Two months into Working From Home (WFH) and the events of Week 8 have only added to the growing sense of change and confusion. The various authorities within the UK have stated their views and instructions – ‘Stay at Home’, ‘Stay Alert’, ‘Work from home’, ‘Go to work if you can’t work from home’, ‘Go to work but avoid public transport’. Personally, I think that the people ‘in charge’ are all trying their best, but the messages tend to be inconsistent, confusing and rather open to interpretation. When Ministers are asked to provide clarity around the messaging, inevitably they just add to the muddle and raise even more questions.
As if to mimic the confused mood of the population, the settled spring weather we enjoyed during April and the first week of May has been replaced with more typical British weather: varying across the geography of the country and switching from rain to sunshine at the drop of a hat!
This week (18–24 May) marks the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme is ‘Kindness’. The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted several situations that have demonstrated the immense reservoir of kindness within the UK. The current situation has dramatically increased levels of stress and anxiety – we are all trying to cope with issues and worries around health, finance, family, the future, with varying degrees of success. Since we are all confused, stressed and struggling, let’s resolve to be kind to ourselves and others – not just for a week but as an ongoing virtue.
- Be kind to yourself:
Remember that you are doing your best in very unusual circumstances. Cut yourself some slack and make allowances.
If you are WFH, try not to compensate by working longer hours than normal. Take regular breaks to help you stay focused and fresh. Don’t become isolated – communicate with your colleagues using the various tools available (phone, apps, video).
If you must go out to work, your personal physical and mental health should be paramount. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe in a situation, make sure that management knows and takes action.
- Be kind to others:
Try to make time for colleagues. Be generous with any help you can offer. Be aware that others might have additional issues to cope with at this time and make allowances for them.
- Be kind to your employees:
If you are managing a team, set an example of kindness. Help building collaboration and community by using ‘we/us’ rather than ‘I/me’. Make time for regular catch-ups (either in real-life or via video call) not only to help with managing workloads but also to check in on mental wellbeing. Try not to make assumptions about what that person is experiencing. If you avoid making assumptions, you ask better questions. By asking better questions, you show that you are interested in them as a person and have really listened. Where possible try to manage tasks/workloads bearing in mind each individual’s situation and build in allowances where needed.
- Be kind to your managers:
It is easy to forget that your bosses are often struggling with their own situations and stresses at this time. They will be under pressure and are trying their best to navigate through unchartered waters. Being kind isn’t a one-way street, so make allowances and cut them some slack too!
#stayathome #protectTheNHS #savelives and,
#stayalert #controlthevirus #savelives