Guide: Coping in a Virtual Workplace In Turbulent Times
Updated: Jun 5
Coping in a virtual workplace during turbulent times is not easy. Behind the wires, screen, cloud software, webcams and instant messaging is a human being.
Just because anxiety, stress, and depression starts, does not mean that work stops. Coupled with a heightened expectation to perform while at home and prove that we are trustworthy in a virtual workplace, the impact of racial violence, systematic racism, unchecked capitalism, and sanctioned white supremacy can begin to wear on Black telecommuters that barely get a break between video calls kicking off their next project.
As young, Black professionals working from home—often in mostly white spaces—we must create space for ourselves to mourn, cope, and heal. We must implement strategies that look like restorative self-care, each tailored to the circumstances of our individual sides of the computer screen.
Take some time. We got each other.
Here are some simple strategies for coping with the inundation of bad news surrounding the fate of Black people in America, and around the globe—tailored for daily the circumstances you may find in your home workspace.
The first step is to acknowledge that your emotions are real, and valid.
Then, we can share with others the extent of the impact of the anti-Black sentiment prevalent in this nation, and the violent treatment of people that look like us. And after that, ask for what we need.
It is OK to pull back in order to create a space for healing. Leaning into your workload and pushing through the work, or ignoring the issues affecting you will not be helpful.
And if you have the energy, check in with your folks that also might be affected and silently suffering in their home offices. Share how each of you is managing the stress, and encounter healing together.
Unplug from all that mess that is fed to you by the news, and by social media. Tell your people to not forward those violent photos and videos because they are "must see". If it harms you, do not consume it.
Seek professional treatment if you must. Tele-health sessions are convenient during social distancing. Find the right mental health professional for you. There are listings of Black therapists that you can find on the internet. Blackline, Dive In Well, Therapy for Black Girls, and Inclusive Therapists are just a few.
After feeding your soul and you mind, feed your body. Nourish it with nutrient rich foods that ward off inflammation, and provide the right chemicals to naturally combat depression and anxiety.
With that fuel, get up and move! Get some vitamin D from sunshine, and feel the wind on your skin. You are alive! You are well!
Share this resource within your Black professional networks. We may be home alone, but we are in this together. Here's a link to the Instagram version.