How small business owners can support remote workers
By Eugene Farrell, Mental Health Lead at AXA Health
Due to the situation regarding the coronavirus, as a business owner your team may be working from home for the time being. With less social interaction and face to face support in the workplace during this time, it’s vital to look after your mental health as well as your physical health. Now more than ever it’s important to ensure that your team are looking after their own mental health too.
So how can you support the mental health of your team while working remotely?
- Keep in touch with your team and let them know that you care. Understandably, your team may be feeling worried and anxious about what the future may hold. You can help to ease these feelings of uncertainty by staying in touch and letting your team know that you’re there should they need support.
- Encourage team collaboration. When working from home, there can be a tendency for communication to drop off between your team as they’re no longer seeing each other face to face every day. Encouraging your team to utilise technology such as video conferencing means that they’re still able to work collaboratively and maintain a level of social interaction.
- Read the mood of your team and be aware of negative mood change. It’s completely normal for people to experience mood changes during periods of significant change. Tuning into the mood of your team and looking out for signs of negative mood change can help you to adapt your communication and provide the appropriate levels of support to the employees that may need it.
- Listen out for distress and struggling in things people say and in their tone. Some members of your team may feel comfortable openly talking about their feelings. However, others may have a tendency to keep their emotions bottled up and try to deal with them themselves. Be alert and listen out for distress and struggling in the things that your employees say and their tone.
- Look out for behaviour changes. Is a team member replying to emails in the middle of the night? Or have you noticed on a conference call that an upbeat team member is unusually quiet and upset. This may indicate that they’re struggling and may need additional support.
- Use your instinct. When you work with your team every day, you get to know them. You should therefore trust your instincts – if someone in your team doesn’t seem quite right, have an honest conversation with them to find out if there’s anything you can do to help.
- Promote any support that is available. If you provide support services for your team, ensure they know how to access them should they need it and that they’re clearly signposted so they know that help is available.
You may be well accustomed to having your team work from home, or it may be a brand new experience for you. However, making sure that you’re staying in regular contact, prioritising mental health and maintaining a positive work life balance are steps that can help to ease the pressure of remote working.
AXA Health offers for Chambers of Commerce members
At AXA Health, regardless of whether you have healthcare cover with us or not, we give Chambers of Commerce members free access to our 24/7 medical information telephone line, Health at Hand. *
Health at Hand gives you access to our team of nurses, counsellors, midwives and pharmacists who are on hand to help with your health-related questions or worries.
Plus, if you do decide to take out business healthcare cover with us, you’ll get 50% off your Chambers of Commerce membership for 3 years.**
Please note: If you decide to take out our Mental Health cover option, cover may be subject to previous medical history.
*Health at Hand nurses and counsellors are available 24/7. Pharmacists and midwives are available 8am–8pm Monday to Friday, 8am-4pm Saturdays and 8am-12pm Sundays.
** There are terms and conditions attached to this offer:
- This offer is only available to members of participating Chambers
- This offer is available to direct new customers of AXA Health only
- 50% off Chamber membership is up to the value of £125 per employee they cover each year
- 50% off Chamber membership can be claimed each year for up to three years as long as a current Business Health or Business Protect policy remains in force on a direct basis
- AXA Health reserves the right to change or remove this offer at any time
- This offer shall only be available to members who opt to purchase at a minimum, either the Treatment option or the Diagnostics Only option of the Business Health or Business Protect policy
- This offer shall not be available to persons who cease to be the legal holder of or beneficiary under a Business Health or Business Protect policy and who subsequently re-join the scheme
Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce is an introducer appointed representative of AXA PPP healthcare Limited. AXA Health is a trading name of AXA PPP healthcare Limited, authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Services purchased in addition to your insurance cover are not regulated either by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. The private healthcare insurance plans are underwritten by AXA PPP healthcare Limited. Registered office: 5 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1AD until 31 March 2021, and thereafter 20 Gracechurch Street, London EC3V 0BG. Registered in England and Wales number 3148119. Write to us at: AXA Health, Phillips House, Crescent Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2PL. We may record and/or monitor calls for quality assurance, training and as a record of our conversation. For information about AXA Health, visit axahealth.co.uk/aboutaxahealth.