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7 tips to help keep you and your colleagues connected.

We've all experienced a strange working year, our workspaces have changed dramatically and we're no longer sitting in the same room as our colleagues. We've missed out on our weekend debriefs, a trip to the nearby cafe, a little vent, a short walk to the train station, the list goes on. As a result of this, COVID-19 has taken a toll on our mental health. Tomorrow is World Mental Health Day so we wanted to highlight the importance of staying connected in the workplace.

Here are a few tips to help keep you and your colleagues connected as we get through this strange time: 

1. Check on your colleagues about life, not just work – Call, text, chat and ask them about non-work-related things, just as you would in the office.

2. Have video meetings that aren't about work – organise a quiz night, Friday work drinks, face mask party (not the COVID kind, the self care kind) or meditation - Headspace is a great app.

3. Send gratification – it's simple, people need praise! Tell your friends and colleagues they’re doing well! An easy way to remember is, when you think something nice about someone, tell them, don't keep it to yourself!

4. Practice good communication - Like they say "communication is key," keep everyone in the loop, use tools like teams, slack or send a weekly email.

5. Set challenges or have competitions – Give your team purpose by setting challenges like daily steps, or have a themed photo comp.

6. Raise awareness about mental health - Share articles about mental health, speak freely about mental health and express that its okay to not be okay.

7. Take a mental health day - it can feel weird taking a day off when you spend all your time in your home, but just like we take sick days for our bodies, we should also take them for our minds!