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As the self-quarantine from the COVID-19 pandemic continues, non-essential workers are on their 3rd or 4th week working from home while essential workers bravely and selflessly trek into hospitals, grocery stores, fire stations and various other places. During this time, you may have seen an abundance of articles about getting through the workday and staying productive. But we’ve found that the time you spend not working is equally as important in keeping you motivated and happy when you do sit down to work again. What this article is focusing on is keeping your employees (whether they are essential workers or not) happy during non-working hours. 

The Stay at Home order requires that people should venture out only for groceries, medicine and other essentials. People are required to stay indoors and, depending on your state, there are limits on socialization. 

So, with all of this time spent at home, what should we be doing? One thing that is recommended is keeping a normal schedule. While this can be hard, or at certain times nearly impossible, encourage your employees to work from home during their usual work hours and take frequent small breaks. Getting their work done during their usual “workday” will help them fully disconnect later and be able to effectively relax. No one wants to work an 18 hour day because they can’t separate their work and home time anymore.

Aside from keeping a normal schedule, employees now have a lack of activities outside of work. How often can we clean our houses and walk our dogs? With restaurants, bars, movie theaters, parks, bookstores, and other entertainment destinations closed, we have to get creative with how we spend our time. Here are a few resources for you to provide that can help your employees with morale and can even translate into greater productivity during the working hours.

  • “SGN” = Some Good News with John Krasinski (Jim from ‘The Office’)
    Want an alternative to the nightly news? This is sure to inspire!
  • Netflix Party!
    Have a chat with your friends/family/significant other while catching up on your favorite Netflix content!
  • Harvard is offering free classes…yes, free!
  • Jackbox Games!
    Set up a zoom chat and have a virtual game night! (These cost money but there are ways to get creative and play board games for free!)
  • Get fit: Do some online YouTube workouts to get your heart racing! Or if you prefer yoga, try out Sarabeth Yoga.
  • Learn a new craft! Dig up your pastels and learn to draw!

Everyone’s situation is different. Some employees are home with kids, some with just our significant others, some with parents, siblings, and other relatives. No matter who you’re home with, remember this won’t last forever. Whether you’re managing essential personnel, or your team is working from home, what your employees do with their time matters. If they can disconnect once the work day is over so that they are better rested, energized, and motivated, it will help you and your company survive this difficult time with more ease and positivity.