls. Therefore, is critical to set some boundaries and establish working hours where people can schedule meetings and calls.
- Notifications: Encourage employees to pause notifications after working hours are over to disconnect from work — especially over the weekends.
- Lunch Time: ask teams and employees to book a time to have proper lunch and respect this company-wide.
Roles & Priorities within teams
Working remotely means that employees cannot be aware of what other teammates are working on, which can generate confusion and stress. Therefore defining projects owners and priorities is essential, but reviewing status and updating each other is key!
Many companies have implemented different techniques to cover this:
- Daily or Weekly stand-ups: Where people get together and share projects and achievements.
- Weekly promises or roundups: similar to the above but written — this is very useful for larger teams.
- Task board: Set up a simple Kanban board and actively limit your work in progress.
In meetings and messaging etiquette
We spend 50% — 70% of our time in meetings and talking to others over slack, teams or hangouts. Adding some guidelines can help reduce stress during working hours.
- Meetings: when starting a meeting, don’t forget to take some time to do a small checking and acknowledge people’s state of mind. Also, sharing a small agenda will ensure that everyone makes the most of it and don’t see it as a waste of time.
- Chat Platform: being part of groups on these platforms is the equivalent of recurring meetings. Asking employees to do a ‘groups cleanup’ for sure will reduce the time spend checking on meaningless conversations that generate noise and distraction. If a 30mins off-and-on chat conversation can be a five-minute phone call, then promote the call instead.
We hope this can be used as a starting point for you and your teams to start implementing practices that improve wellness at work.