12 May 2021
The Coronavirus pandemic has brought many challenges to the office workplace for both employees and the customers who rely on their services. At CCL, we have made the mental well-being of our team a priority. During Mental Health Awareness Week, we look back at how our mental health support programme has helped our team’s well-being over the course of the last 14 months.
A challenging year
For those experiencing mental health-related issues, the past year or so has been a particularly anxious time. At CCL, we have been fortunate to be able to continue operating while keeping our staff safe, enabling those in office-based roles to work from home. However, homeworking has brought its own set of challenges. For some, it has triggered feelings of loneliness and isolation, while for others struggling to cope with homeschooling, for example, it has often been stressful and sometimes overwhelming.
To help our staff, CCL put a programme of measures and activities in place to support the mental health of employees working from home and on-site during the pandemic.
Spotting potential issues
From the first lockdown in March 2020, our management team was trained on how to spot potential issues early on and provide the right kind of help. We made every effort to make sure our team did not feel any stigma attached to mental health issues and that they were informed about the range of support available to them. All employees were encouraged to take care of their mental well-being by talking about their worries, looking after their physical health, taking time to relax, getting adequate sleep, maintaining a regular routine, and focusing on positive and achievable goals.
An open-door policy
Throughout the pandemic, our managers have encouraged their teams to feel comfortable to approach them about any issues impacting their mental well-being and to ask for support when needed. There has been no need to wait for a weekly meeting, the (virtual) door has always been open at any time.
Fancy a virtual cuppa?
A regular video call with colleagues can make a huge difference to people feeling isolated at home. CCL has actively encouraged employees to take a break and enjoy a “virtual cuppa” over Zoom. These informal check-ins have helped to make up for the loss of human interaction in the office. They have also provided a safe and friendly forum for those struggling mentally or emotionally who needed to talk and have a supportive colleague listen to them.
In addition to regular one-to-one check-ins and a weekly team meeting online, at CCL we found some more imaginative ways to stay connected. This included our Friday afternoon “creative release sessions”. On a regular basis, a member of our team would come up with a fun activity to do together over a group video call. These ranged from the “Joy of Painting” to a “Virtual Pub Quiz”. Just chatting to the team, while being creative has helped our team to enjoy some camaraderie and share some laughter too.
Flexible fully supported home working
At CCL, we recognised how important it was for our office-based team to have everything they needed to be able to work from home during lockdown and social distancing restrictions. We've ensured all employees working remotely have a home set-up that enables them to connect to their office computers remotely from work laptops. Everyone has been provided with flat screens, office chairs, and any equipment needed to make sure they are physically comfortable working from home.
We have also encouraged staff to work more flexibly when needed, for example, to help with homeschooling needs, take exercise during the day, or carry out voluntary work to help their community during the pandemic.
This combination of an open-door policy, regular communication, creative outlets, supported home working and flexibility has helped our team take care of their mental health during a very challenging period. It has also ensured continuity of service for our clients from all over the world who have been able to continue to rely on our service.