Canadian Government’s Guiding Principles For Working During COVID-19 Are Surprising Americans

Working from home has been an adjustment many folks have had to make in the past couple months, and one that people are dealing with to various degrees of success.

On the one hand, ditching your commute time and the effort it takes to get ready every morning can result in some very welcome extra hours for sleep or hobbies. But on the other, we are in the middle of a fairly stressful worldwide health crisis and a lot of people are feeling the strain of isolation and uncertainty in a way that can be damaging to their mental health.

But some employers are doing what they can to help employees mitigate that added stress. And the Canadian government may truly be leading by example, putting their employees’ health first and making sure a work from home set-up isn’t compounding an already awful situation.

Mark Richardson, an Ottawa-based employee of the Canadian Wildlife Service, shared an email that was sent around by one of his bosses.

The email featured a list of six principles for working remotely, but the first one just about sums the whole thing up — “You are not ‘working from home,’ you are ‘at your home, during a crisis, trying to work.’”

One by one, the principles encourage employees to be gentle with themselves and their coworkers, and to not feel pressured into working harder to make up for any lost productivity that might come as a result of this unprecedented situation we all find ourselves in.

People were amazed by the guidelines, and the rarity of an employer putting employees first.

It says a lot about the state of the western world that encouraging employees to be kind to themselves during an ongoing worldwide crisis is so unusual that it draws this much attention, but here we are.

But it’s also moving people to share stories of how their own employers are stepping up to the challenge and treating them well during this time.

The principles appear to have been initially created by Jonathan Lundberg, who shared them on Twitter back in March.

And it just goes to show how far-reaching words of encouragement and reassurance can be, especially in a world that is in such desperate need of hearing exactly everything here right now.