Staying sane in an insane world
Mrs Kaye Bellis1
1Alfred Health, Melbourne, Australia
We started life as a “normal “functioning Infection Prevention (IP) department.
Bang COVID hit. We were split into 3 three teams, never to work together again (or at least during this pandemic). Keen to keep our team together, if not physically, then fun activities seemed to me the approach needed.
As the self-appointed boss of staying sane. I organised many “un” work related team building activities. Most were on-line, all were voluntary, “non-invasive” and “non-touch”. They varied in how much involvement or commitment was required .Examples of activities: baby photograph, crazy sock day, colouring sheet and office treasure hunt.
In a world that was stressed, especially in Victoria with such a long hard lockdown where everything was grey being able to laugh together was invaluable. We were able to keep contact with colleagues and meet new team members via a safe, if somewhat non-serious environment. These activities were received with overwhelming positive feedback. We all have a competitive side and the lure of the chocolate frog prize helped keep engagement up but mainly it was the fun of participating.
Simple online activities and encouragement to participate led to improved feelings of staff wellbeing and inclusiveness during a very difficult time. The anticipation for the next competition is palpable (or am I dreaming that). Our team was fabulous in keeping abreast of all things COVID whilst maintaining our expertise with all IP issues and still have time a for a daily laugh or two.
Having worked in Infection Prevention for over 22 years I thought I had experienced all there was. I never envisaged what COVID would be like. My aim was to help my colleagues maintained a high level of well being and decrease stress and anxiety. I did this by introducing voluntary, fun non threatening team building activities.