Covid-19 is continuing to have a profound impact on our day-to-day lives as we take the necessary steps to stop the spread of the virus. One of the most dramatic effects of the pandemic has been the lack of human contact and engagement, with many of us limited to face-to-face interactions within our own households in recent weeks.
During the pandemic, the potential negative effects on social wellbeing and mental health have been well documented with tough lockdown measures leaving people feeling isolated, lonely and even a bit bored. These challenges also extend to the workplace with people having to shift their standard office routines for home working or working in an empty office. People around the country have had to adapt quickly, putting together makeshift home workspaces and dealing with other responsibilities such as childcare and pet care alongside their daily work. Not only has this been massively disorientating for many, but it has also blurred the boundaries between work life and home life. It is now easier than ever to add to the working day and work extra hours here and there, with studies showing people are working more hours and struggling to switch off from work as a result of the pandemic.
Business Improvement Districts have witnessed many changes too. BIDs have been one of a number of organisations on the front line of high streets, stepping up to provide essential advice, guidance and tailored support to businesses heavily affected by the pandemic.
This continues to be a stressful time for BIDs and place managers with restrictions across the UK threatening the festive trading period. Over the past couple of weeks, The BID Foundation has scheduled additional weekly wellbeing calls to check in with members, in an attempt to offer some respite from the relentless challenges thrown up by the pandemic. The wellbeing calls offer members the opportunity to grab a cup of tea and take a short break to have a conservation with fellow member BIDs and the IPM team. So far, the calls have been a great supportive platform, with people discussing what they have been doing, how they have been managing and sharing best practice for both home and work life.
The weekly wellbeing calls are in addition to The BID Foundation’s bi-weekly Wednesday webinar series looking at the issues affecting BIDs.