an act of choosing between two or more possibilities.
The paradox of choice is something we’ve all become accustomed to. We often complain that we have a difficult time making a decision when faced with too many options. On a daily basis we make hundreds of decisions: sleep in for an extra 10 minutes and risk being late, order a latte or flat white on your morning coffee run, go to the gym after work or meet up with some friends for a few drinks.
In what feels like a blink of an eye, our ability to make (most) choices has been removed: Stay home, work from home – where you can – and only make essential trips. Our routines have been taken away, removing many of our typical daily decisions. This has left most of us feeling baffled and unsettled. The irony is not lost.
One of the biggest challenges that most are facing is their new work environment. Like thousands of others, Avvio employees are based full-time in one of our offices with the ability to work from home one or two days a week. Pre COVID-19, those work from home (WFH) days were sacred. One could argue that the lack of travel and co-workers allows for highly productive, minimally disruptive workdays. The environment has changed dramatically in recent months. Parents are now juggling workloads with childcare, using dining room tables as office desks and impatiently refreshing web browsers as their Wifi disconnects for the 10th time.
How we deal with and manage our stress during this time is hugely important to our motivation and longevity. We aren’t sure how much longer we will be in quarantine nor do we know what the new ‘normal’ looks like, so now more than ever, it’s important to have a positive mindset while getting a semblance of a routine.
Here’s how Avvio are supporting their employees:
- Twice weekly company calls, where our Senior Management team share critical company updates. This transparent approach to sharing information has been incredibly reassuring.
- Encouraging virtual hang-outs. Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen various new Slack channels set up to encourage team interaction. Some of our favourites include the ‘avvio-virtual-park-run’ and the ‘avvio-bake-off’ challenge.
- Helpful resources from HR including:
° Mortgage and Tenancy information for all employees, both in the UK and Ireland.
° A breakdown with useful links of the different UK and Ireland Government Schemes and initiatives e.g. Furlough and Financial Management
- Mental Health and Wellbeing Resources:
° Helpful resources have been provided for minding your mental health, dealing with isolation, and working from home.
° A number of fitness or mindfulness exercises have also been suggested.
° Tips and suggestions on how to keep yourself and your mind busy, doing different activities, or learning new things.
- Being a parent, teacher and working from home all at the same time:
° A list of useful resources have been provided to help with balancing it all, including how to homeschool your child for the first time, how to keep them entertained throughout the day, and how to juggle working from home at the same time.
Here’s what some of our employees are doing to combat the COVID-19 blues!
Tom Shanahan – eCommerce Manager
Transitioning from working in an office to working from home can be a challenge, especially if you have not done this before.
I have found that maintaining your routine is the best way to structure your day.
Start as you would always do if you were going to the office: Get up at normal time, shower, have breakfast and even see if you can allocate a little bit of time to get outside for a few minutes – it’s a great way to start your day.
Try and sit at your desk at the regular time! While the experts would tell you to take many short breaks throughout the day, I find the work does tend to take over and before you know it, it is lunchtime. I would certainly recommend taking a few 5-minute breaks to step away, even if it is just to pop downstairs and make a coffee. Once you are back from your lunch, the afternoons would generally fly. Again I would try my best to take a short break in the afternoon when possible. What I have found is key, is once I finish work for the day, I now go for a short walk or cycle with the kids – it’s a great way to blow off the cobwebs and the stresses of the day and is good not only for your own mental health but that of your family.
Fabiola Faria – SEO Specialist
I have always been a big fan of cooking shows, so while in quarantine I’m not just watching them – I am also challenging myself to make crazy things in my kitchen! It is funny to have my husband with me while we try to make these different recipes. Sometimes we make up meals that are far from looking like Master Chef dishes, but still taste very good! During this difficult time, I found myself more self-conscious about my health, so I am finally able to study more about nutrition, meditation, and specific topics that I am very curious about in order to improve not only my mental health but also my body and also spirit. I think this is a great time to connect with yourself in different ways and allow yourself to learn more about things that you might not understand/had the time to dive into whilst living a ‘regular’ life.
Dean Maloney – Junior Software Developer
Music has been a life-long passion for me, and spending time at home has allowed me to reflect on the music I listen to and create. I found myself researching some lesser-known artists, exploring their discographies, and documenting their backstories and influences since there’s so much to learn from the progress others have made. Between that, brushing up my guitar skills, and spending some time listening to vinyl records I’ve collected,.
I suppose I’ve taken a bit of an introspective approach to the current situation.
Barry Kennedy – Software Support Engineer
I’m finding that meditation has gotten me through this crisis. I’m setting aside a few minutes at the start and end of each day. The morning session helps me focus for the day and I use the second session to destress and relax for the evening.
Jane Richardson – Office Administrator
There are 3 main points of positivity amid lockdown during Covid19 that are allowing me to adapt to being in the house, keeping within 2km radius, and not meeting my friends and family.
Wholesome cooking from recipes my family send on to me and trying out new recipes from cookbooks that I haven’t even opened previously.
Another new ‘norm’ for me is to have game nights with my friends over an audio or video chat on the PC, there are around 5 or 6 of us grouping together to play Jackbox tv style games this Sunday most likely with a glass of wine on hand also! Lastly, my dog has never been happier, although unfortunately, the beach is out of the question, I am fortunate to live in the countryside where I can take advantage of the quiet roads, fields and nice weather!
Rebeca van Heerden – Marketing Manager
I’ve found that variety to my daily / weekly routine has been incredibly helpful. Last week I spent 20 minutes before work meditating via my Calm app and this week I’ve gone for a morning walk before opening my laptop. By adjusting these elements, I feel like I have more control of my surroundings. In addition to this, I have been baking (far too much) and exercising as much as I can. I’m determined to get my 5km run time to 26mins by the end of lockdown!
One thing we do know, is that the world will look and behave differently after this. We’ve all had to rapidly adapt to a more agile, flexible way of working, and due to the rise in popularity of apps like Zoom and HouseParty we’ve been able to successfully build and maintain our relationships (albeit in an online capacity). Whilst it may be challenging, we know that our continued efforts will be worthwhile!
Stay home, stay safe and save lives.