Louise Wilson is head of the finance sector at Moneypenny

The last 12 months have taught us some vital lessons – perhaps most significantly, that health is wealth and protecting a workforce’s mental state must sit at the top of every firms’ agenda.

Good housekeeping is the foundation of improved wellbeing. That needs to span internal practices and respect for colleagues, improved meeting etiquette and the right level of internal and external communications support. Together, these can help to reduce the unwanted interruptions that can prove so disruptive.

Formalise meeting etiquette

With the rise of video calls, it can be tempting to just book them in without the level of scheduling that would have gone into a physical meeting – particularly when travel is not required.

Video meetings afford flexibility but try to avoid unplanned meetings, or those that don’t stick to time. When meetings do occur, always use an agenda to stay on topic and issue companywide ‘meeting etiquette’ to help engender positive change and an empowered approach to time management.

Outsource communications

If staff know there’s the right infrastructure in place to support them, it can reduce worry. For example, if staff know all customer calls will be handled warmly, professionally and efficiently, even when they’re busy or in a meeting, it can instil calm and focus without a ringing phone breaking their concentration.

Outsourced telephone answering, switchboard and outbound follow-up support is the ideal solution for keeping interruptions to a minimum while maintaining client/customer experience.

Choose technology that aligns

Streamline the number of video and project management platforms in use across the company so that employees come to ‘know them’ and don’t lose time loading different systems or finding multiple log-ins in-between meetings and tasks.

There’s real value in keeping it simple and choosing technology that has wider value – for example, our telephone answering system has a Microsoft Teams integration which means call handlers know who’s available and when. The result – less interruption for busy staff and a better client experience.

Diary management

Diaries aren’t just for meetings. Encourage employees to use their diaries to block manage their time, include tasks and add detail about whether they’re available or need quiet time.

By making sure that front of house, reception or outsourced teams have access to these diaries it’s possible to give employees the space they need to look after themselves, be productive and thrive.