Since the pandemic started in early 2020, we've all been getting used to the 'new normal'. It took a while to get used to working from home, and it had a negative impact on the mental health of many home office workers this year.

However, it is up to us to adapt to this process. We are now stronger and more experienced. Let’s start a new pandemic and make employees feel accepted, supported and successful!

1. Icebreakers:

If you work from home, you should establish quick social checks with the employees you connect with when meetings begin. You can ask everyone to share a habit that will keep you from getting locked up, a local green space they discovered, something or someone that made them smile this week. This may seem like an unnecessary addition to a packed agenda, but it gets everyone talking and can highlight what people have in common and the unexpected. 

2. Interaction

Many managers may find it difficult to control and direct employees to team meetings on a regular basis, so do not hesitate to learn and use technology to the fullest. Using tools such as a Mentimeter or presentation survey sites to ask questions or conduct surveys with employees in real time during a meeting can be good options.

You can save ideas using tools like Google’s Jamboard or Miro to discuss questions more deeply, and collaborate online using breakout rooms. Can you encourage questions using the chat function in Zoom? Plan meeting times for participation, questions and your reaction. It takes longer to engage and respond to employees openly than just ‘talking’ to them, but it can bring huge gains in terms of your relationships with each other.

3. Short and Fun Contests

With game websites such as Kahoot, you can create fun questions about the topic and thus keep the topic more memorable or add your favorite music tracks. Ask your team to suggest things that can entertain or interest you, taking into account the values of your organization.

4. Wellbeing Online Board

It would be very useful to create a wellbeing board to encourage your colleagues about well-being. Encourage adding ideas and resources to the “Well-being Notice Panel”, which is easily accessible to all employees. You can also share reliable articles and reviews to evaluate them together with employees.

5. Managers as Role Models:

People always take roles throughout their lives. You can share the well-being practices you have experienced in terms of mental health and that you think are successful with your team. For example, jogging with your dog in the park; listening to your favorite music at lunch every work day; turning off your work email notifications overnight to keep work-life balance. Sharing your examples with them will make you appreciated and recommended.

6. Use the "Best Friend" idea:

If you have a team project where goals have been missed and you want to re-energize the team, ask everyone to think and write down three things their closest friends have to say about this project when asked for advice. Depending on the culture of your organization, you can leave this to individual thinking or encourage volunteers to share. Your goal is to be positive about personal contributions and ideally, learn a pinch of what your team can improve in the future.

7. Something Physical

Share your experiences with meditation or breathing exercises. Even try short breathing exercises with your teammates. Some organizations provide online exercise classes that you can join with your teammates. A number of gyms now offer memberships for online classes, so this could be another option to evaluate this advantage with the team.

As these examples show, you can use your online team meetings to have a positive impact on the mental health of your team so that you feel actively supported and treated as valuable individuals when working remotely.

Author

İsmail Poyraz

Marketing Lead

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