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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Government of Jersey employee wellbeing during coronavirus

To ensure the wellbeing of Government of Jersey and States of Jersey employees during coronavirus, the Government is providing advice and practical support.

The advice on this page is generic and applies to all employees, but there is specific advice and tailored programmes for colleagues in Health and Community Services and emergency services.

How to access wellbeing support online and by telephone

The Government of Jersey provides an employee assistance programme through AXA.
There are three ways you can access support:

  • AXA Thrive app – online through mobile devices
  • AXA Be Supported service – online
  • AXA Be Supported service – telephone

Thrive wellbeing app

Through the app, employees can access 24/7 mental wellbeing support.

The app allows you to manage your mood, better understand your stressors and find out whether you need support with your mental health. You can check in regularly using the app, which will trigger a support call if you report that you need help.

Thrive detects risk factors for stress, anxiety and depression and then suggests ways to change your habits and prevent the worst effects taking hold.

It’s secure and confidential. No personal information that you enter into the app is reported to the Government of Jersey. 

How to access Thrive

To access thrive, download the Thrive app free from the App Store, Google Play or the developer's website and use the access code sent to you in the wellbeing email to all colleagues and follow the steps in the app. You can also find the access code on the intranet or ask your manager.

AXA Be Supported service

Be Supported provides easy, fast and confidential access to information and resources on a wide range of work-related or domestic topics.

Government of Jersey employees can access free telephone counselling (up to six free sessions).

You can access Be Supported Services by:

  • 24/7 telephone support 0800 072 7072
  • Manager referral - managers must obtain employee's consent, then a Be Supported advisor will phone the employee back
  • Be Supported online

Log into Be Supported (you can find the username and password on the intranet or in the email to all colleagues).

MyDevelopment portal

Government of Jersey employees can use the MyDevelopment portal for learning and wellbeing ideas.

You can access the MyDevelopment portal from any device, using your employee (payroll) number and password.

You can either complete the wellbeing programme (under the ‘Programmes’ tab) or click on ‘More Learning’ and then scroll down the alphabetical list on the left side menu for modules covering working from home tips, relaxation, remote health and safety and mindfulness.

Team Jersey resources for managers, colleagues and Team Jersey leads

We're creating an area on Virtual College to host leadership tips and other useful resources to help you lead your team and manage many of the challenges that arise through the coronavirus situation.
You can access Virtual College outside our government networks, which may be preferable to reduce network congestion. You can log in to Virtual College on your own device.

Wellbeing advice and tips for Government of Jersey employees

Here are some ideas to support your wellbeing:

  • limit your news and social media consumption: too much news and social media can have a negative effect on our wellbeing
  • focus on what you can control: Why not try some mindfulness practice? Mindfulness is a technique you can learn which involves making a special effort to notice what's happening in the present moment (in your mind, body and surroundings). Mindfulness practice can have a significant positive impact on your ability to decompress when you get home from work 
  • finding the balance in coping: recognise the importance of coping with both our emotions and the situation at hand. Managing thoughts and feelings through talking with others and sharing emotions is helpful for our coping response. It’s also important to identify practical solutions and strategies. Finding this balance helps us to not feel stuck in our emotional response and increases our optimism that we have some control over how we respond and the action we take 
  • flexibility in uncertainty: to support our wellbeing, we must try as much as possible to let go of how we’ve always done things, be flexible and adapt to the response or action that's needed now. Flexibility in times of uncertainty builds resilience, and we become more confident in our ability to reorganise and react to new challenges 
  • prioritise teamwork and connection: staying connected is important if you’re still going into work. Positive team collaboration and communication can increase both personal and group wellbeing
  • your wellbeing matters: many of our colleagues are working tirelessly to continue providing essential services to the Island. Decompressing and prioritising your wellbeing after a challenging day or week could involve taking a short walk in nature, which has profound benefits for our psychological wellness; catching up with friends (virtually) to stay socially connected; spending quality time with loved ones at home; eating nutritious meals and, most importantly, taking time to rest  

Practical advice and tips for Government of Jersey employees working from home

Working from home can be can be very different to working in an office, so here are a few tips that may make it easier for you: 

Find the right environment for working from home

  • choose a suitable location to work away from distractions, such as the TV or radio
  • make sure the temperature where you’re working is comfortable and the light is adequate

Look after your mental health when working from home

  • working in isolation can be stressful, so make sure you keep in contact with your manager daily
  • make a daily plan: embed some structure and increase your wellbeing
  • schedule a team call to identify key tasks and priorities
  • take regular breaks and exercise during a break
  • when you finish work, pack away all your equipment, separating your ‘work day’ from your ‘home time’
  • stay connected: group emails and calls can maintain our sense of social connectedness, which is vital for wellbeing. A short coffee-break call is a great way to stay connected with each other if your schedules allow
  • if you feel isolated or stressed, speak to your manager or use the Be Supported service (you can find the username and password on the intranet or in the email to all colleagues)
  • look after yourself, try to eat lunch and snacks at the same time as you usually would and move away from your workspace to eat. Getting up and moving around will keep you focused and energised
  • give yourself permission to take a break if you become tired
  • set a self-care routine to complement your work schedule, to help you refresh and stay focused when you need to

Managing work distractions when working from home

  • if you have children at home, try and work to a schedule, with a partner if they‘re at home too, to flex your working time to look after them. Don’t feel guilty about spending time with them, as they may feel confused about the changes that are happening and you won’t work well if they aren’t happy
  • older children can use audio books and videos to occupy themselves and do school work
  • take advantage of little ones having a nap to work and give yourself a break
  • find a balance – if you have carer duties and then work, do what you can. Don’t work long hours, ask for help and speak to your manager about any issues you face
  • work in a flexible way. If may be easier for you to work earlier in the morning or later in the evening
  • try to keep social media and chatting to friends at bay until you take a break. Do keep in touch, but not so they or you distract each other
  • some people find it helpful to have the radio on, but try to keep the volume down and if the TV is on, position yourself where you can’t see it, but can listen to it

Setting a comfortable workstation when working from home

  • if you don’t have an office chair, use supportive seating, such as a dining room chair. If you sit on soft seating, use a small cushion to support your lower back
  • where possible, position your laptop on a table or worksurface rather than your lap, making sure surface is a reasonable height
  • use any laptop accessories that you may have, for example, a separate mouse and keyboard or laptop stands
  • take regular breaks away from your workstation before you get tired
  • do some stretching and energising exercises and stand up regularly. Include blinking, rolling your eyes and looking into the distance to help reduce eye strain

Your safety when working from home

  • make sure the cabling from your laptop or other work device aren’t trip hazards
  • keep your work area tidy and remove items, such as shoes, that you could trip over
  • don’t overload electrical sockets and only use extension leads if absolutely necessary
  • make sure you switch off and unplug all work devices at the end of the day
  • if you suspect there’s a problem with any work electrical devices, report this to your manager and don’t use it
  • check your smoke alarms are working and change the batteries if you need to
  • always make sure you have a plan of action in case of an emergency and share this with other members of the household
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