As marketers work from home and are siloed away from co-workers, family and friends, it is imperative they always include their own mental wellbeing as well as their colleagues.
There are any number of factors — screen fatigue, reduction in human contact, the difficulty of building and maintaining culture — that can adversely affect mood and mental wellbeing in a physically distant workplace.
Managers need to think completely differently about the way they, as leaders, can support wellbeing in the workplace, said Sue Jauncey, CEO and founder at Appellon.
She noted a number of issues leaders can focus on to make sure their staff feel supported.
“They should provide clarity of expectation around role requirements — this is often poorly managed; Be clear about the goals which need to be achieved; Create a workplace environment where staff work collectively to meet shared sets of goals — this triggers a sense of achievement and connectedness.
“And take the focus away from asking what an individual needs — this is often more harmful than helpful. Instead, focus on what we can do collectively to achieve shared goals — this approach improves wellbeing, whereas a focus on what an individual needs creates more stress and anxiety.”
There are a few cues to look out for if you have a workforce that is likely more stressed than feeling a sense of achievement and connectedness, Jauncey explained.
These include ongoing sick leave and repeated requests to discuss what is expected of them — staff have a tendency to blame external causes when they have not been able to perform.
Also watch for detachment and lack of response — staff may be highly defensive. Extended isolation and stress can lead to helplessness and an inability to be objective.
Jauncey cautioned that leaders need to be very careful when asking managers to be responsible to look out for staff wellbeing — they are often not qualified to be able to detect or diagnose stress and anxiety-related conditions, so this could be dangerous.
“It is the manager’s role, however, to create workplace conditions that naturally support a sense of wellbeing,” she said.
About this author
Athina Mallis is the editor of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit of which ADMA is a corporate member. Members provide their insights and expertise for the benefit of the Which-50 community. Membership fees apply.