In light of the developing virus in the UK and the predictions of action that the government may take we put together this newsletter and shared it with our clients. Several fed back to us that it is worth sharing generally. In the words of one “Thank you Julian – a calm and welcome voice in this crazy world!”
So here it is.
If ever there is a time when emotional resilience is important it is in these uncertain times and we want to help you access the support you and your teams need .
Below newsletter we have addressed the following –
- Tips and things to think about to keep you calm and focused if you are working from home for a long period
- Supporting Self Isolating Staff
- How Calm People can help and our guarantee
- Be aware of facts and opinions
Tips For Working From Home
Those that can, may soon be asked to work from home as a way of minimising spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Those of us that use a change of scenery as a way of being more efficient may well be remembering times when they have taken a day at home to work and got loads shifted off their to do list. When it is imposed and it is an indeterminate period of time, working from home is not always as easy and relaxing as it sounds.
Issues you need to think about are those such as how we maintain normal working hours, normal working practices, how we minimise distractions as well as how we cope with the isolation of working from home.
Below we have compiled some tips that may help you maintain focus, routine and your emotional health.
- Maintain normal working hours – discipline helps in all kinds of ways and keeps us focused. This not only helps with your routine work output but also with that of your colleagues. They need to know you are there and available to talk to as you would normally be.
- Allocate some “work” space in your home – This may be a challenge but try to allocate a space in your house/flat to be your workspace that is different to where you will relax. It is important that your whole living space does not become your workspace as you need physical as well as mental separation between work time and home time.
- Take breaks at the same rate and time as you would at work. You are entitled to them. Use them wisely to maintain concentration.
- Book in “coffee machine chats” – Part of the value of a workplace is the social engagement that goes on. Losing that can damage your emotional health. In the workplace as you make coffee you are likely to have an informal catch up with colleagues. That is not an organic process when you work from home but you can plan in social chats. They will keep you more efficient.
- Maintain the same social media rules at home as you do at work. There is no excuse for allowing unnecessary interruption into your schedule.
- Agree boundaries with your loved ones who may also be working from home. Agree when it is ok to chat and when it is not.
- Use technology to replicate the work environment as much as possible. When you need to have a meeting use Skype or Google Hangouts to have multiple users on line at a time. One to one use the same or facetime.
- Book regular check ins either by text or video with your supervisor. It will help keep you focused and accountable and manage their control issues.
- Allow yourself a small amount of time each day to develop your emotional strength and build the skills you may need to emotionally survive uncertain times. The time you save on your commute could help with this one.
Supporting Self Isolating Staff
Staff that have either contracted the virus or have been advised to self isolate are in a slightly different place to those who simply need to work from home.
Firstly, they may not be well and therefore need not to be under the same obligation to work while they self isolate. There will be those that will want to work and those that are perfectly healthy (despite having been advised for good reason to self isolate), currently, and can expect to work. For those see the tips above.
Whether they are healthy or not make sure you have regular contact to see how they are doing. They may be healthy now but could develop the virus.
Those that are not well need to be given the time to get better but stay in touch and book in regular check in chats with them. Depending on their social circumstances you could be their only outside contact and they may well value your attention. In addition to being an act of a caring employer, staying in touch helps you understand whether they have the virus or not and whether you need to inform colleagues who they may have been in touch with. Continuous communication is so important in all of these areas.
Those that need to self isolate are likely to have other worries going on as well. Some of those may be practical around pay and holiday benefits which you can explain. For others this may be experienced as stressful time with worries about themselves, their jobs and their families coming to the fore. If you would like support from Calm People in that respect take a look below.
How Calm People Can Help & Our Guarantee
There is no doubt that the virus, the way it is spreading and the uncertainty it brings with it is adding to the stress levels that people are experiencing. Whether they are in isolation or not.
Calm People can help in a number of ways
Workshops and Our guarantee
It is at times like this that employees will feel truly invested in if their employer provides them with a safe space to understand their stress and develop the tools and strategies they need to healthily deal with uncertainty. If they feel truly invested in they will feel engaged and engagement is on the agenda of many employers.
We are still running workshops and will continue to do so while we feel it is safe to do so. If we decide it is not safe or government strategy changes and this impacts we will clearly have to stop running workshops in organisations.
This link here goes to our more popular workshops
During this time we will waive our late cancellation charges.
If you book a workshop with us that has to be cancelled as a result of COVID-19 impact to your workplace, then provided it is rebooked we will not charge our late cancellation fees.
That way we can minimise the impact of COVID-19 from our end and remove the risk of booking in much needed workshop support for your teams.
Even if we can’t come to you and you can’t come to us you can still come to the workshop.
By using web based webinar technology we can run bite sized seminars that can support your teams in developing the coping skills they require to stay resilient in these uncertain times. An obvious one would be The 5 Pillars of Stress & You.
Click here to see our seminar menu which translates well to webinars.
Here at Calm People we have been working remotely with individuals for years. It is a natural part of our portfolio and the work we do translates well over video conference technology as it does face to face.
If you have individuals who you particularly wish to support but do not wish to increase COVID-19 risk. This can be the way to go.
Finally, if you want to support individuals or teams but find the time away from work a challenge then take a look Inner Calm.
This online emotional assessment and support hub brings much from Calm People’s core work and IP on line and much, much more. The emotional health assessment and report is worth more than an annual subscription and then there are the 8 pathways for development. All from your desk and in bite sized chunks.
Separate Facts From Opinions
This can be a worrying time and there can be things we can do to reduce the sense of uncertainty
Not all opinions are worthless just be careful where you source them and which ones you listen too. Equally, not all facts are relevant if taken out of context.
It is worthwhile following Public Health England, Government and your employer’s advice which will be updated regularly.
If a particular claim hits the spot with you and sounds interesting take a few minutes to investigate the source. Remember, social media is effective at spreading messages because we tend to lend kudos to those we associate with, even if they are simply sharing an opinion they themselves have not vetted. Before long an opinion can develop fact like status for no good reason other than being shared a lot.