The test that proved it for us

COVID-19 – do you know that we weren’t even using this word a few months ago, now we use it almost daily!!

As a GS team member and part of the GS leadership team we were able to move quickly to alert level 3 and then 4 when it was first announced. This is because we already have remote access, we already have a glide time policy for our team to enable them to work from home. We ensured all our team had the tools they needed and tried to make it as easy as possible. 

Stress, mental and physical health have always been a big deal for the GS leadership team. We genuinely care about our team and their families (human and not so human). This was one of those tests that has proved it for all of us. I’m sure I speak for the wider team when I say, that we can’t thank our CEO Bruce Sheppard enough for organising a Zoom meeting (a big accomplishment in itself, as Bruce and technology don’t always see eye to eye) within a few days at the start of this, to let us all know that our jobs were safe, GS would survive and not to worry. He had already talked to the GS board and would put plans into action when required to take pay cuts from the top down, enable future cash and only as a last resort cut team back to 80%. This meant that all our team had security of knowing that their salaries would be paid, and we were here to help in any way we could.

For the previous six weeks we have all been working on-line remotely from our homes. We have supported our clients, contacts and suppliers by ensuring we do all we can to make things easier. We pay our invoices on time. We phone and/or setup Zoom meetings to continue business and ensure our extended GS family is okay. We have also had a new receptionist Jamie start with us during this time and she is training on-line with Tess (our existing receptionist who is going to continue part time for an extended period). 

We do however, understand that this period of time and this way of working is different! We acknowledge that Jamie (our new receptionist) will be finding it hard and we won’t be giving her the training or attention to detail that we would if we were training in the office – she is not learning how to make great coffee! And we also understand that our team will be finding it hard to work with all the distractions, especially if they have children who need attention, family that have needs and also the emotion of feeling for our clients that will be doing it tough. We want them to all know that we are thinking of them, we are doing what we can, and we are here for them to help where we can. We know that although we are trying to all be positive and help our clients and contacts, this will add pressure.  

Lastly, this is not going to be forever and by supporting each other we can get through it, hopefully with more positives than what is being predicted.

Here is a list I made up for our internal newsletter, maybe you can get something from it as well;

C – Calm & Carry on.

Keep calm, take one day at a time, accept this situation that you can’t change and turn it into a positive for you and your bubble (but don’t forget others outside of your bubble – phone, Zoom, do whatever you can to make their day better – it will make yours better as well).

O – Outside.

Go outside, feel the sun, the wind (maybe not the rain) on your face and be thankful for everything we have.  Exercise outside if you can, go for a walk or run. Seeing others doing the same thing, helps you not to feel so isolated.

V – Vitamins.

Eat properly and choose healthy options during this time.  Build up your immune system, you may need it to care for someone you know so get some reserves.

I – Involve.

Be involved in what is going on in NZ and the world but do not let it consume you. If it starts to get you down, turn off the tv, do not read all the posts about the doom and gloom, watch a ‘rom com’ instead.

D – Discipline.

As above, eat properly, be disciplined about your routine and work. Try to have your normal breakfast, work start time, lunch break, and dinner and bedtimes. Treat the weekend as different: do washing, cleaning the house, watch movies and start projects.

1 – One Treat.

You should be giving at least one treat a day. That will mean something different to everyone, e.g. treats can be food (chocolate or chips), bubble baths, foot or neck massages. Whatever you want!

9 – Up Nine Times.

Get up from your chair at least nine times while you are working. We are not used to just sitting in our chairs for a long period of time – we move around in the office to chat, make coffees, go to copier etc.  Do not get a sore bum or back from sitting to long.

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