Covid Keeps

Aug 05, 2021

 

“If I hear the word ‘new-normal’ again I’m going to lose it” is the expression that many employees have told us over the past 12 months.  However,  while the phrase may be frustrating for many, the continual changing of the goal posts are testing our ability to adapt. We appreciate that for many, the pandemic has allowed some new challenging habits to form, there have also been some positives too. 

‘Covid-keeps’ are defined as habits that we have built during lockdown that we don’t want to lose.  This may have included new walking routines, eating schedules, yoga stretches,  mind-time and much, much more.  All of this is great but as we gear-up to the next covid-chapter it is useful to plan which habits we would like to keep.

So let’s look at a few examples. If you have developed a walking habit, perhaps a couple of times in the day it may be hard to spontaneously fit this in when you are at...

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Knowledge Sharing Network

Jul 31, 2021

We brought HR and wellbeing leads together from across different sectors to share their wellbeing related challenges, and exchange ideas on how to combat the ever-increasing levels of stress and anxiety as we start to return to the office.

Here are some of the big questions we asked:

  • What are your COVID Keeps?
  • Have Chief Executives become the new heads of wellbeing?
  • Has working remotely removed some of the accessibility barriers?
  • Are colleagues at risk of burnout?
  • Are we seeing more postural issues, social anxiety and experiencing mental health challenges?

The HR and Wellbeing leads around the (Zoom) table spanned a variety of sectors, from financial services, communications and supporting pharma companies to satisfy drug regulations. Whilst their businesses are very different, when it comes to employee wellbeing, there's a lot in common. 

Employee engagement

The greatest challenges related to keeping colleagues connected and motivated whilst working remotely. Despite...

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Think Like An Athlete

Jul 21, 2021


The Olympic athletes will be jumping, swimming, throwing, hurdling, vaulting and much much more.  In fact, by the time we see these ‘race-ready’ athletes you would agree that they make it look so easy.  But what skills and characteristics are necessary to become a top athlete and can we relate these to our own lives?  To discuss this in more detail, we’ve highlighted 9 top traits that the majority of athletes possess and what Wilma had in abundance in order to elevate her to stardom.

  1. Social support -  In sport a healthy network is essential. From helping with technique, overcoming challenges and nutritional tips, as the saying goes there is no ‘I’ in TEAM.

  2. Long term focus - Athletes are not thinking about the short term.  In fact those that were questioned following the delay to the 2020 Japanese games had no reservations continuing with training for an extra year or even more.

  3. Delegation - This is about realistic...
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Back To Normal? Or not...

Jul 08, 2021

From the film, The Karate Kid (1984), Mr Myagi said if you walk on one side of the road, safe,  walk on the other side of the road, safe,  but if you walk in the middle of the road sooner or later you get squished just like a grape.  Now let’s imagine that working from home was one side of the road and working in the office was the other, we don’t want to become the grape!  So let’s consider, how will hybrid working work?

For some, working from home had significant advantages. Whether it was saving commuting time as well as money, getting more done with less distractions or even keeping on top of the washing pile.  But with this new-found-freedom there was also more pressure to be organised and committed to getting the work done. 

From surveying hundreds of employees, working from home was not great for everyone. Some had young children that required attention and others didn’t have suitable desk areas to create a work...

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You Got This

Jun 15, 2021


When we mention equations there are often a lot of raised eyebrows in the audience, however, occasionally an equation comes along that is helpful with our day-to-day life and worth taking note of:

DISAPPOINTMENT = EXPECTATIONS - REALITY

If you throw around a few variables we get an idea of how this equation works. Let’s presume that for most people the aim is to minimise disappointment. This is best achieved when we strive to minimise our expectations. If our expectations match our current reality then our disappointment score would be zero. Furthermore if our reality was actually a lot better than we were expecting then disappointment decreases its hold on our existence. The main time we get submerged in large amounts of disappointment is when we are expecting something to go one way but for some reason or another, we find that in reality, this didn’t happen.  

Now, this doesn’t mean that we should always expect the worst. It’s important to...

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Recognise Your Resilience

Jun 02, 2021

The definition of resilience is sometimes hard to pin down. It is often thought of as the ability to bounce back in the face of adversity but as you will see, it is not that simple.

Does one think that an individual who goes through a trauma and returns to work the next day is more resilient than the individual who goes through a similar trauma, suffers with PTSD and has 6 months of therapy but then returns back to work? Both individuals have bounced back, but one took a little longer, and that’s fine. The question is whether we can maximise our ‘springiness’  when it comes to bouncing back.

Two important days are recognised in June that are relevant to this discussion. The first of which occurs in the USA on June 4th is ‘National Hug Your Cat’ day and the second is June 8th, which is ‘International Best friends day’. While they add a little chuckle as we search for a feline friend to cuddle the important point is that friendships are...

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How can I make sure that colleagues are not overworking to help reduce stress levels? (When working from home)

May 23, 2021

21 Employee Wellbeing Questions and Answers for 2021

We’re championing #MentalHealthAwarenessYear, to sustain our focus to become happier, healthier and more productive.

We’ve gathered the 21 most commonly asked employee wellbeing questions asked by HR Directors, wellbeing leads and business owners and will be answering one a week.

Question 1 - How can I make sure that colleagues are not overworking to help reduce stress levels?

When we worked in an office there was a natural divide between home and work. Whether you love or hate the office commute, it created a natural separation. Then, as we all worked from home, the lines between home-life and work-life were blurred. 

Were we working from home or sleeping in the office? Many worked longer days and responded to late-night emails. There was simply no obvious ‘Trumpian’ way to “build the wall!”

Job insecurity increased as people were furloughed, reducing costs to protect the...

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I.Q vs. E.Q

May 21, 2021

The IQ test, or intelligence quotient, was first invented in 1904 and was for many years widely regarded as the measure of how successful a person will become in the future.  However, more recently researchers have worked towards understanding the emotional quotient  (EQ) and its effect on our future successes and failures.   

The notion was that in general, those with higher IQ’s are successful and tend to earn a better salary, however that doesn't paint the entire picture.  

Emotional intelligence is a composite of multiple skills. From understanding your emotions 'self awareness', being able to manage your emotions 'self regulation',  wanting to change 'motivation', being able to 'empathise' with others, and ultimately improving your 'social skills'. 

This unique combination of attributes, when considered together, provides for a well-rounded individual that is able to manage and lead at the highest level. ...

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Mental Health Awareness

May 12, 2021

This week we recognise Mental Health Awareness once again and as we attempt to push Covid-19 into the rear-view mirror of our lives we ask, how do we get back on the road to making a full recovery?

We all recognise that while we initially thought the disruption to our lives was going to be a steep hill, it soon emerged that it was more like climbing Everest. However, with that in mind what steps can we apply to support our mental health as we journey into the next chapter of life after lockdown.  

Zubin & Spring (1977) suggested 4 main factors that make us susceptible to suffering with poor mental health.  These were: 1) Genetics, 2) Childhood experiences, 3) Environment, 4) Lifestyle factors.    

Obviously as you go through that list it is obvious that you aren’t able to alter your genetics or your childhood and thus you’re only able to control your environment and your lifestyle factors.

So what can we do about lifestyle factors?

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Mindfulness - Take Action

Apr 21, 2021

We often get told that mindfulness is a hard skill to learn, especially when trying to combat stress.  And yes, we completely agree.  In times of high stress it's really difficult to commit to learning a new skill to cope and deal with that stress. 

Imagine if you woke up tomorrow and needed a filling in your tooth.  You go to the dentist and say: “What brushing and flossing can I do to sort this out?”  

The dentist looks at you puzzled and replies “the brushing and flossing is designed to help you avoid needing a filling rather than fixing one”

The point here is that healthy habits are designed to keep you well. Instead, humans have a tendency to de-prioritise healthy habits until something is broken. 

In the example of mindfulness the research shows that mindfulness practices help to calm our mind, ease stress and anxiety and over time literally change the size and shape of certain areas of our brain...

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