As we all transition during COVID-19 to work from home and living remotely, certain routines can’t be practiced. However, just because the workweek looks different doesn’t mean it can’t still be productive. At isure insurance, we have transitioned 100% of our team to the safety of their homes and have learned some simple leadership tips to support the mental wellness of our team as we continue helping clients manage their car, home, and business insurance needs through COVID-19.
Make a routine and stick to it
Even if you’re working from home, it is essential to keep a consistent daily schedule to maintain mental wellness. If you normally work out in the mornings or make a nice breakfast before leaving for work, keep that practice! Set an alarm in the morning to wake up at a time that works for you. Make sure it’s a time where you don’t lose the day, while still getting the sleep you need. Also review your employer’s Work From Home policies while crafting your at-home routine.
It might be tempting to scroll through social media or have the TV playing in the background while you work at home. Limit all distractions, and try to shut them off completely. Depending on individual living situations, avoiding distractions for the whole workday may not be possible. However, make sure to ask your family, or roommates to respect noise levels during the day if possible.
Be flexible as your workday may need to change
If you have young children that need to be cared for during the day, ask your employer about amending your work hours. The additional stress of managing family along with your regular work can affect your mental wellness and productivity. At isure we have moved some staff to non-traditional hours so they can remain productive while meeting their family commitments.
Create a separate workspace
Although this may not be possible for every individual’s living situations, try to create a separate space where you can work from home and where you can relax or sleep. Even if it’s just at your kitchen table, or a desk in your bedroom, find a spot in your home where you can be most productive. Avoid working from a couch or a bed; make those spaces a luxury for the end of the workday. Let the sofa or your bed be a reward at the end of a productive day. This difference will help maintain the routine you would follow regularly.
Participate in video conferences/online communication
If your employer is making use of video conferencing apps such as Zoom or Skype, make sure to participate as much as you would in person. At isure insurance we have launched Microsoft Teams and it has been instrumental in helping leadership and staff work together to continue serving our clients’ car, home, and business insurance needs. Every video software differs, so take the time to learn how you can best utilize the one(s) you will be using. One fun idea is reaching out to your co-workers to try apps out together on weekends or in the evenings. This time is difficult for all of us, so stay engaged during these video conferences or meetings. If you have something to contribute, don’t hesitate to voice your opinion. When working from home, try to stick as close to your regular work habits as possible.
Use video and chat to get social
Don’t just use tools like Teams, Zoom, or Skype for business purposes, have fun with them too. At isure, we have created the virtual iCafe. It is a place for our team to share stories, tell jokes, post funny memes, and recommend their favorite Netflix show. Our leadership has also built out a Wellness Channel where we share tips on maintaining good mental health while working from home. Every day our social committee engages our team with fun, social interactions like: Monday Motivations, Dad Joke Tuesdays, Wacky Wednesday, Wellness Thursdays, and our weekly after-hours virtual get together, the Friday Friendly. We only have one rule about the iCafe… no business talk .. just fun!
Get in touch with your mental health
None of us have experienced anything like the COVID-19 pandemic before, and without realizing it, working from home can take a massive toll on our mental health. It is essential to stay informed, but don’t spend all your free time glued to a screen, reading or watching the news.
When working from home, follow the schedule of a regular workweek, avoiding the temptation to continue working beyond your usual work hours. Many of the activities we use to decompress from the workday aren’t possible right now, so fill this free time with new activities.
If there is a craft you have always wanted to try, now is the time to see if you like it. Catch up on that new Netflix show you’ve meant to finish, and ensure you get out of the house for a walk or run if you’re able. There are plenty of online at-home workouts, both on YouTube and Instagram, that cater to a large variety of interests. For example, Yoga With Adriene is a fantastic YouTube channel that features several yoga workouts and guided meditations. Exercise releases endorphins that boost your mood and helps your mental wellness, so make sure to get your body moving in some capacity every day. When working from home utilize social media to its fullest potential and reach out to friends and family; we could all use a little love right now.
If you are a business leader… Communicate .. Communicate
It is easy for people to feel isolated when they are working from home. Leadership in the COVID-19 world requires increased levels of communication with your team. In this world, leaders can no longer simply walk through the office, instead, leaders must make a deliberate effort to connect with staff. Some strategies we have found useful include a daily morning virtual huddle with all managers to update on what’s happening across the organization. Mangers are also engaging their teams more frequently with daily team huddles, and additional one-on-one time. Our CEO has changed our monthly town hall to a weekly update and is having virtual coffee with staff. The key is to keep virtual meetings short. Use them as a chance to connect with staff, and not just talk about business.
isure insurance response to COVID-19
For the leadership team at isure, the safety of our clients and staff is very important. From the early days of COVID-19 we have responded with safety measures. When the decision came to work from home, we moved our entire staff to the safety of their own homes. To support our leadership and staff’s mental health, we launched the isure Virtual Wellness Channel packed with tips and support.
Equally important is our pledge to customers that isure is “Insurance About You”. Throughout COVID-19, isure customers have experienced no drop-in service standards. While many car, home and business insurance brokers and insurers are experiencing gaps in service or long customer wait times, the isure team continues answering customer calls in under 30 seconds!
Every day we are helping customers manage their car insurance, home insurance, and business insurance needs during COVID-19. We are here to help, and proud of it!
Learn more about what isure leadership and staff are doing and how we can help during COVID-19:
Helping Car Insurance and Home Insurance customers
Helping our Business Insurance clients
Stay healthy, stay safe, stay productive, and stay happy. We will get through this together!