Over the past two months, employees around the world have had to adapt to working from home. While remote work can provide flexibility and balance, it has also been tied to isolation and burnout.
To support the wellbeing of our staff during these challenging times, Interac staff have jumped to action to launch their own employee-led virtual wellness activities to promote work/life balance for their colleagues. We’ve also introduced new initiatives and resources to promote mental health and balance while working from home.
Interac staff who are used to coffee chats, lunch breaks and after-work festivities at the office are now dealing with the new reality of experiencing little to no in-person interaction on a day-to-day basis. To support staff and enable social connection during times of isolation, our Social Committee has launched internal events including a virtual cooking class, a musical bingo, and a virtual paint class to get employees out of their seats and socializing with their peers.
It can be a challenge to shut down for the evening when your desk doubles as your kitchen table, and your 10:00 am coffee break isn’t as much of a break when the coffee pot is 15 steps away. Work/life balance blurs even further when you’re a parent or caregiver trying to tackle projects while ensuring your kids are fed and finishing their virtual learning.
That’s why Interac launched morning, lunch and afternoon Quiet Hours. We asked staff to avoid booking meetings during these time blocks when possible, and to use this time to find balance by taking wellness breaks, managing personal responsibilities or engaging in uninterrupted work. Staff can use this time to take part in virtual wellness activities, including Interac Fitness or Yoga, or take part in employee-led programming including virtual mindfulness sessions to reduce stress and enhance self-awareness.
Asking for Help
If you’re feeling worried, anxious, or overwhelmed from the effects of COVID-19, you’re far from alone. We’ve taken the Canadian Mental Health Association’s lead in encouraging our staff to #GetReal about how they’re feeling during this pandemic and have recently expanded our mental health resources to provide additional virtual counselling for staff and access to a stress-reduction program based in cognitive behavioural therapy.
If you’re looking for additional resources or support, visit:
- Mental Health Week website (Canadian Mental Health Association)
- Mental Health & the COVID-19 Pandemic (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)
- Mental Health and Wellness in Canada (Government of Canada)
- Kids Help Phone (24/7 counselling available by calling 1-800-668-6868 or texting CONNECT to 686868).