Coronavirus – pause, breathe and focus on your wellbeing

Published by Peter Manser on 15 April 2020

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The past few weeks will have seen business leaders making a greater number of important business decisions than they may usually have to make over the course of a whole year. Responses to the ever-changing situation need to be prompt but they also have to be right. Their very livelihood and those of their staff are at stake.

Add to this the potent mix of the 24-hour news cycle with information being updated by the minute, often misleading and contradictory reports across our national media, and the seemingly relentless barrage of opinion, advice, and fake news on social media.

The toll this can have on health and wellbeing should not be under-estimated. It is something we are very aware of at Kreston Reeves through the work we do and how we manage our own teams.

Wellbeing is an expected deliverable of most businesses when it comes to recruitment and retainment. But right now, the wellbeing of you and your employees could not be more important.

Those who work in office environments may be finding working from home a real challenge. Tea rounds, biscuits and the banter are part of the reason we do get up and make that daily commute to work. We enjoy our colleagues’ company – even when they do frustrate us!

Yet as more of us are now working from home this can result in increased anxiety levels. Do you find yourself doubting how much work you’ve done today? Is it harder to find someone to bounce your ideas off, get a second opinion?

We may also find ourselves working more independently. Although technology is helping teams to continue communicating, this isolation period can force more independent thinking. This can bring both positives and negatives. Business owners need to keep this in mind.

“Research has shown that even a short walk in a park, around a garden, or wherever there is green space can improve wellbeing.”

Research has shown that even a short walk in a park, around a garden, or wherever there is green space can improve wellbeing. Making the most of our one spot of exercise a day is key. Now that spring is here, we can start to enjoy the benefits of the sun and nature as flowers start to bloom. Do take the time to go for that walk or run. Use it to switch off or collect your thoughts. As a keen runner (with a competitive streak) I am grateful to my running club creating a “bingo challenge” of various achievements whilst out on runs – such as taking a mid-run selfie. It has become quite competitive!

And there are things that you can do as a team and with colleagues across the business. We have held a weekly online ‘pub quiz’ and ‘fancy dress Thursdays’ for staff joining internal Microsoft Teams calls. We also have virtual coffee mornings for people managers to share concerns or challenges facing them and their teams, wellbeing ambassadors leading activity, and ‘well-bingo’ to encourage staff to participate and share their physical and mental health activities.

This is matched by clear and regular communication from senior management teams progress in our business and its decision making. These are all things other businesses could easily replicate.

Although this is a testing time it is also a wonderful opportunity to slow down, evaluate and make changes to our lives. Those changes may well dictate your future, your family, your employees and your business.

Some top tips for maintaining your wellbeing during this period below:

  • Make time to go outside and exercise daily.
  • Keep a healthy diet and experiment with healthy recipes.
  • Communication is key – remember to keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues by phone or other digital means.
  • Competition is good – don’t lose it from your everyday lives, create competition if its missing
  • Reflect and focus on the positive aspects of your life and use this time as an opportunity to plan your goals for the future – personal and professional.
  • Keep busy with work, games, crafts, gardening, learn a new language, watch your favourite series again – use this time to focus on a hobby or develop a new one!
  • Don’t rush important decisions that impact yours and others’ futures – take your time.

For those of you who are interested in learning more about, or playing well-bingo, download the card here and we’d love to see your progress using the hashtag #KRWellbingo.

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