The effects of the Coronavirus pandemic can be seen in every domain and industry. Some people have lost their jobs and many more are forced to work from home.
Even though it is an undesirable situation, we must find ways to cope with the stress and negative emotions that come with it.
Even though some people see this as an opportunity to spend more time with their families, relax at home and develop new skills, others find themselves in deep distress.
The thing is, a sudden change in routine can disrupt your lifestyle and make negative thoughts and emotions appear.
For people that are not used to working from home, it can be even harder. They need to change their habits to maintain a high level of motivation and productivity. They need to take care of their wellbeing to minimize the effects of the world pandemic.
Most of us need some kind of help and it can come from their team leaders.
So, what can you do, as a team leader, to maintain your team’s wellbeing during the world pandemic?
1. Lead by Example
These harsh times are difficult for everyone, no matter their race, status, or religion. Experiencing huge disruptions in your routine is a huge cause of stress, so you need to find and develop ways to cope with this new situation.
The first thing you can do when you work from home is to establish a strict routine to balance your personal and professional lives.
Tina Depp, an editor at academic writers online, has some advice. She said that she had always hated working from home because there are a lot of distractions and she would end up finishing her tasks in the evening.
But, maintaining a work-life balance is important, so you can make some rules.
- Do not work overtime and aim to work 8 hours per day.
- Take a lunch break away from your laptop and not in front of it.
- Organize your workspace and let your family know that during some hours you will be working and you do not want to be disrupted.
All these changes you do to your new routine will be noticed by your team. When you feel you are not able to do something and see that somebody close to you did it, you feel more motivated and trust yourself more to try again.
Your team will see that you make the difference between work and personal life and they will be inspired to do the same. And this will help them build their mental strength and wellbeing.
2. Use Tools that Increase Connection
Another way you could help your team cope with the world pandemic is checking on them. With this social distancing, it has become more and more difficult to connect with others. And we all know that team cohesion and connection are important in a work setting, where you need to cooperate to accomplish your tasks.
You do not need to necessarily use phones to reach them. There are a lot of online tools that can facilitate and improve connection across team members. Givitas is one that is built specially to increase connection, trust, engagement, generosity, and gratitude among team members, and Givitas makes asking for help easier than before. They can also exchange resources and advice, thus increasing your teams’ wellbeing.
By now, most people also know they can use other tools such as Skype or Zoom to conduct video calls with the whole team. A great idea would be to schedule regular meetings with the entire team and talk about their wellbeing and how they manage to cope with routine disruptions. Share your advice and aim to help them start healthy habits. These daily or weekly discussions will come as a breath of fresh air and boost motivation.
3. Adapt Your Leadership Style
As a leader, you are constantly forced to adapt to changes, and this is one of them.
Some situations might require a more authoritative leadership style, while others a more collaborative one.
Your leadership style during the world pandemic can make a huge difference and it can help your team cope with distress.
All leaders must admit that this new situation is affecting everyone, especially on a psychological level. People are confused, sad, angry or frustrated and they have a hard time coping with these changes. Some of them fear that they will lose their job so maybe you can lift their moods.
This is the moment when a good leader will know how to adapt his or her leadership style and tone to create a safe environment for the team. As a leader, you need to be more open and understanding. Keep in mind that every team member is experiencing these changes differently, so be there to support and help them.
Being open to your team needs is important because you let them know that you support them and you are by their side. This will help them reduce their stress level and negative emotions and make room for more positive ones. Even if we are living difficult times, team leaders have the hidden power of improving their team wellbeing.
4. Admit That Not Everything Is Up to You
Leaders are indeed the ones that can help their team the best. However, sometimes, the wisest thing you can do is to admit that not everything is up to you. Some of your team members will experience huge levels of stress and negative emotions and no matter what you do, you cannot help them lower them.
Maintaining team wellbeing during the world pandemic is a difficult thing to do. And while regular casual discussions where you share advice may help some of them, others will have a hard time finding ways to cope with these changes.
And the best thing you can do is to support and encourage them to seek professional help. There are a lot of psychological clinics and therapists that now conduct therapy sessions online. Some of them even offer discounts or free sessions for those with high levels of anxiety and depression.
Maybe you are not the one that can help some of your team members, but advising them to seek a therapist’s help will encourage them to do so. They will understand that you do not judge them for who they are and for what they are feeling, and so the social stigma will be reduced. They will feel your support and the possibilities for them to start therapy will grow.
5. Listen to Them
Some teams may experience a drop in their performance. You may become busier and busier and so little time will be left for actually listening to your team. Sometimes the best thing you can do is listen to them and create the opportunity for them to speak to you.
Team leaders are not mental health professionals, they do not conduct therapy or prescribe drugs. But if you find the time to listen to your team members, you will increase their wellbeing. Even though it is not a face-to-face conversation, they will feel that you support them and are ready to help them. It is important to see you as someone they can trust.
Keep in mind that communication within a team is very important and everything you do will nourish it. And you can maintain their wellbeing simply by listening to them. Because sometimes all we need is someone to listen to our deepest fears and feelings.
We all go through difficult times and we must find ways to cope with these new changes that the world pandemic has caused. More and more people are forced to work from home and some of them experience huge levels of distress. If you are a team leader, you have the power to help your team cope better with these changes and maintain their wellbeing.
Lead by example and encourage them to make the difference between work and personal life. Be there to support and listen to them, and create a trustful and empowering environment. Check on them regularly and encourage them to use tools to increase connection within the team and seek and give advice.
We live challenging times and we must do what we can to help those in need. Every little gesture matters.
About the Author
Scott Matthews is a writer and editor, among the most appreciated dissertation writers. He loves offering dissertation help on topics such as leadership, productivity, feedback, and communication. A masterpapers review stated that Scott is one of the best paper writers and encouraged everyone to work with him. Scott’s hobbies are bicycling, playing the guitar and playing football.