#TipforTuesday – How to Stop from Feeling Isolated Working from Home
There are many benefits to working from home - the flexibility in work hours, missing the arduous commute, and not to mention easy access to the kitchen. Yet one thing that affects many people working and teaching from home is the isolation you can feel when not surrounded by a team of people. A lack of social interaction has been proven in numerous studies to be damaging to health, heightening the risk of diabetes and heart disease, so it is important to make sure that when working from home you don’t forget to self-care and have time to engage socially outside of teaching.
We know that at IQBar there isn’t a physical office to chat with coworkers, but the online community is an excellent place to get involved with a bunch of caring, supportive and often-times humorous colleagues. Not a day goes by where there isn’t a discussion about what everyone is doing, how to go about a particular lesson, or something sweet a Bready said. Although miles apart, a huge number of our Buddies have developed friendships and a sense of comradery. We’ve put this post together with a number of ways you can become part of a community at IQBar and keep from feeling alone at home.
Getting involved in the chat group
The easiest way to get to meet the other Buddies at IQBar is through the IQBar group chat on Wechat. Don’t feel shy if you’re new – or have been a long-term Buddy but have yet to be active in the group – to say hello! Everyone in the chat group will welcome you with open arms. Our worldwide community means that if you have a problem that is location specific, for example, an area with a powercut in Johannesburg for example, it’s likely someone else will have a suggestion for how best to tackle it. On the other hand, if you’re looking for your next holiday destination, there is a wealth of people who will be able to offer you suggestions and local tips! Plus, with the numerous different time zones of our Buddies there is not a time when someone isn’t available to chat.
The weekly Buddy Seminars
The weekly online Buddy seminars are a great excuse for us all get together and speak face-to-face. Each week our Teaching Quality Manager delivers a presentation on a particular topic which he feels would be useful for the community. We want to make IQBar as collaborative a workplace as possible, so rather than it being a one-way talk, our weekly seminars include group discussions where all our Buddies get into small groups to explore their take on that particular technique or problem, and at the same time get to know each other.
The IQBar Teams
This week we’ve introduced the IQBar teams through Perkbox, our employee reward scheme. Every Buddy is added to one of the teams; The Monkeys, Roosters, Tigers or Dragons, with activities and challenges to work through collectively. The more people who work together, the more points their team gets - and, as they always say, points mean prizes! Find out which team you are in see how you can help build your team’s points! If you would like more information about the teams, you can watch our introductory seminar on the Padlet here:
Perkbox also has an excellent feature where you can ‘recognise’ a fellow Buddy. This means if you’ve watched a lesson back and seen something you thought was impressive, or somebody helped you out with sending a homework task, Perkbox gives you the possibility to recognize that achievement and share it with the whole of the IQBar community.
The Mentoring Scheme
This week IQBar will be launching a mentoring scheme to help all new Buddies settle in to life at IQBar. It can be a common experience as an online teacher feeling that it’s just you without a support network or real people to talk to, so we want to add an extra layer of communication to make starting up easier. The mentors will be the key to this support. Each day there will be a window where new Buddies can ask their mentor questions or for advice surrounding everything from teaching to invoicing, what they expect from lessons, to what it is they’d like to improve about their own teaching. Mentors can be contacted through messaging on Wechat, or through a video call depending on the new Buddy’s preference.
If you’re a Buddy and are interested in becoming a mentor, please contact Sarah to find out more information!
These are just a few of the ways you can keep from feeling isolated at IQBar. All teachers have their good days and their bad days and it can be a real comfort knowing that there is a team behind you to hold you up. Some days you may not feel like teaching and you’re really struggling, some days you may have a Bready who really wound you up and didn’t pay any attention at all, some days you may just wish there were people around you. The IQBar community has got your back. Never feel shy to reach out!