113 days ago
Throughout our Make Yourself at Home campaign, one message we have mentioned multiple times is to ‘keep connected’ – the big question is, how do you exactly do that over distance?
Even with some government rule changes taking effect from today, many of us will continue to be physically separated from the majority of our colleagues, friends and even family members for the foreseeable due to social distancing measures. With this isolation, people have been looking to virtual alternatives to stay social and replicate a sense of normality, both in and out of the office.
Some of the examples we have seen over the past few weeks include scheduling team check-ins over lunch, weekly family quizzes (sometimes with a Matt Dawson attending!) and joining in on some of Sodexo’s organised events. An example being last week's live Q&A with our Culinary Ambassador, David Mulcahy, and a panel of foodie experts. You can watch the recording of this event here.
Using social media to stay social in and out of work
At Sodexo, we have been using lots of different ways to help communicate with colleagues across the region, but at home, social media reigns supreme.
From the newly popular apps Houseparty and TikTok, to the good old favourites Facebook and Twitter, social media has become a crucial lifeline for some, offering multiple ways to stay connected with others.
Tim Compton, Sodexo UK & Ireland’s social media manager, has some advice for people who might be starting out on social media or using new networks for the first time.
“I love social media, which is lucky because it's what Sodexo pays me to do! My advice to people using social networks more during lockdown is to have fun. Through social media you can stay connected with loved ones, make new connections, and continue to share human experiences.
“New or unfamiliar networks can seem daunting at first, so my advice is to do some research. This might seem obvious, but a quick Google of tips to getting started before you create an account can help. At Sodexo we have a lot of brand accounts that were started with good intent but have become inactive – I’m sure lots of us have accounts on forgotten corners of the web (nobody Google my Tumblr from University!). This initial research will help you understand different privacy settings and keep you safe too.
“Aside from this I recommend looking for ways you can do good by using social media. Try promoting a cause, offering support, or making a positive contribution to your online community. I am trying this to help my mental wellbeing during lockdown. If you don’t know where to begin, start with your interests and hobbies. Connecting with people who share your passions is a fantastic way to feel part of a community online.
“A place to start could be Sodexo's UK and Ireland Facebook page. During the pandemic lots of our colleagues have been leaving messages of support for each other. I’m the admin and getting a bit lonely living on my own, so why not pop over and say hello?”
One of the ways you can keep track of the conversations and topics that interest you most is with hashtags – they are everywhere on social media! Tim has kindly created to help you when creating and using hashtags.
Sharing is caring – we are all responsible for what we post online
With social media comes the ability to share and post information from all over the world. Of course, with this access comes a responsibility to make sure we are all sharing content from reliable and trustworthy sources.
Tim shares his advice on how to stay safe on social media by protecting your data and keeping an eye out for ‘fake news’ that unfortunately can litter our feeds.
“Fake news, misinformation, and verification are important to consider when using social media. With so much information, and differing opinions online, it can feel overwhelming.
“My advice is to always read beyond the headline. Consider the source and their motivations for sharing. If you ever feel unsure about sharing or commenting on something you have seen online, don’t! Remember, if you are worried about something you have read online about Sodexo you can always ask me.
Tim adds, “We all have a responsibility to help reduce the spread of misinformation on social media. This responsibility has never been more important than during the pandemic.
“Finally, keep your personal data, and our company data, safe when interacting online. Make sure you understand the risks before joining any new networks and publish content online.”
Quality over quantity – your screen time counts
As screens ever more become our portal to the outside world, especially for those working from home, it is important to remember that with increased screen time comes the responsibility to choose the content you connect with.
Managing your screen time can be a challenge, but do not worry too much if the content you are currently engaging with brings you joy – we all have our vices!
If you are finding that your screen time is endless scrolling through Instagram, or sharing memes with your friends over WhatsApp, why not try starting a mood board on Pinterest for a post-Coronavirus event? How about joining a Facebook group to celebrate one of your passions? You could even start a WordPress blog to make new connections. Using social media and other online tools to keep us connected is about recreating the communities we are slowly losing, so using these tools as a way of bridging the gap will help us all.
Of course, even the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends factoring in regular breaks from screen activities and be aware about how much time you spend using your devices. This advice adds even more relevance to using your screen time wisely.
Show Sodexo your social side!
Join your colleagues and show Team Spirit by actively taking part in regional activities. These are your opportunities to keep connected with those in and outside your usual work circles, whilst keeping up to speed with all things Sodexo.
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