Well-being and lockdown 3.0
A recent internal roundtable discussion explored staff well-being during lockdown 3.0 and participants included our Mental Health Frist Aider, Sue White and Well-being Champions at Church House, Vedrana Dancerelle and Elana Kruger.
Sue kicked off the virtual discussion by commenting that the relentless challenges of the past year continue to impact stress levels and resilience.
“The hybrid way of working that so many companies have adopted since last March means that there are no clear boundaries which, in turn, can lead to poor or even no work-life balance”, Elana commented. “A mix of personal and professional pressures see many taking on more work, not wanting to let the team down, having to fill in for furloughed team members or stretching themselves whilst working across departments in smaller teams. This exacerbates stress, feeling overwhelmed and in severe cases burnout. Something that really hit the nail on the head for me a few years ago was the analogy of an aeroplane emergency: make sure to put your oxygen mask on first, before helping others.”.
Vedrana agreed that making time for self-care has been a priority. Whether it is going for a daily long walk, trying out a new recipe, or pursuing hobbies. We’ve experienced joy in finding new ways to relax. Sue added that these activities serve a range of purposes, from being active/exercising to mindfulness, being in the moment and thinking of nothing else except the now, and leaving worries far behind. Which is important when so much of the current situation is uncertain and beyond our control.
Elana noted that by connecting, feelings relating to this lack of control and self-worth doubt can be addressed when talking to others. It’s a great way of realising that you are not alone.
“I believe that this year, especially looking within our team, we’ve witnessed conversations about mental health being normalised. We’ve come a long way since Sue was first appointed as a mental health first aider and recently with the introduction of well-being champions”, Vedrana remarked.
Elana expressed hope that whilst the pandemic has brought an acute awareness of mental health, hopefully, a holistic approach will continue post-pandemic for companies to encourage their teams to continue to build and grow resilience.
Sue pointed out that as a result of open discussions as a team, we’ve been able to understand what factors impact positive well-being and then work together to overcome and eradicate these. In addition, regular one-to-one meetings conversations include the question: “How are you looking after yourself?”. Both physical and emotional resources are available, including signposts to external support for those who are cynical.
“Connecting us as a team has created a new sense of community and a workplace culture where we recognise and celebrate achievements, show compassion as well as value and respect input from every member of the team.”, Vedrana added.
In closing, Elana noted that the top-down approach empowers team members when we regularly evaluate what’s working and having the confidence to change what is not working.
Take a look at our commitment to well-being at Church House Westminster and why we believe that mental health matters.