Who’s up for virtual coffee?


Everyone’s coming together to help stop the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) including by social distancing and regularly washing our hands. The changes mean we all need to be more resilient and flexible. But by supporting each other and staying positive we can see through the challenges. Digital technology is helping us along the way. 

Reaching out to each other using technology

Technology can keep us connected while we’re social distancing or self-isolating, ensuring people, particularly those who more are socially vulnerable, don’t feel lonely or isolated.

In our workplace there may be people who are finding the adjustments difficult or others in special circumstances like our expat team members who are away from home. In our communities, we need to take extra care of those who are socially vulnerable including our elderly family members and neighbours.

Show compassion and reach out to others with a phone call, video call or email. Use lots of photos so people can see what’s going on in your life. Video chatting is especially great because it enables us to connect in a more intimate and present way.

There’s also a huge number of social networking and instant messaging apps to keep us all in touch using multimedia.

Technology is also keeping us connected giving us access to the world around us. You can see the latest news, live stream events that you can’t attend in person including religious services and sporting events.

Communicate more, and often

When it comes to work, over-communicating is the key. Feel safe and comfortable contacting others more often, rather than less because that’s what creating an inclusive online environment is all about.

Importantly, it helps to reduce stress and uncertainty and makes people feel valued when it comes to their work.

It’s especially important if your team is spread out or perhaps you or someone you know work with greater independence. Send others a message and let them know you’re there to support them.

Using instant messaging and online forums is a good way to keep your team’s sense of togetherness when you’re working across different locations.

Don’t miss your coffee catch-ups! Just make them virtual

You don’t need to miss those inspiring coffee catch-ups or tea-room conversations.

Keep your meets and greets pencilled in, just switch them to a virtual platform.

Grab your cuppa and meet for a virtual coffee to keep your dialogue flowing.

Inviting others to meet in this way will help everyone feel more relaxed and confident about changes around us.

Organising your day

Planning your work and collaborating with your team members is the best way to keep your projects going with minimal disruption.

There’s no need to put things off, be adaptable and prepared to shift things around a little.

Short-term goals can help us all feel clear and focused and make things more manageable. It’s also important to keep us feeling energised.

Identify all the tasks you or your team need to complete and timelines for achieving them.

Take advantage of digital technology including the cloud to work collaboratively on documents or projects. Screen sharing also enables us to collaborate over long distances.

If you have to put some things on hold, use it as an opportunity to put other plans into action that you haven’t yet had a chance to do.

Create a safe workspace

Make sure your team know about and are following your workplace’s Working from Home Guidelines.

Your organisation has a duty of care to all staff and making sure your work environment is safe is an important part of it.

It’s a good habit to remind your colleagues about your workplace Guidelines to make sure it remains fresh in their minds.

Let’s get physical

Regular exercise and maintaining good eating habits is important to help us stay healthy physically and mentally.

Keep up with your normal work-out routine and encourage others to do the same whether its indoor activities like pilates, or running or cycling outdoors.

Use technology to be innovative and creative!

If your exercise group has puts things off temporarily, you can still keep connected and motivated by sharing exercise photos or your latest fitness data using apps.

There’s also nothing stopping you from organising an online exercise group or yoga session.

Check-in your colleague’s well-being

The everyday social connection we get through work is important. Be conscientious about looking after your mental health and check to see if other people in your team are OK.

Worry in uncertain times is perfectly natural. If you’re feeling worried, approach it helpfully with problem-solving. Think: Why am I worrying? Can I control the outcome? If yes, what actions can I take? What are the pros and cons of taking action? What’s the best alternative and how can I implement it?

Gratitude practices are another affirmative way to expand our minds and keep our morale and productivity up. Simply listing the three things you’re your most grateful about today retrains your thinking to focus on all the wonderful things in your life.

Technology, of course, presents a whole realm of opportunities. Bring your colleagues together for a virtual meditation or mindfulness session. There’s loads of great apps helping us keep peace of mind, or you can just play some relaxing music in the background.

Finally, remind everyone around you that there is an Employee Assistance Program, if you or anyone else, need it.

We’re all in this together!

Remember, your attitude is contagious and if you’re thinking and acting positively, others around you will too.

Using technology to stay connected, support each other and keep up our wellbeing will give us the ability to respond to change creatively and productively.