It’s been six weeks since transforming their business to a solely (hopefully temporary) virtual one. During that time, Stretching the City directors, Katy Chambers & Sally Lovett have now virtually taken part in over a hundred of their client’s wellbeing webinars. Here they share some of their key learnings.
Rituals and Routine are key
Katy: In our ‘Wellbeing + Working from Home’ wellbeing webinars, one attendee shared that every morning she started work at her desk, with a coffee, in her KeepCup mug, just like she did at the start of every day in her office. Whether it’s going for a ‘commute’ walk before firing up your emails, or ending your working day with an online exercise class, rituals and a routine provide a structure and familiarity that help anchor us during these challenging, chaotic times.
There’s nothing healthy about hunching over a laptop.
Sally: Our Move at your Desk workshop has given me the nudge to finally take ergonomics seriously. Despite being a seasoned working-from-homer, a decade of working solely from my laptop has taken it’s toll on my shoulders and neck. Inspired by the advice shared by our ergonomic expert, Nichola I’ve finally got round to buying a laptop stand, wireless keyboard and mouse. Working with my laptop at eye level and typing with my arms at the recommended 90 degree angle has made an immediate difference to how my neck, shoulders and back feel at the end of the working week.
Staying socially connected keeps us sane
Katy: Our brilliant clinical psychologists, start our ‘Manging your Mental Health during Coronavirus’ webinar with a poll asking participants who they’re living with. The responses vary greatly, from living alone to with a house full, but the common thread is that whatever our living arrangements, we’re all missing some loved ones and friends. I love these suggestions for staying connected with loved ones:
- Face to face contact (via videochats) are more mood boosting than telephone. Body language (e.g. facial expressions) influences both the expression and receptivity of social cues, reducing perceived social distance.
- Share jokes, music, stories, and simply talk about anything other than coronavirus.
- Don’t forget alternative methods such as email or even sending a letter can be an important way of keeping connected to others.
Working with kids at home is really hard.
Sally: ‘If you’re finding it hard, it’s because it is hard’ has been my front-of-mind mantra on days when it’s felt impossible to get any productive work done whilst under the same roof as my 2 year old. Listening to other parents from around the world share their struggles and solutions in our ‘Wellbeing for Working Parents’ webinar has been hugely comforting. My main take-away from our parenting coach, Zoe has been to lower expectations. The priority now is to keep family life as happy and harmonious as can be and to keep Stretching the City thriving, and our clients and team happy. Home-cooked meals made from scratch, a spotless house and ‘learning a new skill’ can wait.
People are incredibly resilient and adaptable.
Katy: 6 weeks ago we didn’t know if our business of 10 years would sink or swim during this crisis. We collaborated with our team, who turned around brilliant, bespoke content and wellbeing webinars in a short space of time. Our corporate yoga teachers fast adapted to teaching online and we tirelessly tested the technology to ensure it wouldn’t let us down. We’ve been amazed by our quickly our team have adapted to delivering online. Also how receptive our clients have been. From watching the sweaty smiles of a group of colleagues sharing a virtual HIIT class to reading the supportive advice colleagues are sharing with one another in a webinar chat, we’ve witnessed some magic moments of connection in the midst of this chaos.