Businesses are being offered practical advice and support on how to keep work from home staff mentally and physically fit during the coronovirus lockdown.
A new guide called Thrive at Home has been created by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) providing bosses with useful information on maintaining staff wellbeing as they adapt to new working practices.
Topics covered by the guide include helping staff deal with anxiety, especially those with existing mental health conditions, exercise, eat healthily and cope with financial uncertainty.
Thrive at Home also looks at reducing the impact of working alone, setting up computer equipment to avoid future back, shoulder and knee injuries, and supporting working parents who have no access to childcare.
The comprehensive online guidance has been produced by the WMCA as part of the Midlands Engine Mental Health Productivity Pilot in collaboration with key experts including local authorities, universities, health partners, business partners and the charity Mind.
Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said: “We are in incredibly difficult and unprecedented times, and it is clear that the coming weeks of continued social isolation will present a challenge for us all.
“It is therefore crucial that people across the West Midlands prioritise their wellbeing and look after themselves as much as possible.
“To help address this the WMCA has produced Thrive at Home, which covers topics both employers and their employees may be worried about.
“It will help guide the region’s business leaders on what they are required to do, why it’s important to look after wellbeing during this time and provide clear guidance and reassurance.”
The guidance is based on WMCA’s free online workplace wellbeing awards programme, Thrive at Work which has signed up more than 400 organisations with nearly 235,000 employees across the West Midlands and beyond.
Cllr Izzi Secombe, WMCA portfolio holder for wellbeing and leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “All of us are having to adapt to new ways of living and working, including reducing social and physical interactions.
“Employees will be more able to manage their own health and wellbeing if they feel supported by their employer.
“That’s why Thrive at Home is going to be so vital in the coming weeks providing guidance on how to adapt to new working practices and remain physically and mentally well.”
Dr Yasmin Akram public health consultant for the WMCA added: “We have reached out to regional partners in academia, business, the third sector and public health to develop an evidence-based resource for employers. Our new toolkit provides guidance to help improve workplace wellbeing during this challenging time.”
Following on from Thrive at Home https://mhpp.me/thrive-at-home/ for employers, a version aimed at employees and other home workers is being planned to go live in the near future.