Five Essential Keys to Coping with Grief in the Virtual Workplace

By: Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services
Friday, January 21, 2022

In our society, working has become part of who we are and how we define ourselves. Dealing with death is also part of being human, and that means work and loss often become intertwined.

If you are in a management or leadership position, you have probably experienced grieving employees and coworkers, and perhaps you have even endured the loss of a team member. For most of us, the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the number of these sorrowful events. As people transitioned to remote working and social interactions dwindled, feelings of isolation grew, increasing grief responses and ushering in a roller coaster of new emotions. It’s created a new working environment filled with ups and downs and uncertainty, and much of it exists in a digital landscape.

In this article, we have compiled some helpful tips for managing grief in the virtual workplace.

 

Acknowledge the loss.

When an employee passes away, it is important to create space and time for coworkers to talk about what has happened. This is true in the physical workspace as well as the virtual one. It can be helpful to set aside time during virtual staff meetings to monitor how everyone is doing in addition to performing individual check-ins via phone and/or email. When you communicate to your team members about the loss, be sure to include a list of resources where they can get access to bereavement support.  

Expect a wide range of reactions.

The loss of a colleague can affect people in many different ways. Some may be deeply affected while others may be more accepting of the loss. Those who were particularly close to the departed may be quite grief-stricken. Some workers might want to talk about their feelings, while others may prefer to deal with them privately. In addition, adjustment can take a long time for some people. Be aware of the different ways that your employees may react to loss and respect those differences.

Be flexible with bereavement leave.

Time away from work can be a healer for many people, but for others, it can usher in pain and intensify sorrow. Companies need to avoid reliance on a singular blanket approach for all situations involving loss. People deal with death in different ways and providing a set number of days for people to grieve is not realistic. Your policy should take this into consideration as much as possible. Let grieving workers know that they should speak to you or HR if they require additional time off.

Determine how much information is appropriate.

If the passing was unexpected or comes with difficult details, work with your human resources team to determine how much information should be shared. Rumors travel faster than facts and your employees might assume the worst if you don’t provide information. In the remote work environment, it also becomes easier for communication to get muddled and misinterpreted. Having an open discussion can help clarify the facts, dispel rumors, and facilitate a healthy grieving process.

Demonstrate compassion.

When a colleague or loved one passes away, it’s a challenging time and many adjustments must be made both personally and professionally. People may not be at their best, particularly those who are most affected by the loss. Be patient and understanding with your team members during this difficult time. Find ways to cooperate, show that you care, and share any additional workload that may result.

Coping with death is never easy but it can be especially challenging in the virtual workplace. If you would like more information or access to appropriate resources, our caring professionals are always here to assist you. Please contact us anytime. 

About Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services: As a leading African American-owned and operated funeral and cremation organization, Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to thousands of grieving families. We promise to provide our highest level of distinguished service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. In all aspects of the funeral process, we strive to be the absolute best and are honored to help preserve our clients’ legacies for future generations. With two convenient locations serving North and West Philadelphia, it is always our pleasure to be of service. Please visit our website for more information.

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Seven Sneaky Things that Can Affect Your Heart Health

Safeguarding your heart health is essential for your overall well-being. The heart is a vital organ responsible for pumping blood and oxygen throughout the body. Like any body part, it requires ca...

Your Guide to Visitation Etiquette: Eight Basic Rules Everyone Should Know

By mastering funeral visitation etiquette, you can ensure that your presence brings comfort at a difficult time. Knowing the expectations and protocols can help you navigate these delicate situati...

A Labor of Love: How to Choose Burial Clothes for the Departed

When preparing for a loved one’s final goodbye, the choice of burial clothing becomes a heartfelt expression of reverence. The loss of a loved one is often a deeply emotional time. Amid grief, man...

Looking to Add More Produce to Your Diet? Try These Ten Simple Solutions

Take the first step towards a healthier you by learning how to effortlessly add more produce to your diet. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet goes beyond just meeting the dail...

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Cremation: Seven Useful Facts Everyone Needs to Know

Understanding cremation begins with separating the facts from the misconceptions. Cremation has become increasingly popular in recent years as individuals seek alternative end-of-life options. Des...

Traditional Funeral Flowers Not For You? Here Are Six Clever, Eco-Conscious Options

As we become increasingly aware of environmental concerns, the impact of traditional funeral flowers on our planet has come under scrutiny. Amid grief and loss, funeral flower arrangements have lo...

Winter Heart Attacks Are More Common Than You Think. Here’s How to Reduce Your Risk

Amid the serene beauty of frosty settings, winter heart attacks are a chilling reality for many people. Winter is a picturesque time of year with its snow-covered landscapes and crackling fireplac...

How Heartfelt Condolence Messages Can Ease the Pain of Grief

Condolence messages are often a source of great comfort to those who are grappling with loss. This simple gesture lets you express your sympathies and lets the bereaved know they are in your thoug...

Five Inspiring Ways to Celebrate Martin Luther King Day 2024

In the United States, Martin Luther King Day is observed annually on the third Monday in January. The day commemorates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister and pr...

The Causes of Pneumonia: Five Surprising Facts Everyone Should Know

The lesser-known causes of pneumonia involve some unexpected factors that go beyond the usual suspects. Did you know that, together with the flu, pneumonia is a top cause of death in the United St...