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How to virtually support someone

People love to help each other. But our ways of working have changed. How do you support someone when we’re more virtual than ever before?

"Wellbeing is like a bucket. You need

to have your own bucket full before helping to fill someone else’s. "

Lucas Finch, Head of Wellbeing at Xero.

The Bucket Analogy

When your bucket is full, you have lots of positive energy and are more likely to reach out to others, to connect, and interpret things in a positive way.

When your bucket is empty, it’s the opposite. You might feel lethargic, unmotivated, withdrawn and are more likely to interpret things in a less favourable way.

Keeping your bucket full

Ask yourself what you are doing before, during and after work to build your mental, physical, emotional or even spiritual energy?

Here are a couple of


  • Explore how you’re spending your energy. For example, are you procrastinating by scrolling on social media instead of going for a walk in the fresh air?

  • Consider your habits and rituals as you transition between home life and work life. This could be a simple process like shutting down your laptop to signal the end of the day.

Helping someone with their own bucket

Here are three top tips to supporting virtually.


Fill other people’s buckets by increasing the ratio of positive to negative feedback and comments to them.


Be willing to be vulnerable and empathetic. Listen to what the person is saying or not saying which will help them feel seen and heard.


Use the four Rs;

  • Recognise – You’ve noticed something’s changed

  • Respond – There is no perfect way; start a conversation to check in

  • Refer – Arm yourself with some helpful resources and encourage the person to seek professional support where appropriate

  • Reconnect – Keep regular contact with that person


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