Health at work during Covid times

Self-care & Team-care

💖 Dear all 💖,

Being healthy and in good shape was part of the things that we’re so used to, we don’t pay too much attention to them anymore, because they’re there, as a permanent achievement, taken for granted, although most people try to be as ‘health conscious’ as possible. Forced by the pandemic, our health awareness had to move to the next level, for the better and worse. While trying to avoid Covid-19, we also have the opportunity to change for good, including when it comes to our health.

And since health impacts all aspects of our lives (we understand this statement from a different perspective), health and work have been fused more than ever. It goes without saying that we can’t work while we’re sick in normal times, but now workplaces need to integrate health in their organisational strategy.

1/ Covid prevention and screening

Safety at work is a legal obligation for companies and preventing & minimising the risk for Covid-19 is becoming a top priority of the workplace. Besides implementing hygiene and security guidelines from healthcare authorities, which are mandatory, many companies have also opted for on-site Covid testing services or other facilities for health checkups. 

If you are the leader of a company who needs help with healthcare strategy implementation, you can contact Akesio at: lavinia@akesio.com

2/ Covid-stress

We know that we all react differently to stress and are not equal in terms of resilience. Indeed, our capacity to cope with stress is built up with a myriad of factors, including genetics, environmental situations, and the life events that made us who we are today.

Stress at work was already a hot topic in the past few years, evolving through ping-pong tables, healthy food and nap rooms, meditation sessions or even coaching or therapist support. Already in ‘before-Covid times’, more and more companies and leaders understood the importance of investing in their employees' mental wellbeing, not only as a caring and humane strategy but also as a truly valuable investment for their company's future and wealth.

Understandably, pandemic stress is challenging our resilience more than ever before. 

This ‘extraordinary event’, potentially life-threatening for the more vulnerable among us, forced us to make profound changes in the ways we live and work. Even if not all these changes are bad, because they are so profound we need energy and mental availability to process them.

So when it come to work life, Covid stress has multiple facets and sources:

  • new ways of working

  • social isolation

  • job insecurity

  • fear of getting sick while going to/working from office

  • global uncertainty

  • personal stress that can impact work

“Corporate chiefs and managers need to be mindful that employees’ mental state can be shaky in times of crisis—and take proper steps to help” advises the consultancy firm Korn Ferry.

To take these ‘steps’ that are so complex and delicate at the same time, external professional advice may be needed by companies. It’s not only about evaluating employee enthusiasm and engagement/disengagement, which most employee satisfaction surveys do, but about better understanding the team’s needs, including emotional health and wellbeing. Especially because with remote work and social distancing, it’s even harder to know what someone is really going through.

So, as an organisation (ideally with external help), you should be able to:

a/ assess employee health & wellbeing - if this is feasible (if your team is big enough and heterogenous enough to ensure anonymised aggregated group reports).

mental wellbeing free assessment

b/ risk stratification- knowing where you stand as a company in terms of health and mental well being and providing a personalised solution based on this risk stratification:  the employees at higher levels of stress and high risk for burnout should receive special support as soon as possible.

c/ personalised wellbeing programme

d/ education- webinars, newsletters etc.

e/ networking- create virtual events for networking and socialising

With the second wave of the pandemic, although luckily with a lower mortality rate than what we’ve seen so far, there is no doubt that it will affect mental health much more, especially because of increasing stress related to work, our social life and certainly to our health and that of our loved ones.


Miscellaneous:

  • 💉Pfizer vaccine for Covid-19- We’ve seen yesterday all over the press the announcement made with great emphasis about the promising Pfizer vaccine that fed the hope that this pandemic will soon come to an end. As much as this is a great scientific breakthrough, we need however to moderate our optimisme until more data will be published regarding these preliminary results. Not only because these preliminary results lack important data say some expertsbut also because there is a new technology involved -mRNA vaccine-  that so far has only been proven in animal models and has never been licensed for human use.

One thing remained clear: the vaccine will not come in time to rescue the world from the next several months of pandemic. Until then we will all need to remain vigilant about the health measures that refrain the spread of the virus.

  • 🙏 If you’re wondering what methods to try to relieve your stress, remember that one single deep breath can already help you to calm down, here is a nice article to read about it.

  • 🍵Let’s all be Hygge -ish - as the Danish! ‘Hygge’ it’s  about being happy and content from the small and simple  things in life: sitting on the coach with a hot chocolate, enjoying crackling fires, cashmere socks, savouring a hearty soup, etc.

  • ✨Not lastly, I’m very happy to announce you that we have 2 stellar talents that joined Akesio team:

    • Omkar Pimple as a CTO- an engineering leader & entrepreneur with an extensive and varied background in mobile application development, ex- leader engineer at N26.

    • Kevin Contrepois as an active scientific board member- a scientist in the preventative health and Director of Metabolic Health Center from Genetic Department at Stanford University.

Until next time, take care and stay healthy!

Lavinia 💖

Dr Lavinia Ionita | CEO & founder of Akesio