4 things you can do to make working in a salon during the COVID-19 epidemic easier
Working during the epidemic is a horrible strain on both your physical and mental health. You may suffer from a plethora of different symptoms, from permanent tiredness to full-on panic attacks. Let’s be real now – it’s impossible to fully eliminate these feelings, to just simply stop fearing for your job, finances or health. Nevertheless, there are a few things you can do to make working during the coronavirus outbreak easier – both for yourself and your employees. Without any further ado, let’s take a look at these little tips and tricks that will bring some much-needed comfort to your work environment!
Introduce “me breaks”
Although the restrictions make us more isolated than ever, ironically, nowadays we also need more “me time” than ever. Many salon employees complain that it’s very hard for them to rest between their appointments, eat their meals or simply catch a breath (and if you read our article with tips on how to make working in a face covering more comfortable, you know how important it is). Although being in a rush that disallows you from taking a bite of a sandwich is something that hits too close to home for all hair and beauty professionals, regardless of the epidemic, usually you manage to munch on something quickly while chatting with your colleagues. Nowadays, taking off your face covering to eat around other people, even if you work with them on a daily basis, is very stressful for some. Is there anything that can be done about it?
Yes, there is – and it can be very beneficial. Consider introducing “me breaks” – breaks dedicated to particular employees, during which they can count on having a minute of total “all by myself” time. Plan an (online) meeting with your employees and discuss the concept with them. Together, you would roughly plan the times of the day in which every staff member would have their longer “me break”. In the hair and beauty industry, working schedules are rather flexible, so it would be up to you to plan the exact time of “me breaks” for every week. If you have more than one back room in your salon, dedicate one of them for breaks. If it is not possible, try to separate such an area with furniture, screens or even curtains. This way, all of your staff members could count on having a quiet, alone moment throughout the day, which they could dedicate to eating, breathing without their masks or simply relaxing.
If you are using Versum, planning and managing the “me breaks” will be a breeze. Our system allows you to easily create work schedules (and all of your employees have remote access to their calendar!). You can also plan custom breaks for your staff with just a few clicks. You won’t get lost, appointments won’t clash or overlap and you can be sure of complete security – you assign your employees with different access levels and have full control over the appointment book.
Limit the time you spend checking the news
Yes, you need to be aware of the current situation both as a business owner and a conscious human being. However, there is a difference between getting a healthy dose of updates and anxiously checking the news reports after each appointment. The World Health Organisation has issued advice on protecting your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak, and among all the recommendations, they included limiting watching, reading or listening to news about COVID-19 that causes you to feel anxious or distressed. Do not go through the rabbit hole of countless articles and videos that bring you nothing except new waves of tension. Keep in mind that there is a lot of misinformation surrounding the virus and many websites or TV channels fight for your attention by exaggerating delivered information. Use trustworthy sources of information only.
If your employees keep winding up one another by discussing the topic over and over again all day long, encourage them to slow down a bit as well. You cannot (and shouldn’t!) restrain them from talking about the virus, but share WHO’s advice with them and kindly suggest to let go of the topic just a little bit.
Take care of proper nutrition
It’s a fact that eating well-rounded meals not only gives you much-needed energy, but also boosts your immune system, making you less prone to infections. Specialists from our industry are notorious for their poor eating habits – it’s a common joke that hairdressers and beauticians run on coffee and a bite of a banana. Although very true, it’s not something we should promote. Your health is way too important to give up on your daily required nutrients in the name of “better performance”.
Healthy and tasty snacks will not only keep your body work-ready but will also put you in a brighter mood. Celebrating your meal break soothes your nerves and keeps you cheerful, which is absolutely crucial in current circumstances. Let’s take a look at a list of delicious snacks that will be perfect to bite into between your appointments:
- Greek yogurt with muesli, slices of banana and pieces of dark chocolate
- Cottage cheese with berries and pumpkin seeds
- Oatmeal pancakes
- Carrots with hummus
- Chia pudding with vanilla and banana
- Muesli bars
- Roasted chickpeas
- Nuts and delicacies
- A banana or an apple with nut butter
- Pita chips with vegetable paste
- A dark chocolate bar
If you are a salon owner, you should not only eat well yourself, but also encourage your staff to do so as well. Check our article on maintaining a productive and happy salon team during COVID-19 – one of the ways to support your staff is to treat them with little snacks once in a while! Due to the safety hazards, it would be best if you choose delicacies packed separately, such as muesli or chocolate bars. If your finances allow it, you can even introduce “Sweet Saturdays” or “Fruity Fridays”, where you treat your employees regularly!
Cut yourself some slack
Many hair and beauty specialists experience various negative effects of working during the epidemic, ranging from small inconveniences (like permanently dry skin on hands, caused by their constant washing) to really difficult issues (like full-on panic attacks at work).
The smaller problems, although very annoying, usually can be fixed or at least eased to some extent by a few adjustments.
- Breakouts caused by wearing a mask can be kept in line thanks to an improved skincare routine (look for gentle products with hyaluronic acid and ceramides for your cleansers, tonics and moisturisers, and for a good special treatment with salicylic acid).
- The state of the skin on your hands can be improved by using soaps and disinfectants that have moisturising properties. If possible, opt for buying such products for your salon. You should also stock on good quality hand creams that can restore skin lipids and moisture level (once again: seek for hand care with ceramides!).
The bigger issues may require contacting a specialist. If you feel like the situation overwhelms you, seek professional help – it is the best and most responsible thing to do! Check the materials delivered by the UK’s Mental Health Foundation regarding the current situation. If you are in need of a helpline, you can find a list of mental health charities on the NHS’ website.
Finally – regardless of the scale of your problems, be gentle to yourself. You are under a lot of pressure and are absolutely doing your best. You have the right to be less talkative than normal, to look tired, to make mistakes, and to have panic attacks. As a salon owner, be understanding to your employees. Be also understanding of yourself and don’t let the feelings of guilt over your normal, human emotions weigh you down even more (read more about the problem of recurring guilt in the salon). Take extra care of yourself – you need it and you deserve it!
Working effectively during the COVID-19 epidemic is one thing – making it safe and as disburdening as possible should be your true goal. In order to boost your salon’s performance, instead of pushing yourself and your staff beyond the boundaries, try an effective digital solution that will help you with management, marketing and even selling online. Give Versum a chance and let yourself rest a little, while the smart system does the work for you!