Using video to support mental health during remote working

As the corona pandemic has rapidly spiralled, a significant majority of the world's population are now taking strong action to contain it. This leaves us with a list of frustrating limitations that shakes our routine: leaving the house strictly for essentials only, having a one hour window to go outside, home schooling children – and where possible, working from home.  Whether it’s health, financial strain, future plans, education or food – everyone is feeling stress in one way or another. There is nowhere to truly hide from the reality facing us globally, and it is clear that this invisible disease is not just impacting us physically – but mentally, too.

Social distancing

The government has set out strict rules that we need to abide by; self-isolation being key in combatting the virus. Social distancing and staying at home are suggested to be the only ways to flatten the curve and ultimately give our healthcare system enough time to treat critical patients who desperately need care.

Until recently, the idea of working remotely from home may have seemed appealing. Now that there's no other option for most of us, it could be leaving people feeling isolated, lonely and vulnerable. It hits particularly hard when constant speculation dominates the media, with the Prime Minister announcing daily policy changes. We have had to learn to become 'accepting' of the unexpected – a challenge easier said than done. 

Human interaction

It is safe to say that social distancing, with the uncertainty of what tomorrow has in store, is daunting. As humans, we thrive on routine and for many, the great thing about being at work is that it provides routine, purpose – and crucially, interaction. Being with like-minded people ultimately helps us to build new ideas, create new things and perform to our highest capabilities. It releases endorphins, keeping our mental state in check. We like to feel like we can wake up with purpose and go to bed with a feeling of accomplishment.

The next best thing

So, as most of the country transitions to home working, virtual meetings are at the forefront of keeping us in regular contact with our colleagues. Although being able to have face-to-face meetings are an uncertain number of weeks away, it is essential that companies provide their employees with access to the next best thing: video conferencing. 

As well as being a secure, reliable and impactful way to connect with your teams across the world, video conferencing lends a brilliant alternative to those real-life exchanges we need to maintain our wellbeing. Working from home can be socially isolating, lonely and lacking in productivity – OR it can be an exciting chance to utilise technology for its true benefit: bringing people together. Which would you prefer?

Be well equipped

In order to get the most out of the meetings, it is important to have the right equipment. We need to be able to see each other’s faces clearly – so ensuring each colleague has access to an HD camera is crucial. This covers the first significant part of giving your teams ‘virtual company’ to work with. Secondly, we need to be able to hear each other. A good quality microphone will provide clear audio – so that there are no stutters or mishaps that defeat the fundamental object of creating a successful meeting online.

Once the technology is in place, we need to ensure everyone is interacting just as they would when you’re in the same room. So talk to each other, make sure you give everyone a chance to speak and provide their own input – and don’t be afraid to ask personal questions like how their day is going. This exchange brings us out of our own ‘isolation bubble’, and into a circle of refreshing normality – even during this difficult time. Take comfort in knowing that you are all in the same position, and that eventually things will relax, and we can start to go back to our normal routines.

Suffice to say, video conferencing has never been in such demand for business and social purposes. Mental health really does matter - so reach out and start collaborating – virtually."

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