Are any other HR people feeling a bit lonely in all this :(


Sorry its a self indulgent one.

Just wondering if anyone else is feeling a bit lonely?  I have streams of people coming in to my office concerned about it and asking what our plans are for WFH and sickness and about 101 other queries and being openly worried and I have to sit here and be the cabin crew and exude calmness.  Yet I am just as concerned as everyone else.

Managers and Directors etc look to us for calm, measured guidance and practical advice, and being so close to the 'inner circle' and hearing first hand the impact on the business etc.....very worrying, I'm feeling a bit forgotten about and just wondered if anyone else is feeling the same?  It just feels like sometimes people forget that we count as employees too?  

  • I am late to checking community posts, I hope you are feeling much better now, Samantha. You are not alone. It is what many are feeling. Acknowledging the feeling is a good step I think. It is a very distressing time for all. This is HR's time and many organisations have been pleasantly surprised at how HR teams were able to quickly transition organisations to working from home (WFH) for example, and managing not just operations, but mental health and wellbeing. HR teams comprise individual employees, which too often can be forgotten. It can be a lonely time especially for those who live alone. Remaining connected and grounded can differ from person to person. Restructuring daily routines, connecting with networks, and setting goals to work towards has helped some people. I found myself dwelling on the past or anxious about the future, but daily meditation, finding things to be grateful for everyday, and keeping my mind occupied with positive pursuits in my spare time (e.g. I signed up for online courses) has helped me some.
  • In reply to Peter:

    Hi Peter
    We spoke a while back......I tried to message you but it said access denied.....? I'm really struggling, I've made a big mistake at work.....
  • In reply to Amanda Jane Roberts:

    I can't imagine why. We're not supposed to give personal details on the main site here, but Steve, the site Moderator, has my phone numbers and personal email. Contact him and he has my permission to pass them on to you. ("Help" at the top of the page here, then "email moderator") I have tried PM-ing you too just now and it's giving me the message "cannot connect". I have all my message settings open to all, so there must be a fault somewhere.

    Call ANY time. I don't do office hours any more :-)


  • Yes! Absolutely! I seem to get asked questions like I work for the government. There is this expectation that we are the all knowing oracle on COVID-19. Sharing is good and networking imperative in this climate. You're not alone.
  • In reply to Angie:

    I feel the same - the oracle of all knowledge. The fact that Mr Google does have some information for people to find themselves seems to be lost, unless they use Mr Google for shopping!
  • Hi just stumbled across your forum and found it really interesting. I am really struggling. I am used to an extremely busy workload, travelling/working from home/classroom training & webinars engrossed totally in my work, however I am still furloughed with no date of getting back to work. It feels as though Lockdown has eased, people are getting back to work but the people like myself who are furloughed and want to work are forgotten about. Just wondered if anyone else was feeling the same.
  • For those colleagues engaging in the violent pummeling of home-made bread as a therapeutic stress relief during the current crisis, rather then doing the same to other managers (see sections earlier in this thread), I have discovered a new recipe you might like to try: Rosemary bread!

    At the present time wholemeal bread flour seems to have almost vanished from existence and although white bread flour also seems in short supply, it can still be found. However, given the lack of flavour in plain white bread, eking out the wholemeal can still add some flavour and this recipe adds even more.

    For a 500gm (large) loaf:
    100gm strong Wholemeal bread flour;
    400gm strong White flour
    1.5 tsp salt
    1 tsp brown sugar
    1.5 tsp dried yeast or instant (quick) yeast
    1 (good) tsp dried rosemary crushed or chopped into small fragments
    300 ml warm water
    1 tsp corn oil

    If using dried yeast, mix sugar, yeast and 100 ml of water and stand to one side to activate for about 10 minutes. If using instant yeast, add sugar and yeast to flours.

    Mix flours, salt, and rosemary thoroughly in a large bowl; add remaining water/yeast and water, and oil.

    Imagining favourite manager who cannot read the latest furlough instructions for themselves, pummel, beat and strangle the initially sticky mass into cowed and smooth submission (this is technically called "kneading the dough" and usually takes about 15 minutes). When the dough is elastic, pliable and no longer sticky (as one would wish manager to be), set aside in a warm place to rise. This normally takes about an hour (plenty of time for a now cheerful meeting with that manager on-line).

    Prepare your loaf-tin if you have one, or grease a baking sheet with a little oil

    When the dough is approximately doubled in size remove from bowl and briefly knead again (if meeting has gone well, or try not to pummel it too hard if it has not). The idea is to get rid of excess bubbles of gas in the bread (a bit like the manager), but not to flatten it back into a single quivering mass (save that for manager's next furlough question).

    When again smooth but still springy place in baking tin, or on baking sheet as a single "cottage" loaf, two baguettes, or smaller rolls. Score the top of large loaves with a very sharp knife to avoid split "fly-away" crusts. Set aside to rise again for about 30 minutes while heating oven to 220 degrees/200 degrees fan. Bake for 30-35 minutes until crusts brown and when tapped the bottom of the loaf sounds "hollow" and drum-like.

    Allow to cool (more or less) and eat either by itself with butter or with cheese, ham, or honey. (But try not to eat the whole loaf at once; it is very more-ish).


  • In reply to Gillian James:

    Hi Gillian, Welcome to the Communities.

    I shouldn't worry too much about not being immediately recalled, they will soon discover that they need you as post-lockdown complications of who can/cannot work/come back to work become apparent. I also fear there might be a rapid "U-turn" if numbers of infections start to rise again.

    It is frustrating, but trying to keep "in the picture" is all anyone can do until the politicians, medical experts, and business SMTs have all stopped playing socially-distanced tug-of-war with the current situation.

    Meanwhile let's all be clear: We might have made progress on testing, but we have NO vaccine; NO cures, and NO reliable therapies, we also remain in the dark as to what the overall effects and long term complications of this horribly unpredictable virus is, So in spite of all the frustrations and desires to get back to productive work:

    ...STAY SAFE.


  • In reply to Peter:

    Oh thanks for this Peter! I'm definitely giving that one a go especially after the meeting I've just had with an employee who is arguing that he should never had been furloughed and whose manager has not done as asked before his return and found alternative seating arrangements to enable social distancing etc. Ahh!
  • Any one who manages to work through this period will come out the other side with much much more experience and confidence. After this it will back to normal life and I guess work.
  • In reply to Peter:

    Nice one Peter!

    In the absence of the usual wholemeal flour I tried wholemeal buckwheat flour in the bread machine - so no pummeling at this end. Unfortunately I used 100% buckwheat rather than the 25-50% recommended and ended up with a brick loaf. Just about edible, but not to be recommended.
  • In reply to Tom:

    Ah, yes.... Moderation in all things, especially buckwheat! :-)

  • Thank you for expressing this Samantha. I work in HR and definitely am feeling a lot of this stress. With hiring layoffs, I'm worried about job security and how I can future-proof my job. I spent most of lockdown in my city worrying, but I came across some advice by other HR professionals. I think I've taken a more positive outlook now to things, trying to figure out how I can value-add further even if I'm no longer hiring. This includes keeping the relationship with other talent warm by sending them updates on my company/ checking in with them, and even trying to pick up new skills like recruitment marketing and other recruitment software/tools to help me prepare for the new world of HR after the pandemic. Hang in there!
  • Hi Samantha
    I really feel your pain on this. Everyone looks to us for advice, help, support.. and a moan! But, where do we go? I have had fantastic feedback from my staff about the support they have received from me... however my employer really doesn't understand that I (we as HR professionals) are human too and not only have our own worries but that of all our staff too.
  • Hi Samantha

    Bit late to this but thanks to you and everyone else for sharing. I’ve been reading through the contributions and you only have to look at the volume to see this is a real issue

    In HR we often have to carry the load for others and put our own feelings aside but who supports HR? Now more than ever it’s important to look after yourself. I’m no longer in a “frontline” role but remember that feeling of isolation well and putting my own needs (and family often) to the back of the queue so that I could sort out others first. We do what we do because we love helping others but at times we forget to look after ourselves

    If you don’t have a person in your organisation you can turn to, how about using this fabulous network, or even finding a qualified coach as they may give you the space to recalibrate and provide an extra tier of support. I’m not sure words are that useful right now so practically I’d be happy to give any of you some free coaching time (if that’s allowed on here!), I’m not selling anything, nor do I want anything in return. I just know what it feels like to feel alone. I’m sure some of my fellow coaches would too, so please reach out if you need some support, rather than carrying the burden on your own.

    Above all keep doing the marvellous job you do. I’m sure people do appreciate it even if they don’t take the time to say so at the time. At some point we will all emerge out of the other side, with a few extra lessons and tools in our tool bag!

    Take care :)