The new year is synonymous with resolutions. The early days of a shiny new year are filled with positivity and declared change. While some may balk at the concept, creating healthy habits may just be the thing your team needs to excel in 2021.

Just days into what was supposed to be our redemption from the dumpster fire that was 2020, we are still in a global pandemic and facing a second lockdown. This is the time to reinforce healthy habits we already have in place and to implement new practices within your team to keep them going strong and staying healthy, both mentally and physically.

Five healthy habits for your team to adopt in 2021

  1. Communication: We all know communication is vital when it comes to teamwork. We learned the real value of this through remote work in 2020. In this new year, it is equally important to open those lines of communication and keep them open. Let your team know that it is perfectly acceptable to share their struggles with you. The pressures of working from home, new COVID related restrictions, feelings of isolation, seasonal related mood disorders, and pandemic stress weigh on your team above and beyond their day-to-day workload. Encouraging them the freedom to share that they need help is key to maintaining positive corporate culture and supporting their mental health in these trying times.
  2. Make it fun: With the state of the world, we could all use a little more fun in our lives. Take some time to share something fun or positive with your team. A joke, meme, or connection-based video call can go a long way. It doesn’t need to be a big elaborate affair and shouldn’t take away from the workday, but encouraging your team to laugh will boost morale and help them connect a little more.
  3. Encourage wellbeing: Make it a priority to promote health within your organization. Encourage your team to take a mental health day when they honestly cannot face the workday. Let them know that you value their health and encourage them to take breaks in the day to go for a (socially distant) walk for fresh air. Consider contacting a local studio and hosting a virtual yoga class on a Saturday morning. Share resources and information about managing stress and living well. Most importantly, lead by example! Show them that health and wellbeing matter to you.
  4. Be flexible: It bears repeating that your team has a lot on their shoulders outside of their regular workload. Many parents are now attempting to balance working from home with remote learning and running a household. If your business or industry allows for it, consider permitting your team to work flexible hours. They may feel less stressed if they can focus on e-learning during the day and catching up on work in the evening. Or perhaps starting earlier in the day allows them to feel as though they are more productive. Putting a system in place that will enable them to customize their working hours (with approval) could alleviate stress for many families.
  5. Preach Balance: Working and living in the same space can sometimes muddy the waters between the two. It is very easy to continue working into the evening when you should be switching off. Remind your team of the importance of shutting down at the end of the day. While you can’t check in with each team member daily, perhaps work with HR, managers and other members of your team to regularly check in with team members. Monitoring their hours could also be helpful. If a team member is working significant overtime, a conversation to conclude whether their increase in hours is related to a project or low work-life balance could help.

Taking the time to set and communicate these goals clearly will set your team up for success. Keep in mind this is not an exact science, so encourage feedback from your team and be sure to keep evolving.

If you would like more information on how to support your team’s mental health, click here.