By Chantale Potvin and Dean Hamilton
We asked our WSPS employees what tips and guidance they would like to offer employers during these challenging times. This article is part of our “From Our People to Yours” series.
With so many people on work-from-home regimes, self-isolating or just sensibly listening to medical advice and maintaining physical distancing, it can be difficult, stressful and hard to stay connected to friends, family and peers.
During a pandemic there are various ways to stay connected and still maintain the physical distance needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Here are some basic and simple ways we can all do that!
Connect with people!
Be mindful that not all people are connected to the internet or comfortable with technology and computers. If there are people in your life who may fit into this group and they are connected to a land line, consider building in touch points with them over the phone.
For those you know are connected to the internet, plan to incrementally build in social touch points. There are a plethora of apps and opportunities to connect available via your smartphone or computer.
Video calls and chat, virtual get-togethers, even if it’s just a few short moments, can go a long way towards reducing any feelings of isolation. There has never been a better time to share that funny cat video. Here are a few apps that you can use to help stay connected:
- Facetime: If you are on an Apple iPhone, try out the Facetime app with other iPhone users. Here’s a great article on how to use it effectively.
- Facebook Messenger: You might not realize it, but FB Messenger has video and audio call features that can connect up to six people at once.
- Google Hangouts: This is a video conferencing system available via Google that allows up to 10 people to participate in a video conference. It does require the Google Chrome browser to work though!
- WhatsApp: This social media connection app allows for one-to-one or group chat and messaging, as well as voice and video calling over the Internet. Not to mention, it is widely considered to be a very secure communications system.
- Skype: This popular Microsoft tool allows video chat and voice calls between computers, tablets, mobile devices and even with the Xbox One game console and smartwatches.
- Zoom: Now being embraced by online classrooms everywhere, Zoom video chats allow up to 100 people at one time in the app’s free version.
Lastly, as a fun alternative, check out some online multiplayer games such as Microsoft’s Minecraft or Blizzard’s massive multiplayer game World of Warcraft. Though not really conducive to work productivity, it can be a fun way to socialize and connect with friends, family and people through shared environment, experiences and adventures. Remember social distancing can still be SOCIAL!
For more checklists and tips for working from home, check out our other stories in “From Our People to Yours” series at www.wsps.ca.
Chantale Potvin is Health & Safety Consultant and Dean Hamilton is Marketing & Sales Effectiveness Manager at WSPS.