COVID-19 and the changing world of work

Whether you are an employee or business leader, you are called to adapt and thrive in a much-changed world of work, one moulded by a need to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic going forward. Our experts share key advice to support you.

Ep 14

5 ways to cultivate compassionate leadership in turbulent times

In our dramatically changed world, mental health is not the private space it once may have been for leaders and employees. The pressures brought to bear by the Covid-19 pandemic have meant an increase in stress, anxiety and mental illnesses across the spectrum, for people the world over. The world as a collective is experiencing and reacting to a trauma – this trauma and our reactions to it has speed into every aspect of our lives – including our work. As more and more people transition towards a blend of work-from-home and being at the workplace, how might we all cope better? Louisa Niehaus, psychotherapist and with a specialisation in trauma, shares advice on cultivating compassion in a changed working landscape. Louisa delves into five key ways in which leaders can serve as influential role models for compassionate acts at a time when they are most needed, helping all people within the workplace to better approach the current turbulence and maintain mental wellbeing.

Ep 13

Dr Colinda Linde’s top advice for employers and employees managing the return to the workplace

In her latest podcast for Discovery, Clinical Psychologist Dr Colinda Linde speaks to employers and employees about dealing with the very real fears, anxieties and discomfort people have around returning to the workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic. How does a leader’s anxiety filter down to employees? And how do feelings of anxiety and insecurity affect employees personally and also their ability to work? How should leaders help employees to adjust to working from the office again? Why is it critical to explain how the business is working to safeguard employee health (especially to high-risk staff or those who have vulnerable family members)? Why is sharing information around decision-making and planning key to helping employees to feel included and safe? Why is ensuring staff connectivity key? Dr Linde speaks to key aspects of business preparedness and business continuity in the time of COVID-19.

Ep 12

Are COVID-19-related pressures burning out your people?

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought massive uncertainty to South African and global businesses. Psychologist James Gower says that up to 80% of employees – especially those working remotely – feel the need to prove to that they are working hard. With fear of retrenchment looming large for many employees, people are burning the candle at both ends to prove that they are worth keeping. Gower adds that, on average, those working from home are working nearly four additional days a month. Many employees also feel that managers have begun to disregard working hours, making demands of them at all hours and causing workloads to double or triple. Employees feel that they need to be online and available as much as possible. As restrictions ease and these exhausted employees return to the workplace, the risk of a burnt-out workforce is more real than ever before. What do we all need to know to take care of our mental and physical health at this challenging time and recognise the signs of burnout before we suffer serious harm?

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Ep 11

Must-know tips – bring employees back to work during COVID-19 and maintain their mental and physical health

This podcast is a must-listen for business owners navigating the uncertainty around bringing employees safely back to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Tshidi Gule – employee wellness specialist and Chief Medical Officer of the MLI Group – says that while COVID-19 has disrupted life on every level, the show must go on. She is working hard to help businesses to navigate the uncertain environment they now find themselves in and to understand how to address both employee physical and mental health needs. Benefit from Dr Gule’s top insights in assisting employers to make sound decisions at this critical time in our history.

Ep 10

NICD experts give top advice to business owners about COVID-19 and the food industry

This episode of the Discovery COVID-19 podcast series has been created for all employers and employees who work in food-related businesses. Hear top advice on mitigating the risk of COVID-19 from two experts based at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases - Dr Juno Thomas, Head of the Centre for Enteric Diseases, and Dr Ahmad Haeri Mazanderani, a clinical virologist within the Centre for HIV & STIs. “Staff and customers need to understand how COVID-19 spreads and how they can protect themselves from being infected,” says Dr Haeri Mazanderani. Dr Thomas adds that the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus within the food industry is not from consuming prepared food, but from contact with environmental surfaces and with other people, be they fellow customers or employees. Find out all you need to know.

Ep 9

The way we work has changed for good! What can you expect?

COVID-19 has facilitated dramatic changes in the way we work. Psychologist James Gower has extensive experience in employee wellness programs. He shares insights for every employee and employer into the pros and cons of remote or in-office work, going forward. What lessons have we learned from the flexibility that has been required, during lockdown? Remote employees have avoided long commutes and found more time to use productively. We have removed the distractions typical of an open-plan office and meetings now need to be more carefully considered. However, there are also challenges at hand and the changing world of work require adaptability on all our parts. How should we navigate this?
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Ep 8

Are you a leader or managing having to let people go?

The COVID-19 pandemic has come upon us quickly and threatens both our survival as people, but also that of organisations and businesses large and small. Many people have already faced salary cuts or job losses Clinical psychologist, Dr Colinda Linde knows that many business owners and leaders are now faced with letting go of staff. They also face the anxiety and fear of job loss themselves. How should leaders cope with the decisions that must be made, and how should they communicate these decisions to their staff?

Ep 7

Have you been retrenched, or lost your job? Re-think your skills

Losing a job means losing income, security, purpose and more. Clinical psychologist, Dr Colinda Linde says it’s to expected that when we are faced with this sort of situation, we will go through stages of grieving. She clarifies what to expect emotionally and physically as well as how to better cope. Then, she inspires us to really think about our skills in new ways that could open up avenues we haven’t before thought to consider.

Ep 6

We’re returning to a much-changed workplace. Here’s what you can expect and how to adapt.

When we return to work, we will enter a new space on many levels. We are entering unchartered territory. There is bound to be some discomfort as we adapt to changed fundamentals in the way in which we greet each other; the way in which we interact; share communal spaces, laptops, pens, meeting rooms and more. Many things we once took for granted can no longer be done mindlessly. We will also need to interact while wearing masks, removing unspoken facial cues from the interaction and making communication harder. So many facets of work life have changed. Clinical psychologist Sheethal Behari, who practices at PsychMatters in Johannesburg, shares practical advice on the changes we can expect to deal with, and tools on how to manage these new scenarios.

Ep 5

COVID-19 can affect any employee. How should we respond?

In the coming weeks and months, even more businesses will resume operations and employees will return to their places of work. What should employers and their staff understand about COVID-19 to stay healthy, and to prevent discrimination in the workplace against individuals affected by COVID-19? Dr Ahmad Haeri Mazanderani is a clinical virologist in the Centre for HIV and STIs at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in Johannesburg. He explains what we need to know about dealing with COVID-19 in the workplace, and supporting those who return to work once they have recovered from COVID-19.

Ep 4

Chief Marketing Officer at Discovery shares lessons in adaptive leadership in the time of crisis

What makes for a good leader in the face of a crisis? There is no easy way to navigate the unprecedented impact that COVID-19 has had on our country and the world. The reality is that, for South African people, businesses and our economy, the consequences of COVID-19 will play out over the rest of 2020 and beyond. What does it take for the people who lead others, no matter their context, to adapt to the unprecedented circumstances in which we find ourselves? Azania Mosaka and Firoze Bhorat, Chief Marketing Officer at Discovery, explore this challenging question and reflect on leadership styles and practices that have helped to guide, enhance and protect the lives of others, in the time of COVID-19.

Ep 3

Dr Colinda Linde: How to manage our response to COVD-19 as we return to the workplace

Clinical psychologist, Dr Colinda Linde, explains the emotional intricacies of returning to work after lockdown, and overturning fear and stigma related to COVID-19. Some may feel fear in the face of interaction with colleagues who have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19. But if we allow stigma and discrimination in the face of COVID-19, we will cause people to hide their symptoms or deter them from seeking medical help. How can we all respond to support each other to stay safe and healthy in the workplace, going forward?

Ep 2

COVID-19 ‘s impact on employed parents: work remotely, manage children and maximise your productivity

How can you be as productive as you need to be in your work, while also caring for children at home? Human potential and parenting expert Nikki Bush shares must-know tips to help every parent to manage working remotely, taking care of children’s holistic wellbeing and enforce a sense of control that will reassure children as far as possible. Nikki also speaks to employers about how critical it is to understand every remote employee’s current situation, how this affects the productivity they are capable of and what sort of additional support they may need to get through their work.

Ep 1

How do employees and employers grapple with staying productive and managing the disruptions to the workplace?

The world of work has changed overnight – what does this mean for employees and employers? How should we navigate the transition that COVID-19 has brought to every area of our professional lives? Azania Mosaka interviews Dr Tshidi Gule to explore just how COVID-19 has forced us to redefine what productivity means. Dr Gule is a medical doctor who specialises in employee and workplace wellness. She is also the founder of the Medispace Lifestyle Institute and the author of ‘Rough Diamond’, an entrepreneurship and mentorship memoir.

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