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Word on Wellbeing

Entrepreneur Cecilia Robinson shares her insights on Covid-19 and beyond......

In this interview series, Wellbeing Workshop gets up close and personal with some of New Zealand's favourite Business Leaders, Entrepreneurs and Celebrities.

Today we talk to Cecilia Robinson -

Co-Founder of Tend Health & My Food Bag, Business Leader, Entrepreneur, Director, Trustee, Mum and all round inspirational individual.

Cecilia opens up and shares her experience of the Covid-19 lockdown, the challenges she faced, her learnings and also her current concerns for future stability in New Zealand and the world.

Name three things you’ve learnt as a Business Leader from Covid-19.

  1. That the whole world can change overnight and that things that we once considered true might now be false.

  2. That we must change moving forward. We have seen omissions reduce and wider benefits from being forced into this lockdown which will hopefully lead to long term change both in behaviour and in attitude.

  3. How different cultures and societies prioritise human life and the economy. Sweden as an example is a country that has prioritised the economy over its people (despite looking at double digit unemployment) and lost in the long term, now considered one of the worst places in the world for Covid-19. I think at the start of this process if someone would have said that Sweden would have let their most vulnerable die (e.g. immigrants, refugees and elderly) many people would have been shocked at that.

What’s the biggest challenge you have had to face as a result of Covid-19 and how are you going to overcome it?

We have been incredibly fortunate being in the industries we are in (e.g. food with My Food Bag and healthcare with Tend Health). I’m also a Director of Pie Funds and a Trustee of the Princes Trust, so across all four it’s been incredibly busy.

Our biggest challenge has mostly come from trying to do our roles as parents and educators while at the same time working full-time with no help from home, Level 4 definitely had challenges but also lots of highlights for us as a family.

Are you going to implement any personal changes as a result of Covid-19?

We didn’t use to have a home office but now we do, and we will definitely keep it in place. Our team will continue to work from home and from our office to a larger degree than ever before. I’ve always focused on being present as a parent e.g. ensuring we drop-off/pick-up our kids and that we can pick-up work once they are in bed so this aspect hasn’t changed but I see now more than ever how important this attitude is.

As a person who wears many hats, what is your best advice to avoid burnout?

Be Kind, Be Realistic and Be Focused! Ensuring you're kind to yourself is super important. It’s also important to be realistic about what you can achieve (and by when) and be focused and to distill your priorities.

Do you think businesses will develop new levels of empathy and a greater willingness to talk about mental healthcare as a result of the pandemic?

Gosh I really hope so. I also hope it opens up a wider conversation about how people want to work and the way they work. People are not built the same way and I think it is when we treat them as such, that we create or amplify problems.

What tools do you have in place to encourage ‘positive wellbeing behaviours’ in your workplace?

For us it has been about embracing our team to work from home but also to ensure that their homes don’t become a workplace!

We have spent a lot of time talking about self-care, e.g. going for walks and taking better care of ourselves. We have also encouraged our teams to talk about feeling Zoom(ed) out and encouraged other ways of communication e.g. phone calls etc.

What are you currently curious about?

I am obsessed about the uncertainty in the world right now. I’m finding it hard to focus all day without going through different scenarios in my head. The level of political and social unrest right now is something we haven’t seen for many years and I think we shouldn’t underestimate this environment. I am sure we are currently in the calm before the storm, and I am focusing my energy on preparing for the storm.

If you were going to invest in your future best self, where would you put your time and energy?

Now more than ever, we must all be completely computer literate and understand the channels we work through and the tools most suitable for the tasks ahead. I’ll continue to keep up rather than let others do it for me!

Wellbeing Workshop is dedicated to creating mentally healthier and happier workplaces with face to face and online programs and workshops that enhance employee wellbeing and business performance. Chat to us today about how we can help your people thrive.

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