With the end of British Summer Time and the clocks going back at the weekend, now is the time to reassess your company working practices and makes sure that you have the right policies in place to support your team fully, whether they are working from home, commuting to the office or working on a hybrid approach.
Not having to commute on the dark, wet, cold mornings or during the evening rush hour over the winter months may be a blessing for many employees, but with the bite of the latest cost of living crisis hurting many people, you need to make sure that your team that are working from home are still happy with the arrangements.
Getting your working conditions right for winter working
The wellbeing of your team is important year around, but it is specially important in the winter months, when the weather can be miserable and the dark nights have drawn in. Maintaining the morale in your team is vital. Here are a few things you might want to encourage your team to do – whether they are working from home or the office.
Don’t be SAD
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can impact many people over the winter months. But, recognising it’s something that impacts you, is the first step towards making sure the impact is minimised. Getting outside during the daylight hours is important for your mental and physical wellbeing. If the weather is too grim to consider venturing outside, it might be worth considering investing in a lightbox to help ensure that you get the Vitamin D you require.
Recognise if you are ill during winter working months
The winter months are often identified as ‘cold season’. If your team is working from home, you still need to make sure that they are well enough to work. While it’s one thing to expect your team to work through a sniffle, sick leave stills apply for your team that are working remotely, if it is needed.
In the same way as your team in the office want and expect a decent working environment, you need to ensure that if your team is working from home, their workspace is conducive to work too. While you can’t make them tidy their desk, you should ensure that the desk and chair they are using are fit for purpose and you provide any equipment necessary for their comfort and health. Keyboards, mice and screens are fundamental, but there are other things you need to check they have too. Also encourage your team to make sure they have breaks from their screens regularly.
Plan in your communication
When your team is in the office, it is easy for them to catch-up with each other on an informal basis and often news and information is shared in this way. However, if your team is working from home or you have a hybrid situation going on, as the manager you have a duty to ensure that the right communication channels are in place to keep everyone informed and included. This might be regular team meetings, one-to-one chats and remote socials, but what ever it is, it is vital to maintain communication, and in turn, team morale.
Contact us to find out how we can work with you to increase team cohesion and productivity, whether your team is in the office, working from home or working hybrid.