NZ Market info and a few coping strategies

I hope you're well and finding reasons to smile as we experience these strange and disturbing times....  My wife and I had a planned trip last weekend to Tongariro to enjoy one of NZ's great walks in celebration of a recent birthday.  For anyone that hasn't done this walk I thoroughly recommend it. What an amazing part of the world with outstanding scenery.

It struck me as I was walking the track how quiet everything was, the lack of reputed crowds with just a handful of tourists to be seen.  I reflected that, with everything going on at the moment, this might be the last time we get away from Christchurch for a while.  It was interesting to note the half empty planes and suspicious, almost accusatory stares received by anyone with a sniffle or cough.  Definite and visible reminders that things are not normal at the moment.

Whilst there is work being done and essential recruitment continuing - it's fair to say that the last week has seen a lot of businesses put any non-essential recruitment, testing and HR consulting on hold.  Many candidates, active last week, have decided to stay put and ride out coming months in a familiar space where they feel 'safe'.

There has been an upswing in demand for our outplacement services, wellness coaching and for remote managed support.  There's also more demand for consultants and executive lease resource who can remotely or in person manage specific work & project needs.  Bishop Associates is in partnership with a software solution / business transformation provider that can run remote agile teams helping keep people and technology projects stay on track.  We've found that having remote support is doubly enticing at the moment as it offers financial benefits as well as maintaining the need for social separation.

The current situation is likely to last months rather than weeks so we are likely to see more people being asked to work from home and an increase in nervousness around group contact and social gatherings.  Rumors are that tighter restrictions are coming so we face the possibility of spending more time at home and less in each others company.

The topic of psychological safety has been front of mind over the previous year with many of my clients and friends in People & Capability already talking about strategies to maintain engagement, wellness and cultural vitality. 

Isolation has been shown to have a detrimental effect on mental health.  In an environment where we will spend more time at home and less at work and around friends and colleagues, here are a few tips for 'staying okay'...

  • Boost your immune system - this can be done effectively through exercise, meditation, practicing mindfulness and ensuring that you still get a daily dose of sunshine and fresh air.
  • Cook & bake - I've been working on my curry recipes.  A homemade lentil dhal,with some crispy cauliflower can be very satisfying!
  • Pick up a hobby - not so that you can show off on Instagram, but just coz!  A good time to think about an instrument...a new language....crochet??!!!
  • De-clutter - a great time to go all Marie Kondo on your home!  That drawer, you know the one with all the things you think you might need but never do....  and the clothes that can go to the local charity shop...once you're out and about again...
  • Watch & read something fun - with the plethora of viewing options we're exposed to these days, your favorite actors are still out there in the digital world and in books...connect to the ones that make you smile or give you the warm fuzzies!
  • Create a plan - set goals for the days, keep a structure around meals, activities and sleep schedules.  Patterns keep our minds happy.
  • Remember you're not alone - we're going through this together.  Don't panic or engage in defeatist thinking.  Reach out to your network, face-time, snap-chat, messenger, email, skype, insta, could even consider making a phone call...
  • Reach out - it is easy to get insular and think only about our own needs during the tough times - don't forget to check on your friends and neighbours.  You never know what those around you may be going through or what support they may need.
  • Keep finding reasons to smile - smiling, laughing and connecting releases all the good hormones and neural transmitters that our bodies, minds and spirits need. Whatever else you do, don't lose your sense of humour!

Lot's can be done remotely and there is work to be done while we see what develops over the coming weeks.  Keep going and look after yourselves and each other.

Shout out if there is anything that either me or one of the team can do to help.  We'll still be here.... somewhere... virtually...!

Take good care.

Rob & the team