Part 1

Right now our humanity is experiencing varying magnitudes of the burdens and grief that has been brought on by Covid-19. Many of our societal constructs have shifted almost overnight. The government, our economy, our businesses, how we relate to one another…are all being affected. How can we find balance during this time and take care of the wellbeing of our employees, especially while many are working remotely? This is a question that many employers are asking.

The great slow down vs business as usual

It is fair to say that during this time, it is not “business as usual”. We are navigating a new landscape in which our economy has drastically slowed down, companies have had to learn how to go 100 percent online overnight, employers are looking for new and creative ways to keep their employees engaged, as well as continue to keep revenue coming in.

Employees who might not be used to working from home might be battling unforeseen distractions or learning how to restructure their days without having a normal work routine in place. Perhaps child care obligations are a burden or maybe it’s a struggle to create a productive co-working space with a significant other or roommate. Many circumstances abound. It is important to recognize that these times are not normal. Emotions are heightened and the triggers will be different for everyone. Weariness, anxiety, and fears, for example, are not uncommon. When we recognize that we are not alone in this, we can have more tolerance, compassion, and patience with our peers and loved ones. 

It seems the boundaries between personal life and work-life has softened during this time. We are now seeing the interiors of our co-workers’ homes. We might be sharing or hearing personal stories with our co-workers. There is a sense of openness that exists, providing a perspective into our collective humanity, and confirming that we are all in this together. Hopefully, we will move out of this experience slightly if not greatly altered from how we were before all of this happened.

As we slow down and assess our lives and reflect upon the areas where we might be feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or perhaps fearful…we can move through our days with more ease and resiliency, just by opening up to this awareness and acknowledging how these emotions are playing out in ourselves and on a grand scale.

Creativity, Innovation & Wellness 

Conversations around the idea of “workplace wellness” have been circulating well before this pandemic hit, however right now wellness in the workplace holds a different kind of weight, more than it did before…but it is not just our workplaces that are experiencing the shift, it is also every individual on a personal level. Going back to the notion that we are all in this together – it is our collaboration with one another and adherence to the guidelines set forth by our government and state officials, asking for our collaboration and unity. For it is through our social distancing that we have an opportunity to be more thoughtful and compassionate with our neighbors both locally and globally. Yet, there has never been a time of such polarity between interconnectedness and isolation. That is what makes these times so unprecedented.

~ Kate Gustafson