Look after yourself as we head into the new financial year

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It’s hard to believe we’re already approaching the end of the financial year. With the whirlwind of the past couple of years and all the changes Covid-19 had brought about, many small business owners have been under increased pressure and stress.

We’re heading into the third year of the Covid pandemic, and the Bay of Plenty had their first move into the red traffic light setting with Omicron cases spiking in the community.

They’re navigating additional requirements, such as vaccine passports and capacity restrictions due to staff being required to isolate, all while juggling the extra workload the end of the financial year brings.

It’s therefore no surprise that many business owners I have spoken to are feeling the additional weight now more than ever. After all, they’re working more, but the business is earning less.

Even at the best of times, small business owners are familiar with the challenges of the intermixing of work and life. When we’re overwhelmed, this separation is usually the first thing to fall away.

Don’t forget about wellbeing

But as we head into the eye of the storm, try not to forget about your team’s and your own wellbeing.

A couple of helpful tips I’ve learned over the years to help switch off is to set up separate work spaces and leisure spaces if you work from home, which makes a world of difference when it comes to clocking off.

Give yourself permission to switch off at the end of the day. It’s valuable to have clear distinctions between when you’re working and when you’re not. 

Other things include turning off notifications on your email app during leisure hours and scheduling time for things in life you enjoy like, a hobby or spending time with your whānau – making an effort to be mindfully present during these times.

Give yourself permission to switch off at the end of the day. It’s valuable to have clear distinctions between when you’re working and when you’re not.

Once you’ve set these boundaries for yourself, communicate them with your team.

Fostering a culture of open communication, where people feel safe to say they’re not coping, allows you to work together towards a solution.

And finally, encourage your team to make use of the Xero Assistance Programme if they need.

This provides access to free and 100 percent confidential wellbeing counselling for employees and their families – whether it’s for face-to-face, over the phone or online.

Setting and managing healthy boundaries can reduce stress, improve mental wellbeing and ultimately allow you and your employees to bring your best selves to work.

Ultimately, 2022 is going to be a challenging year for us all. Anything you can do to help you and your staff get through it as happy and healthy as possible is crucial.

Related: It’s good business to care: Sick Leave and the importance of wellbeing

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Craig Hudson
Craig Hudson
Xero Managing Director for New Zealand and the Pacific Islands

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