23 Apr

Staying Mentally and Physically Well During Lockdown

With the first month of lockdown almost complete, the Marketing team have been looking into how staff have been adapting to this ‘new normal’. We find out how staff are keeping themselves occupied during evenings and weekends as well as taking advantage of the support on offer during the working day to maintain their physical and mental health.

Across the organisation it has been a case of making the most of the opportunities that have been presented with new hobbies taken up, old ones re-visited and having more time to catch up with TV series and maintain relationships amongst other things. Despite the physical distance, there is a greater connectivity with colleagues, friends and families as social interaction has never been more important. Being able to speak to people and see their faces has been a major boost during this time and is one of the vital ways in which people have been staying occupied and keeping up morale. The list below encapsulates some of the common themes emerging from life under lockdown for QEII staff:

In-work support:

  • Daily team meetings are an important touch point from a personal and work perspective. It is an opportunity to find out how everyone is feeling, catch up on news and stories, as well as make sure that everyone is in the loop about the core work activities throughout the team
  • Coffee mornings have been set up by the HR team as an opportunity to have a chat, on anything from health and wellbeing to the latest hobby, nothing is off the table and it is an informal means of connecting with work
  • A twice monthly staff quiz has been set up on a Friday, giving colleagues the opportunity to socialise and catch up in a relaxed environment as well as giving the more competitive of our staff the chance to see how good their general knowledge really is
  • Monthly staff forums are another way that all staff have been able to connect. As well as consolidating company updates in one place, it is an opportunity to celebrate how everyone has pulled together and seamlessly adapted to working from home to deliver business requirements
  • The weekly yoga classes are being maintained during lockdown and have moved online. With exercise limited to once a day, it is an excellent way to supplement this and staff uptake has doubled as work schedules have become more flexible

Hobbies and activities:

  • With more time being spent indoors, staff have taken up new hobbies that reflect the limitations on leaving home. From cross stitch and jigsaw puzzles, to cooking new dishes and baking, staff have been challenging themselves in new ways
  • Finding time to re-visit hobbies and activities that they would not normally have time for such as reading new books or revisiting books from their past e.g. Harry Potter. Photographing scenery and wildlife in local parks, drawing and painting. Staff have also been making the most of the weather to do gardening and DIY projects
  • Keeping fit and exercising either indoors or out. The activities have varied from running or jogging once a day, to taking part in online personal training or fitness classes from celebrities to the Adidas training app in the comfort of their homes, keeping mind and body healthy
  • Having more regular catch ups with friends and family and in bigger groups. With so much choice of technology (e.g. Zoom, Skype, Houseparty etc.) being able to see the people you are talking to, gives you a feeling of being there with them. There has also been a trend for catch ups with larger groups, whether it is whole family calls or speaking to whole sections of a friendship group (e.g. school or university friends)
  • Getting into a new boxset or TV series that gives you something to look forward to whether that is trawling through Netflix or catching up with what you have missed on iPlayer. Whether it is starting the new series of Killing Eve, binge watching The Nest or catching up with the crazy world of Joe Exotic in Tiger King there is plenty to keep occupied!
  • Whilst parents have had the tricky balance of combining work and keeping children busy and engaged! For parents of younger children, in particular, it has been a task of balancing home schooling with arts and crafts to taking part in Joe Wicks’ exercise classes!

This has been an immensely challenging time for all staff, but it has been great to see how everyone is adapting to it and implementing new routines to support their mental and physical health needs. It is vital that we continue to use the available support networks both in and out of work as we make our way through these uncertain times.


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