The rapid spread of COVID-19 has unleashed a new reality, a new normal, that most of us are still trying to wrap our heads around. HR leaders have been dealing with disruption and transformation for quite a few years now, but the level of disruption and uncertainty they have been combatting, just over the past four weeks, is unprecedented.
Now, into the third week of self-isolation, the impact of COVID-19 hit me first back in January when it was wreaking havoc in China. With SARS and H1N1, I’d had first-hand experience on pandemic planning and emergency preparedness at hospitals when I worked in healthcare. COVID-19 had all the tell-tale signs.
During the two pandemics I’d encountered in my lifetime, I came at the crises from an HR perspective and had to gear my thinking quickly towards how our workforce was going to be affected. Back then, when we were pandemic planning, we didn’t have work-from-home options. The technology was simply not there. Back then, HR was...
While they may be exposed to traumatic events on the job, safety leaders are often unprepared for the ensuing emotional difficulties.
One-Quarter of COS readers have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, finds survey
Andy Kerr was the go-to guy for electrical safety in the utility industry. He was involved in the development of the CSA Z462 standard for electrical safety and the CAN/ULC standard for electrical generation, transmission and distribution. He was the lead and subject matter expert for the Electrical Utility Safety Rules. He would regularly get calls from utilities all across Ontario — and sometimes out of province — for help with the rules and standards, training and incident or fatality investigations.
But eventually, it all became too much.
“The electrical community is small… So, you end up knowing just about everybody. The people you’ve done...
Just before her 40th birthday, my mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. At the time, I would have just been born. Now at 91, she has lived with her mental illness for more than half her life. As I grew up, I saw my mother’s illness progress from bad to worse. Every five years she’d slip into a manic phase which would last four to five months.
Together, my parents owned a cleaning company. During her manic phases, mom wouldn’t sleep well. When she stopped sleeping, her delusions became grander and her paranoia worsened. She’d stay up nights obsessively cleaning to a point where one could eat off the floors of our house. When her manic episodes ended, she would slide into depression for six to eight months. We could never predict how long her depression would last. Eventually, her bouts of depression would be treated with Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
Yet, my mother would go to work every day. Even through her protracted periods of mental illness,...
Working from home sounds like fun until you have to do it without the opportunity to socialize and connect with others OUTSIDE of your home. Going out for coffee is a luxury now and hard to come by. Just yesterday my partner and I went out for a walk just so we could see other human beings. Don’t worry- we did our physical distancing from those we saw on the trails. In fact, some people took it so seriously they were afraid to make eye contact!
And if you are working at home with others at home as well, it might be difficult to focus on what you need given the many demands. Emotions start to run high.
To help smooth your transition to working remotely while managing many priorities, I would like to invite you to a complimentary webinar on Thursday March 26th from 11am-12pm, where we’ll discuss regulating emotions while working from home. This is for you, your partner, spouse and even kids if they’re old enough to sit through it!
Sound interesting? Click the link below to register!