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Compu-SOLVE May Newsletter

2021-05-01 RSS Feed

 

This past year has been a tough one and it’s no wonder that many of us have felt the weight of the past 12 months on our mental health. Aside from the ongoing shift within our personal lives, our work lives are undoubtedly the space in which we’ve seen the biggest changes. One common sentiment we can all agree with is that it’s a struggle to balance our work and personal lives while working remotely. May is Mental Health Awareness month, and whether you are feeling the strain in your overall mental health, or struggling to create boundaries between work and life, we want to take a moment to look at how we can use workplace technology to set boundaries, stay connected and turn off technology to truly unplug when we need to. 

 

With modern technology, handheld and wearable devices, AI, and the cloud, work and personal time have blurred together for many professionals. There is no clear ’clock in or out’ time anymore. A study of 1,400 information workers commissioned by Microsoft found that 40% of people work outside of regular hours in a way that interferes with family time. The report also found 70% of professionals don’t fully unplug from work. Microsoft recently launched MyAnalytics, which is a workplace intelligence app, to help analyze your work habits and provide insights on improving those habits. It can also be a valuable resource to help with wellbeing and time management. 

Where aspects of MyAnalytics help you to understand your productivity and performance, the Wellbeing aspect is designed to help manage the navigation of a busy, often demanding, workflow. Its two key insights show how well you disconnect from work, including time in-between tasks and other ‘quiet’ moments outside of a working day. It also suggests ways to reduce stress and, therefore, avoid burnout. One of the most common goals for MyAnalytics users is how it can facilitate a healthier work/life balance by improving productivity within a day. Try looking at your analytics on a weekly basis and really evaluate if you are taking enough time for yourself or your family outside of all the great work you are doing. 

 

Collaboration tools like Cisco Webex continue to help us stay connected to our teams. These tools allow everyone to get their work done faster, connect teams across the world, create extraordinary outcomes for businesses, and so much more. But it is easy to forget that it is also a tool that can help build strong relationships – relationships with people outside of your geographical location and those that you work with every day. It is a tool to help bring remote teams together and build a team culture no matter where you’re located. 

Be sure to have a little fun with your teams: Not every meeting has to be all business. A lot of in-person plans continue to be disrupted, but you can get creative and still celebrate together. Consider bringing the team together for some virtual Pictionary, weekly team trivia on Fridays over lunch, celebrate monthly birthdays with the team and don’t forget to schedule time to connect on a 1:1 basis virtually over coffee. Checking in on the team on a social level will help maintain that personal connection, but be sure to fully invest in these touch points - leave the looming project deadlines for your next call!
 

 

If you’ve been saving your vacation days in hopes of better times, this is your sign! It’s important to take time off to reset, and it’s just as critical to encourage your team to do the same. According to a LinkedIn survey, employee burnout has risen by 30% during the pandemic, and over 71% of folks say that they are waiting to take time off from work until the world starts to reopen again. Considering we’re mostly stuck at home with limited options to travel, it’s not surprising that people are just not taking time off. 

The good news is that even though travel may be off the table, studies are proving that the right kind of staycation can be equally beneficial to one’s mental health and recovery, even if your couch is far less exciting than a beach in Hawaii. The key is to truly detach from work. You’ve earned the time off, you’ve worked your tail off, and provided great work without a break all year. Book the day, turn off ALL notifications and unplug fully. Having restorative time away from work ultimately increases your productivity and creativity. 

 

For mental health week earlier this month Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care hosted a week-long event offering mindfulness, wellness, music and physical activities to promote mental wellbeing for the entire family. “Get Your Mental Health in Motion – A Week to be Well” raised funds to support the creation of a Child, Youth and Family Waiting Room at the Community Health Hub. This specialty waiting room will provide a space that is welcoming, comforting, and safe (physically, mentally, and emotionally). The room is designed to reduce anxiety during visits, offer a space to play and have fun while waiting for an appointment, and increase receptivity to health care services. The support from the community and local partners is integral to new developments at the hospital and as a proud sponsor we are pleased to announce that a total of $31,000 was raised in support of the new space. Initiatives like this help to improve the experience and services offered by such a valuable resource in our community, great work Waypoint! 
 
About Waypoint: Waypoint is an internationally recognized mental health hospital and research centre. The hospital provides an extensive range of acute and long-term mental health and addiction inpatient and outpatient services. Waypoint is also a lead agency in the newly established Youth Wellness Hub, one of only 11 in Ontario. The hospital is recognized for the provision of exceptional care and for its contributions to the understanding of mental illness and addiction. Patients benefit from a caring environment that is built on compassion and hope. 

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