Stress Management for Managers During Lockdown
Stress Management during lockdown.
The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown have had a universal and largely detrimental effect on businesses not just here in the UK but right around the world.
Managers, in particular, have been put under a great deal of stress as they try to keep things going.
- How does a business maintain productivity while in lockdown?
- How do you manage teams remotely and get the best out of everyone?
- What happens when things don’t go according to plan?
- How do you organise a return for work or extend remote working for others?
It’s no wonder that many managers are scratching their heads and having sleepless nights. In the past, you may have been able to head to the gym to burn off some of your stress. Now we’re all constrained, it can be much more difficult to manage.
Not only that, but managers also have to be acutely aware of the stress that their isolated staff might be feeling and find coping strategies for those who may be struggling.
We all have things that trigger a stress response. For an employee at the moment, it might be worrying about a loved one who is in the at-risk category for Covid-19. They could be fretting about losing their job, their ability to work remotely or a demanding workload.
It’s essential to understand what stresses members of your team (and you) are under and discuss these, either in one to one conversations or as a group, at regular intervals. When we’re stuck alone indoors, issues can become magnified and it’s easy to get things out of proportion.
Regular communication and a proactive approach on the part of managers can help stress management. You may, for example, have a team member who has time management issues because they are locked down with the family. Creating a flexible working approach will help them manage better and reduce the stress they are under.
Exercise is Important for Stress Management
We all know that a workout is a great stress buster. Encourage team members to exercise regularly and use available online sources such as YouTube. You may not be able to get to the gym just yet but that doesn’t mean you should throw physical activity out the window.
Because many of us are working from home, priorities have changed. Flexibility is key, especially when you are trying to organise a group effort.
The business is not the sole priority anymore. Your team may not be engaged all the time so it could a good opportunity to undertake some form of personal development during downtime. Again, there are plenty of resources available online which enable individuals to undertake some CPD.
Be Productive Out of Work
Monotony can be just as stressful as doing too much work. Because we’re all encased in our little worlds, days can blend into each other. People are either working or managing family issues such as homeschooling.
It’s important to have an outlet or two that we can fall back on, whether we’re a team member or a manager. That could include taking up a new, creative hobby. If you want a group activity to boost everyone’s morale, how about organising a quiz night for your team?
You should set aside time to kick back and unwind in some way, doing something that gives you a new and positive perspective on life. It’s okay to lounge around and watch the odd box set with a glass of wine but try not to make it the norm.
Be Positive and Set Objectives
Finally, for a manager, setting clear goals for remote working team members to complete is also essential. People need to feel valued. With remote engagement, it’s easy to leave one or more people out of the loop or under employ them when you are trying to organise tasks and projects.
Make sure you check people’s workloads, talk with them and discuss how they are coping. If they are bored and need something to challenge them, do your best to find a solution.