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A Message From Dr. Helen

With the rapid changes that have been happening across the world over the past few weeks and the uncertainty that many people are feeling right now, I wanted to offer my help and support to those who may benefit. I want to start off by saying that it is completely normal for events like these to be stressful. Do not hesitate to contact the Ottawa Distress Centre at 613-238-3311 if you need to talk to someone. They are there to help. If you are a health care worker, some Clinical Psychologists in Canada will be offering pro bono psychological services to front line health care providers who may be feeling stressed, overwhelmed or distressed by being on the front lines of this health crisis. Here's the link for more information. As this is a new development, names will be added over time, across the country. Please share this information widely since this resource is not widely known - the forward to a friend link at the bottom makes it easy to share.

Below are some tips and resources that I hope will help, no matter what your circumstance is right now. We're in this together.
Be well and safe,

Making the Most of This Unusual Time
On Thursday, March 19, 2020, Prime Minister Trudeau stated that social distancing measures could be in place for weeks … or even months. The truth is, we don’t know when things will be back to “normal.” It’s unsettling. For those who aren’t used to working from home, or remotely, it can be tough to adjust to this new way of working, while still being productive and making a good impression. I’ve gone back into the archives to share a blog that I wrote on the upside to working from home. You can read the blog here.
How Public Servants Can Make The Most of This Time
The current novel coronavirus pandemic is forcing many of us to adjust to unprecedented constraints. It's counter-intuitive, but we can make the most of these restrictions and allow them to fuel our creativity and innovation. On a personal level, this means figuring out ways to survive and ideally thrive personally and professionally. Here's an article that explains the link between creativity and constraints well.

If you’re a government or other traditional employee, chances are you’re not too worried about losing your job right now, but you may be dealing with other changes like working remotely and having a lot more time at home. This is a great opportunity to take some time to focus on planning for your short and long term professional success. We don’t know when things will get better, and everyone will be back at work, so why not use the time you’re saving on commuting to invest in your future? This could mean reading or listen to information that will help you get ahead. 

If you’re not sure where to start or need some help determining which direction to go in, feel free to reach out and I’d be happy to chat. I can share plenty of free resources. In addition, since the new fiscal year is just about to start, it’s a good time to put a professional development/training/coaching plan in place for approval by your employer.
What This Means for I/O Advisory Services
Like many others, I’ve been working remotely much more than I used to. All my face-to-face meetings have been converted to video and phone appointments and my client work has continued with very little disruption. From what I’ve learned from some of my colleagues and associates, many organizations can’t accommodate every employee who wants to work from home - there is insufficient bandwidth/capacity. This means that sometimes when employees try to work remotely, they can’t logon. One silver lining is that this is a good time to spend time with family and friends without feeling guilty about not always being productive. Social distancing and working from home alone can feel surreal. It's a strange time and everyone deals with it differently, so do what makes sense for you. There is no precedent so as long as we’re flattening the curve to take care of ourselves and others, we’re on the right track.
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