We’re all certainly washing and distancing these days, but some of us are also ideating. When things look grim, we need people to think of ways to make life better, and as it turns out, there’s a lot of thinking going on in this coronavirus pandemic.
We thought it would be a great idea to have a regularly-updated blog that shares some of these great ideas – and ask you to share yours too! Please use the hashtag #CoronavirusSuggestionBox on our social channels and we’ll add your ideas to this post. Keep checking back for new ideas.
Mind your meetings. That’s the message in a new Harvard Business Review essay on productivity during the pandemic. During coronavirus, time spent in meetings has rocketed up, but “this investment of additional time yielded very little,” the article says, while bringing you suggestions on how not to be a time-waster.
Giving Tuesday kicks of the month of December, and NBC News has a comprehensive look at why Giving Tuesday was created and how you can help – on that day and beyond.
The pandemic is pushing many teachers to the brink, The New York Times reports. One way to support them is to make sure their class projects are funded. DonorsChoose is a great way to do that, and help schools in your community or whatever neighborhood you’d like.
Black churches are stepping up to offer mental health resources for their congregations, according to Kaiser Health News. “Some are preaching about mental health from the pulpit for the first time,” the article reports, and others are adding therapists to church staff. These actions are closing a gap in communities of color that have been hard hit by COVID and racial unrest, but at a disadvantage when it comes to accessing mental health services.
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith appears on NPR’s ‘Life Kit’ show, just in time to help us handle grief during the holidays: “We all have our own language for what we’ve lived and what loss feels like. Sharing that, you know – an occasion like a funeral, you think, oh, I’ve got to say something big, something wise. But the small things are maybe even more necessary to pass along, you know, the tiny things that make you realize that what you shared was this huge, ongoing thing that wasn’t just big moments, you know, not even primarily big moments, but that’s made up of all these really small, priceless things.”
This month, as the U.S. reached a grim milestone of 10 million COVID cases, workplace safety tightened in many states, like Oregon, New Jersey and Michigan. Check your state’s own health department guidelines for updates, and revisit our Coronavirus Business Resilience Survey to make sure employees at work know about workplace safety and are taking it to heart.
Younger workers are craving a return to offices and job sites, and may be stressing out more than their older counterparts due to work-from-home restrictions. Those are some the results of a new Envoy survey detailed in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
The Red Cross has a list of desperately needed volunteer opportunities, including shelter services, blood donor support and virtual, volunteer-from-home opportunities. They even have a quiz to match you with the right volunteer gig.
That long, pandemic hair of yours might make the perfect wig for someone suffering from cancer. Consider donating your overgrown locks for this good cause.
COVID stress isn’t taking a break for the holidays, and might hobble people even more. So the Louisville Courier-Journal has some tips for tamping down the stress so you can get on with celebrating.
The long-running pandemic is taking a mental-health toll on Americans, CBS News reports. But new reports offer hope that a highly effective vaccine by pharmaceutical firm Pfizer may be further along than we thought.
Some potentially great news for those concerned about return-to-work safety: Scientists have used gene-editing CRISPR tech to create a coronavirus test that yields results in 5 minutes. The test “could potentially be deployed at doctor’s offices, schools, and office buildings,” according to this Science Magazine article.
A new infographic survey in Forbes shows how employers and employees are feeling about innovation, safety and flexible working. One interesting finding: 92% of execs say COVID has forced them to rethink how they work, but 47% say making things go back the way they were is their priority.
Hunger is becoming a more dire problem as COVID cases rise, and layoffs and unemployment continue. At this Feeding America site, you can help by finding a food bank near you and making a donation of food or cash.
October 10 is World Mental Health Day – so it’s a great day, or month for that matter, to contact, support or spread the word about mental health organizations, like Care for Your Coronavirus Anxiety, Punkpost’s letters of encouragement campaign, and the Crisis Text Line free counseling service.
Remote work maybe heating up more office rivalries, which brings up the question of whether healthy competition at work is truly good for company culture. Our short answer: Not really.
Fortune has an impressive list of the best benefits companies are offering to working parents as back-to-school approaches. Perks run the gamut from virtual learning pods to information on where to buy PPE.
Business Insider has come up with a few tips to find out if a company’s culture is toxic before you accept a job offer.
All kinds of volunteer opportunities abound and Powerof has a searchable database so you can find the one that fits your location, talents and areas of interest.
September is Self Care Awareness Month, so WABI in Bangor, ME, has rolled out some ways to take good care of yourself as COVID lingers on.
Google has a self-assessment tool that may help you figure out what kind of medical or mental health care you need if your’e not feeling 100% during the pandemic.
Can dad jokes ease the pain? Fatherly.com things so, with a list of 28 quips to “retrain your face how to smile.”
Bankrate has weighed with a handy guide for college grads on navigating what can be a difficult job market, with bonus tips on how to live on a budget as you await job offers.
Employees who aren’t affected by layoffs are still affected, CNN reports, and offers a few ways to support workers through the guilt and fear that often accompany a reduction in force.
During COVID, people are more concerned with their financial well-being rather than their physical well-being, a recent Salesforce Research survey shows. That is one of 10 stats we’ve gathered from recent polls and research around culture, COVID and work.
‘OSHA is AWOL’: The Tampa Bay Times has a startling investigative look at the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s response, or lack thereof, to workplace safety complaints related to coronavirus.
COVID-19 may have some pluses for work culture that will last beyond the pandemic, preliminary findings from Concordia University research shows.
NBC reports an urgent need for more convalescent plasma donations to help coronavirus patients. If you’ve recently and fully recovered from COVID-19, the Red Cross has information on how you can donate lifesaving plasma.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is using his 70th birthday to raise money for singer Jewel’s Inspiring Children foundation, which is helping underserved children amid the pandemic. The 8 p.m. ET event will feature celebrities including Octavia Spencer, Shaquille O’Neal, and of course Jewel, who will MC.
Psychologist moms have come to the rescue of parents trying to handle COVID anxiety with a “PPE” (Pandemic Parent Exchange) website offering “science-based knowledge, experience and resources” to help families deal with pandemic stress.
Marc Silver’s NPR essay on the parallels of sacrifice between cancer and coronavirus offers some perspective to strengthen our resolve, in this year that none of us thought we’d have.
CultureIQ has launched some new ways to help organizations thrive amid all the changes coming at them. Here’s a complete guide to our new offerings, approach and framework.
Making change is hard to do – and easy to undo. We’ve found some ways to make transformation stick.
Restaurants are reshuttering and really need your help. The Robb Report serves up a bunch of ways that you can help these businesses survive during the pandemic.
Evictions may loom for tens of thousands of tenants who lost jobs due to the pandemic. Here’s a list of charities who offer housing assistance to help, from the United Way.
Connect with the world, one window at a time in a calming, amazing and life-affirming virtual journey, courtesy of WindowSwap.
NBC Los Angeles offers some tips – especially for women and people of color, to combat quarantine fatigue.
Week of June 22-26
CultureIQ Principal Strategist Paul Mastrangelo is among thought leaders exploring how COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement will change how we work in this Built In webinar.
How can companies be truly inclusive? We’ve gathered four ways that firms can start their efforts to support Black employees and create a better working environment for everyone.
Bang for the buck: A lot of communities are relying on fireworks sales for fundraisers. Which is bound to keep things louder through July 4. If you don’t like it loud, a quieter way to help is to donate to the parks that are helping so many of us get exercise and fresh air during this National Outdoors Month.
Reaching out: The Coalition to End Social Isolation has resources to fight loneliness affecting many people during these many weeks of distancing.
Week of June 15-19
Reopening your office? Be really careful how you clean, warns this article in the Insurance Journal. There’s a fine line between appropriately sanitizing and inappropriately exposing your employees to harmful chemical agents.
The Neighborhood Funders Group has a large list of organizations that serve communities of color greatly affected by the pandemic, and greatly in need of your support.
To get a handle on what is happening with COVID in your area of the U.S., you should focus on the right numbers. Rt.live tracks the rate of coronavirus transmission, a key indicator of how fast the virus is growing. “If Rt is above 1.0, the virus will spread quickly. When Rt is below 1.0, the virus will stop spreading,” the site explains. Rt.live was build by Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger.
Week of June 8-12
The CDC has put together a handy assessment tool to gauge COVID hazards employees may still face in office buildings, and how to avoid those risks.
The coronavirus infection rate is declining in many parts of the U.S. but still at devastating levels in many countries. Doctors Without Borders is asking for donations to assist people in nations hard-hit by the virus.
Pass it on to moms: Psychology Today has some guidance on dealing with the pandemic for the single moms who face unique challenges during the crisis.
Robots to the rescue: Kiosk Marketplace has an interesting rundown of the ways that AI and the creatures powered by it are helping reduce virus risks.
Week of June 1-5
What employers do in a crisis matters to their employees and their culture. To find out how much, read the full report of our 2020 Global Work Culture Survey. It’s available for download now.
The GWCS showed the cultural downside of employers doing nothing in the COVID crisis. These Harvard Business Review authors also points to damage that can be done if organizations don’t break their silence and speak out against racism.
June is Pride month, and there’s an online fundraiser June 4 featuring a lot of Broadway actors and singers who will perform to help LGBTQ+ homeless youth, who are enduring “a perfect storm” created by the COVID pandemic.
Attending a protest raises risks of spreading or contracting the coronavirus. If you or friends and family want to join marches, Vox shows you what you need to do to keep safe.
Week of May 26-29
MIT’s Sloan Management Review has a podcast on “Making Remote Work Work,” that encourages leaders to “take a fresh look at remote work and how it can become not just something we suffer through, but something that actually helps us excel.”
It’s charitable run season, and charitable runs are still possible, with some modifications, as this AP story in the Martinsville Bulletin points out.
This Chronicle of Higher Education resource for teachers facing COVID-19 burnout offers some good de-stress lessons for everyone.
Week of May 18-22
We’ve just updated our Coronavirus Business Resilience Survey to a Phase 2 tool that covers all work scenarios, so you can connect with your workforce if they are still remote, preparing to return, already back or never left the job site.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has released its guidelines for reopening businesses, and CNBC summarizes what they mean, and includes the full CDC document for your review.
Square has just joined Twitter in creating a permanent work from home option for all employees. If your employer follows suit, Think with Google has a few tips on how to be an effective 100% remote employee.
Country music stars like Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney are tuning up to help feed front-line workers in a virtual fundraiser set to air live May 20 on the CMT network during mealtimes 9 a.m. CST, 1 p.m. CST and 7 p.m. CST — via CMT’s Facebook and YouTube channels.
The nonprofit Fund for Financial Planning has created a new COVID fund to “bring pro bono financial planning and advice to low-income workers and other groups impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.” And there’s a dollar-for-dollar match on!
There may be coronavirus-related financial help that you qualify for, but are unaware of. NBC details some of the relief measures, including help with utility bills, rent, insurance and paid leave.
If you have a pet, along with concerns about social distancing, there are telehealth options for the animals in your life, too. This Wirecutter article shows you how you can get care for your best friends remotely.
Week of May 11-15
Distractions are in full bloom this remote-work spring, so Fast Company has 8 tips on how to beat them.
Consumer Reports offers food for thought for employers in this list of 5 questions employees should ask before heading back into the office.
Fans can bid to join their favorite baseball stars like Patrick Corbin and Juan Soto in a charity/video game Call of Duty tournament set for May 16. Among the charities benefitting: No Kid Hungry, Pros for Heroes, Sufficient Grace and Homers for Heroes.
Thrive Global gathered a bunch of free coping resources for families dealing with different kinds of pandemic-related issues.
A local news broadcaster in Utah has a nice tribute – and some good cleaning tips – from the new front line in defending workers against COVID: janitorial staff.
Week of May 4-8
In the rush to get back to normal, organizations need to avoid the trap of overwork. We have some ways to stop the grind.
We’ve also put out a reminder – with some good stats behind it – that keeping employees’ spirits high will elevate customer satisfaction as well. And there’s no better time to find ways to give your workforce a morale booster!
Actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick are behind a great effort to feed workers on the front lines and support struggling restaurants at the same time:
Planet Money has a few tips on how to get the biggest impact from your charitable giving, including how to put funds directly into the hands of those that need aid.
The International Rescue Committee helps communities most at risk from the global pandemic. They matched donations up to $50,000 through Giving Tuesday, May 5–check back for other matching opportunities.
This weekend is Mother’s Day – for those wondering how to connect with mom while distancing at the same time, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has gift ideas that have you covered.
And speaking of family, John Hopkins is offering nice relationship advice to keep couples’ bonds healthy, even when flushed with cabin fever.
Week of April 27-May 1
We have a lot of new insights about creating a culture that meets employees’ needs in our new normal. Get a first look at results from our Global Workforce Culture Survey (U.S. edition).
The SHRM site has a coronavirus resource page loaded with HR forms, policies and news about getting back to work, sick leave, employee screening and other tools.
Virtual meetings too bulky? Break them up into smaller meetings! This Harvard Business Review article shows you how.
People still need food, and hospitals still need PPE. CNET has some ways to keep up the good help.
Grantmakers for Education gathered some great ways to donate to educators trying keep learning, nutrition and support going even if school buildings are closed.
Diddy does it: Hip-hop mogul Sean Combs has launched Our Fair Share, a platform to connect minority business owners with funds from the Paycheck Protection Program–and they’re seeking lending partners. “I created Our Fair Share to help entrepreneurs play on an even playing field and give them a chance to survive with the hope to thrive,” Combs said in a statement announcing the. launch.
If you are concerned about returning to work, or having your team members do so, the National Employment Law Project has put together a toolkit on worker safety and health during COVID-19 that offers guidance to employees, policymakers and employers as well.
Parents and students can get information on loan forbearance, repayments and have get other federal student aid questions answered at this U.S. education department site.
Week of April 20-24
If working remotely is going well, but leading remotely is another matter, CultureIQ’s David Shanklin has some solid ways to stay steady at the helm in our 5 Pillars of Remote Leadership guide.
Aptitude Research Founder Madeline Laurano joins jobvite.com for a new webinar on how to recruit the best candidates in a remote world. She advises the that some small changes and different tools can make a world of difference in attracting the right talent.
Is it worth applying for a job now? Marketplace says yes, and tells you why. They also say its OK to ask your prospective employer how they handled COVID-19, if you do it carefully..
Attention philanthropic potatoes: This week the Volunteer from Your Couch organization was comfortably launched. The group gathers opportunities for wanna-be volunteers stuck at home – no experience needed and “pajamas encoraged.”
Have some time to volunteer during the crisis, but not sure how? Check out VolunteerMatch, a nonprofit that connects you with volunteer opportunities in your ZIP code.
A new NPR podcast recommended by one of our strategists offers “sound advice on how to talk about science and COVID-19 without making others feel defensive.”
You might as well dance: USA Today gathers up some great TikTok moves that can help you energize at home.
If social distancing has you down, the American Psychological Association has some ways to deal with that.
And Travel & Leisure brings on the fun – with 100 things you can do to relax and distract – from museum tours to animal cams.
Week of April 13-17
Forbes outlines a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) saying that many people will still be working from home even after COVID-19 disappears. It may be time to start preparing for this new reality.
Protecting your remote workforce is about protecting security, too, says HR Daily Advisor in this great post that features some excellent cybersecurity tips.
The FBI is warning that scammers are providing some employers with false reports of employees testing positive for COVID-19, and this CNN story offers advice on how to spot bogus test results.
So many nonprofits are helping with coronavirus. How do you decide where to give? CharityNavigator.org has a list of the highest-rated organizations that may merit your money.
CultureIQ has started a food drive with YouGiveGoods, to get food where it’s needed most as COVID-19 stretches food pantries thin. YouGiveGoods is a platform that allows individuals and companies to purchase items for direct distribution to charities in need.
Universities are stepping up: Classrooms may be empty, but ideas and initiatives abound at these Illinois-area universities and at campuses across the nation. You can help by donating to the schools that are focusing on the COVID-19 fight.
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Some of cope by arming ourselves with information. If that’s you, then VisualCapitalist has a collection of compelling data to keep you up to date on the pandemic.
Stay sharp and lower stress with USA Today’s mental fitness tips.
Week of March April 6-10
Trying to find a job during these trying times? Forbes has some ways you can hunt effectively.
There are a couple of concert extravaganzas on the way that are helping raise fund for coronavirus. Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and other stars will country-rock you remotely when Farm Aid arrives on April 11, and Lady Gaga and the World Health Organization bring you the likes of Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon tri-hosting the star-packed One World: Together at Home concert on April 18.
CNN launched an easy to navigate guide that points your philanthropy in the direction you want it to go. There are also plenty of resources for coping included.
Facebook is updating its Community Help feature to connect helpers with those in need.
When can you get financial help? Vox’s CARES Act guide navigates readers through the confusing network of unemployment benefits, stimulus checks and loans that are becoming available under the new legislation.
Vox also has some great advice for people trying to get reluctant elderly parents to adopt social distancing.
Working, Helping and Coping
This Paul Simon parodyby our own Paul Mastrangelo covers all of the bases – give a listen!
Week of March 30-April 3
CultureIQ has launched a Remote Work Guidance Center to help organizations support and engage their workforce during the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve kicked things off with an e-guide on handing pressure, remote-work strategies, and best practices for onboarding remote employees, and we’ll add more resources in the coming weeks.
The Today show has some good tips from therapists on setting boundaries between work and home when you’re working from home.
CO, the publication of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is offering 7 tips on how to improve company culture remotely.
If you or your employees have to be physically present to work, OSHA has guidelines to help them stay safe.
Don’t really need that stimulus check? Consider donating it, says The New York Times, who provides a long list of worthy charities who might need it more than you.
Many resources across the country are popping up to help elderly and disabled people get the food and medicines they need while in isolation. There are ways to help from the NY metro area to the Midwest to the California coast. And giving a hand can be as easy as calling or leaving a note for a neighbor to ask if they need anything.
Buzzfeed gets personal with some advice on helping friends and loved ones who have the coronavirus.
Fight globally by donating to UNICEF, so it can help people who have the most limited resources to battle coronavirus.
An inspiring New York City doctor on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak explains clearly and reassuringly what people need to do to protect themselves in this video.
This Harvard Business Review has an amazing Q&A with grief expert David Kessler, on what’s really unsettling us about this pandemic.
This adorable Facebook video series combines comedy with good coronavirus advice – from an expert called Pluto. Relax and let this dog lead you.
The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill has a strong list of coping strategies to ease pandemic anxiety and fear.
Who says wolverines can’t calm you down? The University of Michigan has gathered some great relaxation videos.
Week of March 23-27
Some good news about working from home from USA Today: If you’re remote, you’ll probably be saving money.
Silicon Republic has unearthed a fabulous crowdsourced remote work survival kit – created by more than 100 volunteers from around the world, and its full of updatable best practices, productivity-enhancing tips and other useful stuff.
It’s vital that companies keep a finger on the pulse of their scattered and stressed workforce, so we’ve just released our Coronavirus Business Resilience Survey package to help them – you can find it on the CultureIQ platform if you are a customer, and there’s also a free downloadable version for non-customers.
HR.com has created a helpful chatbot and comprehensive guide (further down on the linked page) to answer HR leaders’ questions on coronavirus travel policies, remote-work guides, leadership responsibilities and legal issues.
The BBC gives us a lot of inspiration from Italy on how communities, and a country, can unite and find ways to celebrate even under COVID-19’s shadow.
Fight those feelings of helplessness by joining or creating a mutual aid group in your community – The New York Times has the lowdown on how to do it.
NPR has some great suggestions on charitable giving that include starting in your own back yard, and avoiding scams.
The New York Times lists many ways you can assist charities, doctors, children and individuals coping with COVID-19.
Fight coronavirus falsehoods by sharing these myth-busting tidbits from the the World Health Organization.
Take two apps and text me: Increasingly, people are turning to tech to help them ease anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic. Vox tells you about a few ways to soothe yourself digitally.
No Kid Hungry, Save the Children and a bunch of celebrities are helping kids learn with a free reading series offered on Instagram, called #SAVEWITHSTORIES.
Clean therapy: Wired has a good guide on how to disinfect practically everything – and some skin care tips to follow after all that disinfecting.
Get kids in the game: Microsoft is offering free educational lessons on Minecraft for those trying to tame restless remote kids.
There’s an effort on in our company to find our centers in this chaotic world, so we thought we’d suggest you do the same – Ten Percent Happier is offering coronavirus sanity tools, including free guided meditation every day. Namaste.
Some great suggestions and guidance from Harvard Health on what to do about doctors’ appointments and how to take care of yourself and your family.
There’s a party going on right here: At #ClubQuarantine on Instagram (and in Twitter posts everywhere), DJ D-Nice is creating the world’s biggest remote block party, attracting political candidates, music legends and Kardashians alike. He played for hours on Saturday and Sunday night, and will be spinning again soon.
Week of March 16-20
We’ve just added a new post on 8 ways that employers can support their remote workforce – among other things, it recommends that employers be much more tolerant of strange hours, and managers be much less distant.
The flood of remote workers is leaving the door open to more cybercrime. Make sure your leaders take inventory of how employees are accessing company sites and materials remotely, and that they have the right tools and guidance to work securely. Also, communicate regularly with your workforce about the need to practice good digital hygiene, with strong passwords and multi-factor authentications if possible.
Here’s a collection of ways you can make working from home more joyful, and if you want to take the joy up a notch into howls of laughter, here’s collection of Tweets from Fast Company about remote work gone awry.
There is an enormous need for medical supplies, and makers are stepping up. If you or anyone you know has a sewing machine, hospitals desperately need you to make home-made CDC compliant surgical masks.
Them. has put together a comprehensive list of resources to help LGBTQIA+ people affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Late night comedians are monologuing from home to help raise funds for those who need food and care. You can get a little comic relief and help a good cause at the same time.
Coronavirus anxiety is real, and you can fight it sight these very helpful tools gathered by the the team at Shine, in partnership with Shine, in partnership with Mental Health America. Check them out at the “Care for Your Coronavirus Anxiety” site.
From a CultureIQ remote employee: “My partner and I just discovered this chrome extension called “Netflix Party.” Install the extension and then when you go to watch Netflix you generate a link to send to those you want to invite, so that you’re all watching the same thing at the same time (instead of trying to sync up your viewing), and there is a running chat along the side that you can use to talk. She and I are in binge-watching heaven, and it keeps us connected when we can’t be around each other. Highly recommend!
Have kids at home and want to them to keep up their writing skills- and get them out of a funk? One parent we know suggests having them write letters (or emails) to their friends to keep their literary engines running, and fight those isolated feelings. For smaller kids, sending drawings will do, too!
We’re casting our ideation netting out on social too, so please keep a lookout for #CoronavirusSuggestionBox and add your brainstorms!