By: Leandra | July 20, 2020

By: Christina Nguyen

This pandemic has understandably led to worsened mental health for millions of Americans. One reason is likely due to the lack of regular social interaction, which we’ve mentioned in our last blog is a major bummer of working from home for some of us. Of course, there’s also the uncertainty and anxiety due to the unprecedented nature of these events. 

Self-care is vital to keeping yourself in tip-top shape mentally and physically. Now is undoubtedly a critical time to meditate, eat healthy, work out (at home), and perform whatever exercises are beneficial for your motivation and vitality. 

However, your self-care shouldn’t just be towards yourself, but also to your employees! How you treat them will impact their overall mood and performance, collectively leading to a more positive, productive, less stressful, and welcoming work environment overall.

Here are some of our suggestions on how you can apply some self-care to your business and your employees:

1. Don’t consistently work long hours. It’s understandable that some days are going to call for staying late in the office (or online), but this shouldn’t be a regular occurrence. Excessive working hours can damage work-life balance, leading to missed events and the frustrations that come with it. You don’t want your employees missing out on their family or self-care time because of you. Lacking sleep can carry plenty of consequences as well. 

It’s important to pay attention to your work-life balance and work towards an optimal level for yourself and your employees. If you find yourself and your employees consistently working more than 9 hours a day, think about how you can restructure your work to shorten the days or operate more efficiently.

Women Working at a Table

2. Involve employees in discussions of how the office should be run. A series of small changes in the office and/or to the structure of the workday could make a major difference. Perhaps some employees would prefer greater social distancing in the office and more masks provided. Some might feel more comfortable working from home due to personal preference or family circumstances. Some might want their desks moved away from the window where they can hear all the construction going on outside.

Listen carefully to their concerns and do your best to implement these changes in ways sensitive to everyone’s needs. 

3. Encourage healthy eating. If your office does catered lunches, think about making those choices healthier. Don’t suddenly jump from replacing the donuts with carrot sticks. Unless several employees declare otherwise, make it a gradual process. If you don’t have catered lunches or even any communal food at all in the office, don’t hesitate to leave communal healthy snacks for everyone once a week. 

For the employees who aren’t in the office, you can mention over some Zoom small talk how your healthy eating habits have benefitted you.

Charcuterie Board

4. Involve employees in healthy activities. Some offices also conduct meditation or yoga sessions during their breaks. You can also have a “self-care” day every few months and bring in onsite massage therapists and other professionals. For a lower-cost option, suggest mindfulness sessions

If most of your office is working remotely, again, bring it up during some Zoom small talk. Ask how your employees are doing in their personal lives and mention how positively yoga is benefitting you. If any employee asks you to elaborate, go ahead. You’ll be leading by example. 

5. Encourage vacations. Taking some time off work, whether it’s just a few days or a few weeks, leads to a wealth of multiple mental and physical benefits, such as improved morale and energy. You should already know how that leads to greater morale and productivity! Show your employees it’s okay to take some vacations every once in a while and support at least a few weeks of paid vacation time. Don’t think of it as “paying for them to not work”. Think of it as “investing in a higher quality of morale and work”. 

6. Don’t hesitate to discuss personal issues. If you ever notice an employee is feeling more down than usual, don’t hesitate to ask them what’s wrong. Only encourage them to discuss if they’re comfortable. If they share their feelings, empathize with their situation and try to put yourself in their shoes. Take a few minutes to spare some kindness and brighten up their day. 

Even though you know them in a professional context, don’t forget that they’re also human. It’s possible they have few resources to turn to, so showing a little kindness and motivation can go a long way.

What ways do you think small businesses could better care for their employees? Everyone’s story is different, so let us know what we might have missed in the comments!


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About Stingray Advisory Group LLC: Stingray Advisory Group LLC is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan and is a proud member of Local First and the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. We help small businesses grow by providing guidance in financial planning, website development, marketing, and more.


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