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Promoting Excellence In Psychological Health & Wellbeing

Recreating the PWP Room: Staying connected with your team

02 Jun

Access the resource following the PWP Subnetwork Webinar...

The Psychological Professions Network, South East (PPN SE) Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) Subnetwork hosted a webinar for PWP colleagues across services within the South East to share their experiences of staying connected whilst working remotely. Four breakout rooms were facilitated, and each focussed on a different aspect of PWP wellbeing. This document has been produced to be used as a resource to share learning from the event, and to help explore how we would like to work post-pandemic. The key themes of the session are outlined below.

Developing effective communications systems

There was a discussion around some of the problems arising through the transformation in the ways we are communicating with each other:

  • Being contacted spontaneously over Teams can feel intrusive
  • WhatsApp notifications can become overwhelming
  • Previously a query could be answered quickly whereas now they require an email or phone call, which might not feel appropriate
  • At times there is uncertainty around who can be contacted to troubleshoot queries
  • Can feel unsure if technology issues are affecting the whole team or it’s an individual problem

Going forward, it was suggested:

  • Improving our email communications could be helpful, i.e. having a late shift check in email
  • Utilising alternative platforms to answer queries, such as using WhatsApp on a work phone
  • Developing buddy systems within a service
  • Identifying people available to debrief following difficult calls 

Developing relationships with others

Some of the discussed problems around developing relationships with others were:

  • The informal contact has been lost, communications are primarily work-centric and it has therefore been harder to build relationships
  • Previously there would be opportunities for discussions at the printer, or during coffee breaks, with peers and colleagues from other professions
  • Online check-ins can feel forced and can be detrimental to the working day

It was therefore suggested:

  • That teams could develop structures to build relationships online, for instance, quizzes
  • Prioritising regular check in meetings, whilst maintaining the informal boundary so the meeting does not blend it business as usual

Reflections from the pandemic

  • Our ability to provide person-centred care has not been affected
  • Working from home has improved sickness rates
  • People can have more of a voice during online meetings
  • Implementing wellbeing into the supervision agenda can help identify areas for improvement and development

Further resources

Short video giving tips on effective team working during the pandemic - https://people.nhs.uk/teamworking/the-key-components-of-effective-teamworking-during-the-covid-19-crisis/

Article on Evidence Based Tips for team working - https://qualitysafety.bmj.com/content/30/1/59

Short video introducing a tool used in one NHS Trust to promote wellbeing and connection - https://people.nhs.uk/startwellendwell/

Tips on increasing your sense of belonging - https://se.leadershipacademy.nhs.uk/looking-after-people/understand-your-needs/belonging/

Guide to remote working - https://people.nhs.uk/guides/remote-working-guide/

Article on reducing 'Zoom fatigue' - https://news.stanford.edu/2021/02/23/four-causes-zoom-fatigue-solutions/

Short video introducing concept of 'teaming' - https://people.nhs.uk/uncategorized/enhance-wellbeing-through-teaming/

Free online course on Collaboration, Communication and Remote Working - https://www.futurelearn.com/programs/collaboration-communication-and-remote-working

Article on fostering team morale - https://enterprisersproject.com/article/2020/4/pandemic-how-foster-team-morale

You can join the PPN SE here where you can also read more about the PPN, explore the network’s vision and an interactive career map across the 12 psychological professions. The PWP subnetwork currently has over 180 members, and we would be grateful if you could share this with any PWPs who you think may be interested to sign up to the PWP Subnetwork and receive updates on the work we are doing and opportunities to get involved. Thank you.

Lizzie Gray & Simon Winter
Co-Chairs

Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner Subnetwork, Psychological Professions Network, South East

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