Working online: keeping connected

Dear all

Following the university’s guidelines in response to the developing coronavirus situation, we will not be able to have face-to-face group discussions. However, we can continue to support you via email.

You can send your questions to and I will monitor and reply on a Tuesday morning.

It is challenging for everyone to have our day-to-day routine completely changed. We also must get used to working remotely, which requires creating space and time at home. This can be more challenging for those with children and other family members who also need to adjust to the changing situation.

Fortunately, we have the technology that enables us to keep in touch and to support each other, although it does not replace face-to-face contact.

It is essential for all of us to feel connected and to know that we are all looking after each other. This way, we can keep motivated and maintain our sense of wellbeing during these extraordinary times.

I will set up an online get-together every Tuesday, at 11:00-12:00. For example, we can cover topics such as how to structure the day to work on your research, writing your dissertation, concentration and motivation, productivity and dealing with procrastination. And for those of you who are concerned about your families back home, we can discuss ways of managing emotions and keeping well.

To join the discussion send me an email to and I will send you the link so you can join in.

If you are concerned about yourself or another doctoral researcher, you can access information about the Counselling and Wellbeing service here, and the Welfare service here.

You can access information and resources to look after yourself here.

You can find further information related to coronavirus here and here on how to manage emotions through this time of uncertainty.

And you can check the Life Tools blog post on managing mental health problems in times of coronavirus here.

Actions that we can all take to prepare the best we can at this time are to look after our health and wellbeing by strengthening our immune system with a healthy diet, exercise, and to keep in contact with others.

As we are required to maintain social distance, we can use technology to speak with friends and family whether they are far away or nearby. It is also important to keep active and engage in activities that you find rewarding.

Keep well and continue learning

Best wishes to all


Dr Alicia Peña Bizama, C. Psychol., AFBPsS
Wellness Consultant
Graduate School (Tuesday mornings)
University of Reading, Graduate School
Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6UA, tel: 0118 378 5063