How’s your co-worker?

Tips for engaging with your co-workers, team members, and colleagues during this period of social distancing.

posted April 02, 2020

How's your co-worker?

Have you checked in with your co-worker today?

Regardless of your industry or job title, or whether you're at work, working from home, or not working at all, social distancing measures have likely impacted how you interact with your team members and colleagues.

While limiting face-to-face communication is good for our physical health during the coronavirus outbreak, it can pose many challenges for our emotional and mental well-being. According to the American Psychological Association, social distancing, quarantine, and isolation can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, frustration, and stigmatization.

“Maintaining good relationships is key to our overall emotional well-being,” says Liz Hill, Total Worker Health adviser at SAIF. “That is more important than ever during this period of social disruption and difficulty.”

As businesses find creative ways to remain productive while adhering to social distancing protocols, it's also important to find creative ways to engage with one another.

Here are a few tips to engage safely:

Daily chatSchedule a daily virtual team meeting

A regular meeting just to check-in and see how your co-workers are doing could boost morale and inclusion.

Leverage technologyLeverage technology to boost social interaction

Technology offers many ways for us to stay connected. Maybe it means making your 3 p.m. phone call a video conference, or setting up a group chat.

Share with coworkersGo on a walk and share your experience

Set a time to take a break from work and go for a walk. When you're back, share what you observed with a co-worker.

Share fact onlyShare accurate information about COVID-19

Reduce stress about the outbreak by sharing facts from reputable sources. If possible, take breaks from news and conversations about the pandemic. The CDC published information on how to reduce the stigma surrounding the coronavirus and created this fact sheet about the disease. For local updates on COVID-19, visit the Oregon Health Authority.

Talk about mental healthCreate a safe space to talk about mental health and share resources

Creating a culture of well-being includes talking about mental health. Visit for information and resources.

“Staying connected with a co-worker, who is likely anxious about more than just work, is an impactful way to demonstrate care during these uncertain times,” says Hill. “It doesn't have to be elaborate—a check-in text or sharing a cup of coffee or tea over a video app are simple ways to keep that connection going.”

For more on SAIF's response to the coronavirus, visit our resources on


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