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How to Support Employee Well-Being While Working Remotely

Dear colleagues,  

The role of manager, supervisor or academic administrator is central to the well-being of your team, especially in this rapidly changing situation. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we are relying on our managers, supervisors and academic administrators to ensure our employees are coping and functioning well as they work remotely.  

Our normal work routines and schedules have been adapted to accommodate efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, but these changes can be challenging for employees and teams to adjust to. As we navigate the coming days, be aware of how the change in modes of communication and team dynamics impact your team. With the right strategies, we can mitigate challenges and thrive in this temporary remote work environment.   

To assist you as we navigate this new situation, we have compiled some resources to help you remain connected with your team and to provide support for their well-being while working remotely. 

How to Support Remote Employees: 

  • Schedule regular check-ins. Arrange a call or video chat with each team member using tools like Microsoft Teams or Zoom every 1-2 days to check on how they are doing and convey appreciation for their efforts at this challenging time.
  • Empathize with your team if they show concern about the COVID-19 pandemic. Remember that the situation will affect each individual on your team differently and their coping strategies will vary.
  • Increase communication. Let employees know you welcome their questions and will help them find well-being support if they need it. Consider offering this article on How to Maintain Social Distance While Getting Some Social Support.
  • Build a sense of connection. Hold virtual team meetings and work collaboratively, allowing extra time for the new learning and revising of goals and priorities that may be necessary. Consider having virtual coffee breaks!
  • Encourage sharing and support among team members. Allot time at the beginning of meetings for individuals to check-in with each other and share anecdotes or updates.
  • Encourage individuals to use resources if they need them. Proactively share this list of resources and supports with your team.
  • Take care of your own learning and support needs. Review 5 Strategies for Managing Your Newly Remote Employees for more practical strategies on adapting rapidly to managing a remote team. 

More information:

If you would like further information on the services and supports available to you, your family/dependents, or your team, please contact Teresa Scannell, Integrated Wellness Consultant, Human Resources & Equity at t.scannell@utoronto.ca.

For all the latest information, please see the University’s Coronavirus page. Please take the time to review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), the HR & Equity COVID-19 website, and the Research COVID-19 FAQs. If you or members of your unit have a question that is not covered, please use the Contact Us button located at the top of the FAQ section to submit your question.