The COVID pandemic has affected all of our working lives. To help support you through this exceptional time the University developed online practical guidance
18 August 2020
The guidance covers working from home, wellbeing and work-life balance, including resources to support physical and mental health. If you manage a team, you will also find guidance on managing a team remotely.
Your colleagues and these web resources may be able to provide all the help and guidance you need at the moment, but should you feel the need for a bit of extra support there are three external resources available to you as a University employee:
Togetherall, previously known as Big White Wall, is an online peer-to-peer support community. The service is free and support is available 24/7 from anywhere via a web browser. All you need is an active university e-mail address (select “I’m from a University or College” when you register).
Togetherall, offers online discussions moderated by mental health professionals, as well as self-learning courses and resources. It is a safe space for staff, and students, to help manage mental health and wellbeing issues such as struggling to sleep, feeling low, stressed or unable to cope.
There are several online self-guided programmes, including:
The University will not be informed when staff sign up to Togetherall or know of any activities on the service - unless Togetherall have serious safety concerns. Staff can post anonymous comments, but all forums and discussion groups are moderated, and if necessary Togetherall can identify users through their e-mail address. Take a look around the Togetherall community.
Take a look around the Togetherall community
Employees of the University, and their immediate families, can access a free, confidential telephone counselling service provided by Carefirst. You can speak to a counsellor about work or personal issues, 24/7, and 365 days a year. Find out more about the employee counselling service.
Work+Family Space – My Family Care
If you are struggling with balancing work and family life, take a few minutes to see what’s available on the Work+Family Space. Registration is free for University employees; you just need your SSO and your employee number (which you can find through HR self-service, via the VPN). Through this service you can access downloadable resources covering everything from planning a family to setting up power of attorney for an elderly relative. There are also on-demand webinars available, including some specific COVID-19 themed sessions, and a Speak to an Expert telephone line. The phone line experts will arrange a convenient time to speak to you and can help with any issues that you face as a parent or carer, or with issues relating to work–life balance.
Here is some recent feedback from Oxford colleagues:
‘Talking things through with [my phone counsellor] helped me to consolidate my thoughts and formulate a plan of action in how to move forward with assisting my elderly parents who are dealing with terminal illness and dementia.’
‘The service helped me to frame my thoughts and reflect on the issues I am facing with my parents in lockdown.’
‘Having quick access to a conversation with an expert, whose view I trusted, was very helpful in settling my anxieties regarding how best to look after my elderly mum during the crisis.’