6 results for Coronavirus
No matter what industry you work in, the chances are that this year, there have been changes to the way you work. For some, the shifts have been seismic, with people losing jobs, going on furlough or taking early retirement. For others, the changes have been more subtle, perhaps working from home or changing procedures to work safely.
A common theme we recognised throughout all of this was a lack of confidence; whether in your current role, or when thinking about moving in a new direction.
To learn more about why this is coming up and how to navigate it, we talked to executive coach and leadership trainer, Jenny Garrett.
Jenny is an award-winning career coach who has 15 years’ experience running her global business. Through her work, Jenny empowers people to make the transformation they’re seeking actually happen, whether that’s navigating their career successfully, finding work that is more purposeful for them, or getting the best from their team.
Everything she does is aimed at either advancing gender balance, creating inclusive workplaces or equipping young people with the skills that leaders of the future need.
In this webinar, we discussed confidence in our abilities when working in a pandemic and why this is difficult right now, with Jenny sharing her advice on improving confidence at this time. We talked about why the pandemic has caused people to reconsider their careers and how we can build the courage we need to make a change.
Exploring those looking at taking the leap and working for themselves, Jenny offered some first steps to consider along with confidence-building tips. Along the way, Jenny answered a number of questions on topics including imposter syndrome and building resilience.
Looking for support to regain your confidence at work? Find a career coach today. Simply browse profiles and when you find a person you resonate with, send them an email.
The period in lockdown has been a challenge in many ways, hasn’t it? That said, it has also provided an opportunity for many to reflect and review our general life patterns; what matters most to us, what we want and don’t want in our life, as well as considering those connections that are important to us.
I’ve personally reflected a lot recently on the balancing act that we have in keeping those important connections and relationships, and yet finding them a challenge to maintain due to other expectations, or when the unexpected happens.
As we know, life is not a constant – change is inevitable. However, does this change mean our connections have to become worse? Does it mean we should be more fearful of our emotional state and be concerned if we don’t feel as connected as we once did with those special people in our lives?
It’s a great time to consider how we can feel more connected, particularly as some of our circumstances are beginning to change again, along with our life patterns post-lockdown.
Here are a few tips that either I have found useful to remember, or I know have worked for clients that I serve, as a way to help us feel connected to those important people around us.
Tip #1: Recognise that change is inevitable – but connection is still possible!
One thing we can be sure of is that nothing stays the same. The idea of change can often fill us with dread, reluctance, fear and worry. In the context of our connections, we might start to question if things are as good as we thought they were.
As with the inevitably of change, our feelings of connection with others will go through peaks and troughs. A consideration that I’d invite you to give time to is – does it really mean that our connection with that special person has got better or worse?
Do we need to take our doubts so seriously? Could it be that our connection has just evolved? Do we need to question it at all? If there is a shift in our connection with someone, this is normal.
If we recognise that change is inevitable and, therefore, know that our connections will continue to evolve, this is a healthy, emotional state to be coming from.
We can innocently place expectations on what our connection should be or base it on what it was in the past, which in itself can lead us to question the connection and create a problem that might not be there. I’ve seen it many times when working with people who are experiencing relationship challenges.
There is no judgement with what I’ve just said. In fact, I’ve also done this myself!
In context to our possible changing life patterns right now, where one person might have less availability; by recognising that this change was inevitable at some point, it might just take the pressure off a little bit.
As our life patterns continue to evolve again, perhaps our own expectations might need to shift again.
Tip #2 – Communicate from a place of acceptance
Acceptance is a powerful word, isn’t it? And it can easily be misused. Alongside Tip #1, if we’re accepting of change, it leaves us more open, trusting and better able to adapt and embrace.
All these things are important for a connection to be maintained and also for it to grow and deepen.
One thing I find most fascinating is this – our ability to be accepting is natural. Our ability to embrace change is natural.
It is our thinking about the meaning of change, for example, which can often lead to us innocently communicate from a place of being fearful; reluctance; resentment; rejecting the change; being hesitant or less willing.
This is particularly important because if we are accepting of our changing circumstances and expectations, as well as showing an understanding of others’ expectations of us, we’re more likely to communicate clearly and positively. For example, we might start sentences with ‘I’ve noticed’ or ‘could we’, as opposed to an accusatory ‘you haven’t’ or ‘you should’.
Tip #3 – Allow our natural connection with others to come through
We connect with people naturally and it happens when it is meant to happen.
I can certainly relate to times when I’ve tried to force a connection – or rather keep a connection going with someone based on the way our friendship was previously – say one year, two years or five years ago. Perhaps you can too.
I believe this is common and, through listening to the clients that I serve, I know I’m not the only one to have done this.
That said, our period in isolation has led to many of us communicating more with our closest friends; speaking more with our distant and extended family members, or even been drawn to wanting to reconnect with old contacts.
For me, this is nature. There is nothing to ‘force’ with our natural connections; nothing to ‘keep working on’ as such, it’s just natural.
So, we never know, it could be three to six months before we speak again with someone who we had reconnected with during isolation. However, when we do, isn’t it better to have that natural connection with them, where it feels like ‘we had only spoken yesterday’ compared to having a series of force and unnatural connections that don’t really mean anything?
In a similar message to Tip #2, as our circumstances change again, a mutual understanding will guide our respect for each other. It will also drive our willingness to stay connected, as well as steering our communication to find common ground conversations.
Dave Knight is a life coach and host of the podcast The Sunday Settler.
It’s safe to say, no matter what work situation you’re in, it’s likely to have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. When piled onto of the uncertainty that comes with a global pandemic, this change can affect our confidence and decision making abilities.
Here, life coach Belinda Raitt answers your questions on working during the pandemic and making changes in your working life.
I’ve been made redundant and am feeling lost. What are some next steps I can take?
Redundancy can feel hugely unsettling. Any change in our lives requires adjustment and we tend to attach a lot of meaning to our work. We often use it to define who we are, so when we no longer have a job, we struggle with a sense of identity, along with the other worries about whether we have enough savings to keep us going.
These concerns often make us jump into the first job that comes along, never mind whether it’s the right fit. Treat this pause as an opportunity to explore what you really want and need from your work (and life!). Be kind to yourself. We make better decisions when we are in a good place, so take time to relax and focus on your health (mental and physical) so that you stay positive and focused.
I’ve realised during lockdown that I’m unhappy in my job and want to launch my own business… but I’m scared to make the jump. Do you have any advice?
Go for it! Life is too short to be unhappy in your job. The Japanese have a concept called “ikigai”, which roughly translates as your sense of purpose, what gets you out of bed in the morning. For them, it’s a way of life, and to not feel a sense of enjoyment and purpose in your work is anathema.
If you have a chance to do something that gives you this sense of purpose, do it!
Change is scary – it’s the fear of the unknown – but experience shows that our brains imagine scenarios far worse than reality. Do your market research, don’t be afraid to ask advice from friends or others in the industry. Also, trust your instincts. A business plan helps to work out cash flow and where the money will come from. A business is more likely to succeed if you can be flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances.
I’m working from home and am struggling to maintain my boundary between work and life, what can I do?
It’s important to stick to a routine when you’re working from home and to keep a separation between your working day and time to yourself. Treat your working days as if you were getting up to go out to work, as you would normally do. Get up at the same time, put work clothes on. Stop for lunch and take some time to go outside and get some fresh air, clear your head.
If you have the space to have your online office set up in a different room or part of the house, this helps to maintain the boundary too: at the end of your working day, close the door to your office space, mentally and physically. Be clear with others that you are not available to answer emails or calls after hours, and be firm with yourself about ignoring emails or calls until the following morning!
I’ve been furloughed and feel lost without my job. Do you have any suggestions to help me reconnect with who I am outside of work?
We spend so much of our adult life working that this is an opportunity to take some time out to relax. Enjoy the break while you can. Use it to rest and reflect. Every day, find something to appreciate and savour. Start a gratitude journal, recording at least one thing a day that has been good and that you are thankful for. Keep up contact with friends and family, get in touch with people you usually don’t have time to because of work.
Treat yourself to good meals, cooked from scratch with fresh ingredients. Take a daily walk, actively observing your surroundings and tuning into your senses, how and what you are feeling at that moment. Spend some quiet time every day just sitting and reflecting, perhaps with yoga or meditation if that feels right for you. Take an online course. Have some fun and don’t feel guilty about it!
I’m feeling apprehensive about returning to the office, the culture can feel toxic. Do you have any thoughts on managing difficult relationships at work?
A toxic working environment can be very draining. Stress can take its toll on our overall wellbeing, so try to keep healthy by eating the right things, exercising and getting enough sleep. This will help you to keep a positive attitude. Often a difficult colleague is reflecting their own negative feelings about themselves onto you, so it can help to approach the relationship from one of understanding and trying to see things from the other person’s perspective, rather than taking it personally.
Perhaps they are not aware of the impact they are having on you, so sometimes an honest, non-confrontational conversation about how you are feeling (try to avoid any finger-pointing blaming them) can encourage a shift in behaviour. Seek out allies, supportive colleagues who will fight your corner and make your working day easier. Try to take time out during the day to go outside in the fresh air.
Top tips for those feeling lost in their career right now:
- Don’t be afraid of change. It’s the path to better times ahead. If it’s feeling overwhelming, just take it one small step at a time, until you are where you want to be.
- Spend some time thinking about what you really enjoy. Draw up a list of what you love doing (your values and motivators); what you are good at (your strengths) and what you can get paid for (your experience/skillset).
- Enlist the help of a career coach who will help you to work out what’s important to you, and how to go about finding work that gives you a sense of purpose.
Taking the first step and booking in your first coaching session can feel… big. Doing so is a commitment and investment to your own personal growth. And while this is, of course, an exciting time, it’s normal to feel apprehensive, especially if you’ve never had coaching before.
You may not know exactly what to expect from your coach or what will be expected from you during the process. Coaching can be transformational, but it requires action, work and intention. On top of this, if you’re introverted or shy, you might find the prospect of talking to someone new intimidating. As an introvert myself, I remember being nervous before my first coaching session.
I had the same butterflies I always got before talking to someone I hadn’t met before. As soon as we started talking however, those butterflies promptly flew away. My coach made me feel at ease, and because she’d told me what to expect before-hand, I felt much better prepared.
I should also point out here that my coaching session took place online, via a video call. Removing the barrier of distance, online coaching is an option many coaches offer. It allows you to choose who you resonate with, regardless of where they live and enjoy the coaching experience from the comfort of your own home.
We all have personal preferences and while for some, online coaching is ideal, for others face-to-face suits better. At the time of writing however, the pandemic means that the majority of coaching is having to take place remotely.
Whatever has prompted you to choose a coach who works online, it can be helpful to know what to expect. This can ease any unnecessary nerves you may have about the technology so you can focus on the coaching itself.
While all coaches will differ in the way they work, the points below can help you have a better understanding of what may come up when you get in touch with a coach.
Picking a time and medium
Many coaches will offer a free or low-cost consultation call, so you can get to know a bit more about them before deciding whether or not to hire them as your coach. But whether you’re booking in a consultation or your first session, you’ll need to book a time and understand what medium the coach will use for the session.
Booking the time may be done over email or your coach may use a booking system like Calendly where you can choose an appointment that suits you. If you’re living in a different time-zone to your coach, make sure you know what time your session will be in your time zone. Most coaches will account for this, but it can help both parties for you to double check you’ve got the timing right.
In terms of how the session will be provided, there are a number of different mediums that can be used, from a simple phone call to video calls via Zoom or FaceTime. Before your first session, your coach will let you know which medium they use and explain to you how it will work.
Using the technology
As mentioned, your coach should give you any instructions you need before your first session. Most of the mediums used to communicate online are very easy to use, but if you have any questions before the session, be sure to let them know.
If it’s a programme you haven’t used before and you’re able to test it out before-hand, you might want to try this so you feel more comfortable using it. Some programmes require you to download them or create an account with them before using, so make sure this is done if necessary before your session.
Feel free to ask your coach any questions before the session via email and let them know once you start the session if you have any other questions. Some coaches like to use video so you can see each other, while others prefer an audio only call. You may have your own preferences as well. Your coach should tell you before if it’ll be video or audio only, and you can discuss your preferences here too.
The online session
Hopefully by this point you’ll be feeling comfortable with how your session is going to work and reassured by your coach. If you have any questions, for example how to turn the camera on or off, be sure to ask your coach. They will be used to the programme and should be able to give you any guidance or tips you need.
Other than the technology side of things, online coaching sessions should be the same as face-to-face sessions. There’ll likely be a stage of getting to know each other, then diving into the reason you’ve chosen to get coaching. You’ll get the opportunity to talk about your goals and challenges, working with your coach to find a way to get to where you want to be.
Just like an in-person session, your coach may ask you to outline the action points you’ve gained from your session, ready to take them forward and review next time you speak. If you haven’t discussed it already, you’ll be able to talk here about the time of your next session and hopefully you’ll feel more confident about using the technology so you can enjoy the coaching process in full.
While it’s common for coaches to offer sessions via calls, some do offer an alternative – email coaching or coaching through a messaging platform like Voxxer. This can be a great alternative if calling isn’t appropriate for you right now. Email coaching or messaging support gives you the chance to craft considered responses and allows you more time to think about what’s being discussed.
If you’ve found a coach who offers this, they will likely let you know what to expect – for example, what times they check and respond to emails/messages.
One of the most important things about coaching is your relationship with your coach. How do you feel when talking to them? How do your sessions make you feel? Do you trust them?
Regardless of the medium, this connection will shine through when it’s the right fit. And at a time when connection matters more than ever, we wish you the best of luck finding what you’re looking for and hope you’re able to embrace everything coaching has to offer.
Before we start, we want to highlight that this is a truly unusual, unprecedented and difficult time. There are no blueprints for this and there is no right or wrong when it comes to our feelings.
If you’ve been on a bit of a rollercoaster with your emotions, we are right there with you. Here at Life Coach Directory, we’re checking in with each other regularly; one day there may be tears and worry, another day there are laughs and jubilation.
Suffice to say, if you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, that’s OK. If you need to spend any extra time you have resting, that’s OK.
Please do what you need to do right now, whether that’s binge-watching Netflix, or making a new business plan. Here we want to shine a light on some different ways you can make the most of any extra time you have right now, depending on your circumstances.
“I’m overwhelmed and don’t know what to do.”
If the idea of doing anything right now feels too much, you’re not alone. Being overwhelmed can often make us feel paralysed. To start taking gentle steps out of overwhelm, try the following ideas.
Make a list of your worries. For each one ask yourself ‘what can I do about it?’ and then, ‘what can’t I do about it?’. For those you can do something about, make a plan. For those you can’t? Try to breathe and let it go.
Start a mindfulness practice. This could be meditation (the Headspace app has a great section on weathering the storm), mindful movement (we love Yoga with Adriene) or journaling (the positive planner is a great one to get started with).
Find some escapism. Lose yourself in film and TV, get through your to-be-read pile, start playing a video game. Let yourself be distracted for a while and up your self-care.
“I had to cancel all my upcoming social events and feel at a loose end.”
Whether you’ve had to cancel holiday plans or your usual coffee and catch-up with a friend, a lot of us are finding ourselves at loose ends right now. With no social plans on the horizon, it’s time to get creative.
Plan some remote events. Take your social life online using video calls and set up some get-togethers without actually getting together. Try running a pub quiz with friends on FaceTime, play with the House Party app or set up a virtual coffee morning meet-up with family.
Learn something new. Take this opportunity for a little personal development. Always wanted to learn another language? Download the Duolingo app and get started today. Always fancied knitting, but never had the time before? Order some supplies, watch YouTube tutorials and see what you can create.
Help others. If you have the capacity to do so, see if there is anything you can do to help those more vulnerable. This could be offering to pick up food for your elderly neighbour or donating to a local food bank.
“I can’t continue running my business as it was and need to pivot.”
If your business has been affected by the pandemic, now may be the time for you to consider ways you can adjust and pivot to keep things going during this tricky time. This may feel like a big task, but it offers you an opportunity to think outside the box.
Take stock and ask yourself what’s going well. When we run a business, it’s easy to get stuck in the day-to-day running of it. While not ideal, this may be a good time for you to review your business and think big-picture about the future.
What can you take online? A lot of businesses are pivoting to offer their services/products online so people can continue to access them. Think about your business and which elements you could move online. For example, if you usually do in-person workshops, could you host them online for now?
What new online/remote services can you create right now? As well as taking existing products/services online, now is a great time to consider new offerings. Think about what your customers need right now and consider what you could offer to fulfil that need.
“I’ve been made redundant and need to think about a new career direction.”
This is sadly the reality for many right now. If you’ve been made redundant, allow yourself the space and time you need to grieve. When you’re ready, start doing the following to get yourself back out there.
Reframe your challenge as an opportunity. Yes, this may come across as slightly annoying advice at first, but trying to shift into a positive mindset will do wonders for your productivity. Try to see this as an opportunity to think about the direction you’re heading in and what changes you’d like to make to get there.
Reach out to those in the industry you want to go in. Whether it’s the same industry you were in or a brand new one, try to speak to those in it. Reach out to old contacts or search for new ones. Book in some video calls and see what contacts you can make to move forward.
Consider how you can make your CV stand out. Spend some time thinking about what you can do now to make you even more hireable in the future. Is there anything extra you could be doing while looking for work that would reflect well on your CV, such as writing for publications, starting your own blog or doing some voluntary work? Now is also a great time to give your LinkedIn profile some love.
We hope these pointers can give you some options and help you get through this tricky time. If you’re feeling in need of some support and are considering coaching, remember lots of our coaches offer remote support. Use our online and telephone search to find someone you resonate with.
With more and more news coming up regarding the Coronavirus outbreak, we know some of our coaches are keen to understand what they can do to support their practice as well as their own well-being during this time.
We’ve pulled together the current advice we could find (as of 19th March) regarding best-practice during the pandemic, so you can find everything you need in one place.
Alongside some general guidance, we’ve also highlighted some advice about working online with clients if this isn’t something you already offer.
This is a period of rapid change, so the sources we cite here may be updated frequently to reflect the latest information. We encourage you to, therefore, check the links provided to ensure they’re still relevant and keep up to date with the latest from the Government, NHS and Public Health England sites, as these will be informing most other reputable sources.
We hope you find this useful and if you would like us to include any additional information, please let us know.
In this article:
- Working with clients during the pandemic
- Face to face sessions
- Providing online, telephone and text-based coaching
- Preparing to work with clients online
- Software applications for online coaching
- Privacy and data protection
- Financial support for small businesses
- Looking after yourself during the pandemic
Working with clients during the pandemic
Several professional bodies have recently posted updates about working safely during the pandemic:
The Association for Coaching (AC) have a section regarding Covid-19 updates and are offering virtual workshops for their members: “The AC is currently scheduling online virtual sessions for our members over the coming weeks, to connect and share about the challenges and opportunities we are faced with. These sessions aim to bring our community closer together to support one another.”
The Global Association for NLP (ANLP) shared some guidance for members including the following: “First and foremost, we do recommend you follow all advice given by your local authorities, national government and Public Health England or your regional equivalent. Keep an eye out for daily updates as the situation continues to unfold globally.
In addition to this, we advise that you:
- Check your own insurance cover.
- Carry out risk assessments to evaluate the level of risk to both you and your clients.
- Have a business continuity plan in place to ensure you know what to do if your business is adversely affected.
- Use your common sense.”
The International Authority for Professional Coaching & Mentoring (IAPC&M) also has advice for members, sharing tips from coaches on working online.
We’ve only listed three professional bodies here and, while the advice appears to be consistent, you may wish to check your own professional body’s site for specific details if it’s not listed here.
Some key things to consider are:
- How can you minimise risk for your clients and yourself? These may be as simple as increasing hygiene measures, to suspending face-to-face contact temporarily.
- Can you coach remotely during the pandemic? Would these methods be suitable for your clients?
- How do you plan to communicate any updates to your clients – for instance, if you become unwell and are unable to take sessions?
- Do you have a process in place so clients can let you know if they are unwell, or have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 – and if so, has this been communicated to them?
- Do you need to review your cancellation procedures in light of recent news?
- If you contract COVID-19, do you need to let your clients know that you may be asked to provide their details to the relevant authorities for contact tracing, and is this covered by your contracts and insurance?
- How might your fees be affected? For instance, if you normally charge a cancellation fee, will this still be the case in light of the pandemic? Might this cause a client to feel compelled to break self-isolation to come to a session?
- How will you take care of your own health during this time?
Face to face sessions
If you plan to continue face to face sessions, there are some simple steps you can take based on existing advice to minimise risk, including:
- Practise social distancing. Stay at least one metre away from clients (ideally two metres for extended periods, i.e. over 10 minutes). Avoid hand-shaking or other physical contact.
- Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after each client.
- Disinfect door handles, hand-rests of chairs, computers, laptops, phones, writing implements etc. between clients.
- Ensure tissues are available to clients (if they weren’t already) so they can practice the mantra “catch it, bin it, kill it”. Divide tissues into batches so you can offer clients their own portion.
- If you provide a bin for tissues, make sure it’s emptied between clients and use appropriate measures to prevent yourself from coming in contact with the contents – or ask clients to dispose of them themselves.
- Open windows where possible to air out the consulting room.
- Use your judgement: if you have any doubts about your own health or that of your client, take the appropriate steps. This may include self-isolation, sign-posting clients to resources such as NHS111 or PHE, and notifying other individuals who you may have been in contact with (or who may be affected).
These are just a few suggestions that could make a difference; consider how your practice operates, and what changes you could make that will have the greatest impact. You could even discuss ideas in our Member Notice Board, or in other online coaching groups you’re a part of.
Providing online, telephone and text-based coaching
For ease, we will refer to all of these methods as “online coaching” throughout this article unless otherwise specified.
Online coaching offers an excellent alternative to face to face sessions and means you can continue to work with clients during this time.
There are no specific qualifications required to conduct coaching sessions online instead of face to face; however, you should be mindful of your professional body’s code of ethics and any specific competency frameworks in place. You can normally find this information on their website.
If you offer online or telephone coaching, check that your Life Coach Directory profile has been updated to reflect this. You can specify your methods of delivering coaching here.
You may also want to consider updating your profile text to refer to online or telephone coaching sessions, as we anticipate that more visitors will be looking for this over the coming months.
For those new to online coaching, you may need to adjust the way you’re used to working. You will also need to be able to competently assess your own ability to deliver coaching effectively online, and the client’s receptiveness to this approach.
There are certain steps you can take to ensure you’re prepared practically for the transition, including:
Check that your insurance (and that of your employer, if applicable) covers you for online and other forms of remote coaching.
- Client contracts
You may have already made provisions for any unexpected absences in your existing contracts: nevertheless, it’s a good idea to review your contracts, and re-contract with clients if necessary. For example, you may want to consider including additional security or privacy considerations that might arise from working online.
- Client payments
You may need to investigate electronic means of being paid, such as bank transfer, Paypal or other online invoicing. Many of these options are quick and easy to set up.
Working remotely can be challenging when you’re used to interacting with clients face to face, and it’s important to recognise that you may need to up your self-care while at home. We’ll talk more about looking after yourself later in this article.
Preparing to work with clients online
Software applications for online coaching
To coach clients remotely, you’ll need a platform that you can both use to speak to each other – and, often, see each other too.
Here we’ve put together some options you may want to consider.
Video-calling and Instant Messaging
Here are three popular video-calling and messaging services to consider: use the links to see which one fits the bill for your practice.
Trusted by household names such as Sonos, Delta Airlines and 21st Century Fox, Zoom offers a free Basic package with no limit on one to one meetings (meetings with 3+ participants have a 40-minute cut off).
VSee is the platform of choice for 1000+ telemedical companies, as well as NASA for the Space Station. It offers HIPAA-approved secure video communications, and their Free packages offer up to 25 video calls per month plus unlimited secure messaging.
Signal provides end-to-end encryption on calls and messages and is available in desktop and mobile app form. As an open-source project, it is free to use.
While a popular option, some therapeutic organisations have expressed concerns about the security and overall suitability of Skype as a platform for confidential sessions such as counselling and coaching. Offering familiarity and ease of use during periods of distress, however, you should assess the pros and cons of this platform yourself, and check that your client has familiarised themselves with the terms of this product. You may find ACTO’s guidance notes on Skype an interesting read.
The following platforms offer enhanced privacy and may be of interest if you’re planning to conduct sessions in this way:
Designed for the healthcare industry, Hushmail provides encrypted email and secure webforms for clients to contact you. Fees start at $5.99 per month per user (a small business will typically only require one email address), and a one-off setup fee of $9.99. It has a 60-day cooling-off period, during which you can get a full refund.
Switzerland-based ProtonMail offers end-to-end email encryption and is open-source – meaning it’s free to use.
Privacy and data protection
Your obligations to protect the data you process don’t change when you work online with clients; however, you will need to apply the same kinds of security measures while working in this way that you would have to normally. For example:
- Who has access to your computer/applications that you’re using?
- If you’re using third-party applications to process your clients’ data, what are their security policies? How will they protect this data?
- If you’re using applications based outside of the EEA, will you need to update your privacy notice or client contracts?
For general advice on privacy and data protection, visit The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) Guide to Data Protection. ICO has also recently published a statement on Data protection and coronavirus, with specific information for data controllers (organisations).
In the statement, they confirm that communicating updates to your clients about public health are not direct marketing, and so are not restricted by data protection laws. Ensure you have a way to communicate with your clients quickly and easily so that you can keep them informed of any factors that affect them.
ICO has stated that they “recognise the unprecedented challenges we are all facing during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic”, and are happy to answer questions. You can contact them on 0303 123 1113.
Financial support for small businesses
Following the 2020 Budget, the Government has released information on financial support for employees, benefit claimants and businesses, including how small businesses and self-employed people can protect themselves during the pandemic.
This includes a dedicated helpline for businesses and self-employed individuals in financial difficulty, and how to access support.
If you have income protection included on your insurance policy, you may wish to check for any updates your insurer has provided in light of the pandemic.
Looking after yourself during the pandemic
We now want to take a moment to talk about you. First and foremost, we can’t stress enough that following official guidance on social distancing and hygiene is paramount. It goes without saying that you can’t look after others without looking after yourself first.
When it comes to seeing clients, your own judgement is key. You’ll need to weigh up the following:
- your ethical duty to protect the welfare of clients
- being responsible for your own health and wellbeing
Measures such as working with clients remotely may strike an excellent balance between the two, and offer you a way to continue coaching while minimising the risk of infection.
If you find yourself unable to commit to sessions for the immediate future, that’s OK too. Make sure that your clients are informed, and signpost them to alternative support where appropriate in your absence.
If you’re used to working alongside others regularly, you may find the switch to home working tricky at first. Happiful have put together some helpful tips for working from home which you may find useful.
Finally – even though we’re pretty sure we’re preaching to the choir (or even the pastor!) – we wanted to take a moment to share some articles we’ve produced for the public in the last few days. As you know, this is something that we truly believe in at Life Coach Directory and Happiful, and sometimes the little things really do have a big impact.
- Coronavirus: 8 Ways to help yourself and others
- Worried About Coronavirus? Here’s What You Need to Know
Please note: Life Coach Directory and Happiful are not affiliated with any of the organisations referenced in this article, and this article has not been sponsored by any third parties. We strongly recommend that you carry out your own research to make sure that you can make an informed choice that best suits your business. While we hope that this information is useful, we cannot be held responsible for any business decisions you make based on this article, or for the information published on third party sites.
All information correct as of 19/03/2020.