12 Well-being Initiatives for Leaders and Employees During Tough Times

In these unprecedented times, one thing is certain: taking care of your employees’ well-being needs to be top priority. Well-being plays an important role in how we show up to work and how we treat those around us.

Here are 12 tips for managers to keep their teams’ spirit high and make light of the current situation. Who said being quarantined has to be boring, gloomy or self-sacrificing? The law still allows for fun and laughter!

1. Express Interest and Show Appreciation

This is a time to show appreciation for the people who are helping you maintain running business as normal as possible. We are all processing this pandemic in our own ways.. Show your employees that you care about them by simply asking ‘how are you?’ with genuine interest in hearing the answer. Convey this interest authentically and most importantly, show appreciation by giving credit for a job well-done. In these times, we need to unify together by caring about one another and being grateful for the collaborations maintained digitally.

2. Support Your Employees’ Health

Learn from the experts — Starbucks extended their mental health benefits in partnership with Lyra Health to offer their employees 20 free therapy sessions with mental health professionals due to Corona. On a similar note, RXBAR has started releasing free workout sessions and tips for both their employees and customers to stay active and mindful while in the comfort of their homes.

The gesture does not have to be as grand as Starbucks’ if you do not have the capacity. But the intention remains to show care for your employees’ mental health in these stressful times. Balanced mental health is vital and many employees are looking to their employers to address its significance. Take action to meet that need by asking yourself “how are we currently supporting our employees’ mental health and what can I do to make an improvement?”

RXBAR: RXercise instagram feed with live exercises

3. Allow for Flexible Work Schedules

We all know nothing is as it was. We need to recognize that responsibilities have shifted and we are left wearing more hats, especially those with children. In a study led by ManpowerGroup Solutions, 40% of the participants saw flexibility as one of the top three factors in making a career decision. In these times it is even more vital to allow for flexibility in order to keep morale high and retain quality talent. As long as the work gets done, it should not matter that it’s at 6 am or 6 pm.

4. Make Meetings More Fun

How can you make conference calls more fun? In numerous ways! We have seen fun challenges from bringing your favorite mug to wearing a funny hat. Try to think of a lighthearted idea for you and your team to present in the next virtual meeting and have fun with it. Our teammates at Actimo have some kiddos at home and like to borrow their headphones for some laughs with the colleagues. Here is a screenshot of our C-suite team making light of yet another conference call.

5. Reimagine Lunchtime

Lunchtime can be either forgotten or rather lonely when you work from home. Why not use the powers of the internet to overcome this social distancing limitation! At Actimo, we have set aside one hour a day for a virtual lunch drop-in call with Google Hangouts. Goodtalks is also using the lunch hour by turning it into a learning session with different weekly speakers. Re-imagine your company’s lunchtime by making it feel inclusive for all colleagues to join online.

6. Switch to Virtual Happy Hour

Cheers, it’s Friday again! Don’t let those company culture bonding moments go away. With conference calls, you can still make it a point to share that cocktail or beer with your colleagues. Not only does it let you decompress after a productive week but it also helps the team feel connected. Here are some great tips to bring your next virtual happy hour to life and make it even more fun by sending a virtual invitation. Social distancing can’t stop the fun! Here is how we do it at Actimo:

7. Get Social With Your Colleagues

Work conversations have come to a halt since we are only seeing one another digitally. Think of ways to encourage your employees to still be social. At Actimo, we have a Social wall where we frequently share thoughts of the day, funny articles, small wins etc. and can like or comment on each other’s posts. This keeps us feeling connected virtually and the chatter flowing as if we were in the office together.

Learn more about how to implement our easy tips and tricks to make even your most experienced remote employees feel more connected to the collective by visiting our blogpost.

8. Share Freebies

Most of us are confined to the inside of our homes. Our regular cultural and social outings are cancelled until further notice. That leaves us with extra time and a craving for entertainment. Luckily, there are many resources and companies out there supporting communities by offering their talents for free. If you see something that sparks your interest, share it with colleagues. Here are a few sharings from our own colleagues: do some yoga, meditate, or watch a Broadway musical.

9. Delve into New Projects

We often say, ‘I don’t have enough time.’ Now that phrase is no longer a valid excuse. Since we do not physically need to be in 100+ places a week as in our jam packed schedules before Corona, we save time and can allocate it towards learning something new. You can simply start by transferring the time you used to spend commuting towards investing in your personal or professional growth.

Some free tools our team has been appreciating are LinkedIn’s free learning courses and learning to play new instruments online. There are many more resources out there just a quick Google away! Think about that forgotten passion project or that new skill you have been eager to learn, find a free online resource to help you, and dive in.

10. Make Yourself Comfortable at Home

A study done by Airstasker showed that working from home does indeed increase productivity, specifically by eliminating the commute to work. However, if you are not prepared to work from home, as many of us weren’t during this COVID-19 outbreak, we may be lacking the right office equipment to make us comfortable for long periods of time. Setting up a space that has good back support, or a standing desk if you are able, is key.

Our colleagues at Actimo know the importance of a good office chair; see below for a photo of our colleague picking up his favorite office chair in his cargo bike. Click here for some more tips on how to set up the perfect home office.

11. Self-Reflect Daily

When in your life have you ever had the opportunity to not do anything and just be with yourself? Thank you quarantine. Take this as a chance to reflect and be grateful for what you have in the current situation.

The body is experiencing more stress than you think during this time so it is important to continuously check-in if you are having enough water, moving your limbs enough and getting enough social interactions during this isolating time. Here is a list of 6 questions to ask yourself daily and check-in with your mental and physical health:

Daily Quarantine Questions (by Brooke Anderson)

12. Have Kids? Try This!

Your kids are home from school most likely until autumn and you find yourself being the parent, teacher and trying to manage work hours at the same time. That’s tough. But there are solutions that can make that more fun and easy for both you and your children.

Podcast apps are releasing curated playlists that your kids may love, learn more about them here. Have you also heard about the in-home obstacle course craze? All you need is a bit of tape and imagination. It keeps the kids active, they spend hours playing or listening and in the meantime you get some peaceful time to yourself.

We hope you enjoyed these innovative and exciting examples of how you can stay mindful, bring more joy into your days and stay balanced in well-being. We challenge you to try at least one of these tips in the next week and see for yourself what benefits it brings.

Stay healthy out there! We will make it through this.