How does the physical social distancing factor into our social environments at the workplace and how can we ensure that it doesn’t equate to morale distance?
CDC.gov advises employers and employees to social distance or “stay at least 6 feet from other people.” The practice of “wearing masks, avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands, and frequently washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds” is also advised in the workplace if or when Administrative Professionals are asked to go back to the office.
What The New Workplace Will Look like
A newsletter from Medical News Today entitled 5 Tips for Social Distancing At Work suggests using tape to mark off hallways or high-traffic areas where people congregate to ensure each employee understands how six feet apart looks. You can also use plexiglass to create partitions between desks. Of course, one of the main factors of your new office environment involves everyone wearing a mask. Don’t hesitate to be assertive if you are comfortable with a coworker who is not wearing a mask or being cautious.
Mental Effects of Social Distancing
A journal featured on the website for the National Center for Biotechnology Information entitled The Dangers of Social Distancing reports that “social distancing presents the dangers of increasing social rejection, growing impersonality and individualism, and the loss of a sense of community.” Unfortunately, feeling a loss of connection with one’s team after working in a distanced environment can cause mild depression and isolation. Thankfully, going to the office every day has more of a positive impact on Administrative Professionals’ mentality than working from home. However, there is a negative effect on morale in the office if socially distanced.
How To Prevent Low Morale at Work
A talentlyft.com blog article, 6 Ways to Boost Employee Morale During COVID-19, claims “65% of employers say maintaining employee morale is a problem during COVID-19.” Administrative Professionals’ most important way to boost their coworkers’ mood, team, and management involves maintaining clear and consistent communication. A global crisis will put most of your team on edge either way. To keep everyone’s mindset positive and confident, celebrate all of the milestones and accomplishments each one of you encounters, no matter how small. Doing this together will improve the feeling of connection that may be lost by face coverings and physical distance.
Many busy Executives and their Assistants do not practice self-care when anxiety is at an all-time high so, it is vital to share wellness resources when in your new office environment. For example, maybe in a weekly email blast, you can include a link to an article about stress management or applications created to reduce professional stress. It is also essential to be flexible with each other. A coworker may be experiencing additional stress due to a child completing school from home. Maybe give him or her some hours to work remotely. Finally, be a calm and connected symbol for your coworkers. Being in an environment with people who care will make your coworkers feel more supported during this challenging and different time.
Staying socially distant is crucial in the workplace right now, but it will be a transition for everyone in the office and may create low morale. Stay physically distanced, but not “socially” or mentally distanced from each other.