In the UK, it looks like we’re heading towards a second round of heavy restrictions of movement and behaviours, due to the increased infection rates of COVID.
During March we published our guide to working well from home during COVID, in the coming weeks, we’ll be publishing a series of updates to the guide, to better reflect our advice and recommendations now.
Things do feel different this time.
Firstly, it isn’t a surprise - I think many of us felt this was going to happen again, but it hasn’t appeared out of nowhere, we have time to plan and prepare.
Secondly, most businesses have had a chance to already design what lockdown looks like for them, so the initial challenges might be easier to deal with - but for those many businesses who can’t “wfh”, there’s little optimism.
Thirdly, and here’s the biggest difference, we’ve been dealing with this for a long-term now - and I don’t mean that as a positive thing, but rather, we’ve been struggling with the stress, significant or underlying, for six months or more now. And it’s tiring.
Rather than a light at the end of the tunnel, it feels like we’re approaching a new tunnel - and for many, that’s just ridden with anxiety, exhaustion and concern.
And for many, who have found themselves in new ways of working as a result of the first lockdown, perhaps through remote working, furlough, redundancy or having chosen to go freelance during the pandemic or after the relaxation of the restrictions, there’s a new set of experiences yet to come.
Much of what we’ll write will be the same: build a support bubble, keep talking and sharing and asking how others are doing, communicate with your clients, and give yourself a break. But also, we need to build in a new set of behaviours which help us to create resilience to change, to stress and to ongoing challenges.
As ever, our insights and suggestions come from a combination of our communities sharing their ideas and approaches and from evidence based work into wellbeing and mental health - so if you have stories to share, or recommendations and advice to give - do please come and take part in the community.
If nothing else, there’s a kettle on, and we’ll make you a cuppa.