Read Beth's story and her top tips to safeguard your wellbeing...
In this time of social distancing, lockdown and pandemic how much have our lives changed?
For some the impact has been greater than others, not seeing family and friends and doing the food shop is now either a mission impossible reenactment or a battle for an online order. Is it any wonder that most of us feel the mental strain of the pandemic and/or working from home?
From my experience of working from home over the last 5 years, it can be a journey. From realising you manage your own day, immediately responding to emails so others know you are working and to the random selection of gifs you send to promote that you are still fun and not to be excluded.
Whilst I find working from home does work for me as I am productive and happy, I don’t always feel like this and I have increasingly become aware of my colleagues struggling with the lack of day-to-day interaction of the office, social connection with co-workers and even the commute as a time out.
The feeling of loneliness, disconnection and apprehension, on top of your own pandemic life is mentally draining, straining and can be just plain difficult. These are all things I have been through and from my experience, please do not use all these common experiences as an excuse not to talk, to not say you are struggling or to feel like you are a bad worker because it’s affecting you.
Access has been a great support to me, whether it’s having great colleagues, understanding managers, encouraging leaders or excellent employee benefits such as the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). I have made use of this whole network and as a result my days feel balanced, I am confident and happy which exactly who I want to be.
Contacting EAP can be as simple as a call. It is a helpline and online portal allowing you to reach out to trained experts in
various areas, from stress and anxiety to childcare support and financial/tax advice.
Although Access provide EAP free to its employees, it is entirely confidential and the helpline has been a great support to myself, my household, my colleagues and their families.
Colleagues joining Access via acquisitions cannot believe we have this programme and that the level of support has been a breath of fresh air, giving them the confidence that Access not only develops their careers but also provides a wide range of support.
Access also offers health benefits through Vitality, which can support you across both your mental and physical wellbeing, through partnerships with companies such as Pelton and Headspace and Gym Flex, giving you discount to numerous gyms across the county. Physical exercise is clinically proven to support your mental health and just a 10-20 min visit to the gym can provide you with a some well needed endorphins and a good night’s sleep.
Access will support your wellbeing in any way they can, via leaders, colleagues, benefits or the EAP but it is important to remember to look after yourself also.