In the wake of recent and unprecedented events, many Canadian non-profit offices are closing their doors to the public and are shifting the majority of staff (if not all) to remote-work. This can present many challenges for workplaces, from mental health related issues to productivity levels in a time of change.
The United Way is also experiencing these changes and challenges first hand and is hopeful this short list of helpful tips will help you continue to engage with staff, keep them healthy both mentally and physically, while encouraging a high level of staff productivity during crisis.
Here are our top tips for helping your staff manage during this difficult time:
Check-in on Colleagues
One of the hardest parts of working remotely, particularly for those who are used to an office or group-work setting, is feeling a lack of connection. Non-profits on PEI are often used to an “all-hands-on-deck”, “everyone-in-this-together” collaborative type of working environment. These difficult times are changing and challenging these working environments, which is why it is so important to keep some level of familiarity and normality alive for staff. Don’t be scared to pick up the phone to call a colleague during the day for support, advice, information, or even just to check-in. Can you imagine a day in the office without popping-by to check on at least one colleague, whether it be around a piece of work, or just to see if they’d like a coffee?!
Plan a Weekly Group Video Call
Disconnect happens in any organization when there is a lack of communication. During this crisis, as an employee it can be increasingly difficult to understand your role and how it fits in with colleagues, your board of directors, clients, organization’s mission, etc. We recommend a minimum of a once-weekly group video call so that staff can see each other, connect with each
other, discuss current projects/work, ask for help as needed, and share feedback and resources for each other and/or clients.
There are many online tools and applications available for a group meeting, including:
- Google Hangouts
Be Open, Honest and Transparent
As an organization, you have the ability to help your staff understand and navigate the ever-evolving and complex current health pandemic. Many staff are concerned. Concerned about their clients, about their own personal safety, finances, and in some cases their future with the company they work and care for.
Honesty and transparency through regular and current updates, although difficult, is key during this time to helping staff through this. Share the challenges your organization is facing, and help staff understand their role in counter-acting these challenges. Together, we can all make it through this!
Share Good News Stories Where and When Possible
Have you received some good news stories from your organization/clients? Share these with staff! These are a great reminder of why we all continue to do the work we do, day-after-day, despite these challenges we all are facing.
Encourage Short Breaks
It may feel counter-intuitive, but fresh air and exercise go a long way when it comes to productivity and motivation for a successful work day! Get outside, stretch your legs/move your
body, breathe in deeply; this all works wonders for the mind, body and soul! Take short 15-20 minute breaks ~twice a day.
Share the Load
Need help, feeling overwhelmed, or confused by a work project? Reach out and ask for support from colleagues! This is the time to lean on each other and share the load. Don’t be scared to ask for clarification or direction while working on a project or attempting to help a client from home – we are all in this together!
Still Struggling to Adjust? Here are a few helpful tips for “Working from Home”:
Feeling Blue Working from Home? Here are Some Mental Health Resources & Tips for Coping:
- Helpful videos from Resolve HR:
- Additional Tips for Coping: