As employees return to the workplace, what are some things employers can do to help ensure their mental and physical health?
Dr. Robert Chugden
Chief Medical Officer
West Jefferson Medical Center
We are doing many things to ensure our employees and physicians maintain optimal physical and mental health. I’d advise ensuring employees are protected, both from infection and from potentially frustrated customers, patients or visitors; communicating that you understand their concerns and want to keep them safe; encouraging open discussion about concerns in the workplace; encouraging physical and mental health by offering break times at work; expressing gratitude and appreciation to employees and staff for the dedication and hard work; and offering counseling to those in need.
Brady Rivet, BSN, RN
Chief Nursing Officer
River Oaks Hospital
Maintaining your own mental health is more important than ever during these times. Employees returning to work should ensure that they have a strong social network outside of the workplace. Employees should also focus on outdoor or leisure activities that are soothing for them. Reading a book or walking outside are two examples of leisure activities that are helpful in relieving stress and maintain a balanced work/home life.
Baudry Physical Therapy
I have three tips to make a smooth transition to the work environment you want. First, welcome your team back with a celebration, to show how much you appreciate them. Second, be extra accessible to your employees’ and their concerns. And third, commit to a culture of health by forming a health committee. By showing your employees you are committed to providing a healthy environment, you will certainly accelerate the transition back to the productive environment you want and expect.
Program Coordinator of Be Well Center
Jay Kaplan, M.D., FACEP
Medical Director of Care Transformation
The tips we would offer is first, acknowledge that this has been a difficult year for your employees and for their families, with lots of uncertainty, anxiety and loss. Let them know that it’s OK to not be OK. Second, welcome your staff back and let them know how important they are to you and to the success of your organization. Ask them what their priorities are and share yours with them. Third, remind them of the importance of their own health. All forms of exercise can help ease stress, and as little as 10 minutes a day makes a huge impact! Finally, practicing gratitude helps us to see the positive things in life. At the end of the day, take a minute or two to define one thing that happened during the day for which they are grateful (a gratitude moment) and one way that they have made a difference to someone (a legacy moment).