An interconnected world and constant news cycle can be a lot to take in. It's no surprise that people around the world feel the strain of trying to maintain happy households, healthy habits, positive social lives, a strong work ethic, and so on. With each of us being pulled in different directions, we spoke to some of our people from across our teams in the UK to share their top well-being initiatives that help them maintain balance throughout the working week. Whether it’s an individual pursuit or a team initiative, we hope there’s something beneficial for everyone to adopt.
Balancing wellness at work
When Hannah Kelly, Vice President & Head of Meetings Management and Life Sciences, leads a team meeting that finishes early, she encourages everyone on her team to take the remaining 10-15 minutes to leave their desk and get outside for fresh air, where they can listen to their environment and spend some time practicing mindfulness.
The team has also found that picking unconventional settings for their meetings, such as a fleet of paddleboards down the Thames, helped to boost productivity as well as wellbeing and team spirit.
Viola Corsini, Senior Director of Operations | Meetings Management and Life Sciences
My go-to stress buster is Zumba. Because other people rely on me, I have to stop working and go. When I have to come up with new choreographies, my mind has to be focused on the music and everything else goes onto the back burner.
As a global company, some of our teams operate remotely, from various locations, and across different time zones. In February 2022, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) conducted a survey in which half of the hybrid workers across Great Britain (47%) reported improved well-being due to increased home working. At BCD M&E, we are aware of the advantages homeworking offers to our employees, however, we believe that extra care needs to be taken to ensure people working from home feel equally connected and supported by their colleagues.
To build and maintain positive relationships across their remote team, the Marketing department holds daily calls where they cover personal updates and work. They also hold quarterly social meets (which are held face to face whenever possible) and avoid scheduling any meetings on a Friday to encourage a more balanced week.
Zana Yassin, Strategic Content Specialist | Global Marketing
When I first started working remotely, I often struggled to clock off at the end of my working day. So I got into the habit of going for a run at exactly 5:30 PM. In addition to the psychological benefits of physical exercise, this creates a clear end to my working day and I found it really helped my productivity throughout the day.
People & Culture
The P&C team is largely responsible for coordinating and promoting wellbeing across our organisation and is often the first point of call when employees need to discuss a personal or professional issue. To ensure that they are always prepared to support the wider workforce, it’s especially important the team doesn’t neglect their own wellbeing. They do this by maintaining strong relationships and by checking in with each other on a regular basis.
P&C practices something called Ask Twice – a campaign recently led by Mind UK, which encourages people to give everyone a second opportunity to answer the question "How are you?", and to share how they’re really doing.
Cheryl Dawson, HR Business Partner | People & Culture
I recently bought a lovely little canal boat that is like a holiday home on the water. It’s great to take ourselves off after a long week, to enjoy the peace and quiet of our surroundings, completely switch off, and refresh our minds and bodies. There’s nothing better than sitting on the end of the boat, listening to the water, birds, and animals to put your wellness back in check.
"Thirsty Thursday" was a virtual event that our Venue Search team introduced during lockdown. Team members would dial in to talk about anything other than work over a drink—alcoholic or not. As we returned to our offices, Thirsty Thursday became less rigid in its shape, but the principle of taking time out with a glass or cup in hand still exists on different days and in different locations.
Jim Quintrell, Senior Director | Venue Search
I make sure that I protect time with my kids. It’s easy to become a passing figure in the week, and the feelings of guilt surrounding that are not good for my wellbeing. I finish work a little early on a Monday so that I can take my youngest to football training and nothing gets in the way of that. My son knows that every week, we have the car journey to talk about football and anything else he wants to cover.
Mental Health First Aiders
At BCD M&E, we believe it's vital that our people have access to someone with accurate and helpful information about mental health support and resources. Our Mental Health First Aiders are trained to actively listen without judgment and to signpost individuals to appropriate services where necessary.
There are currently 10 Mental Health First Aiders assigned across BCD M&E, and we’ll be looking to double this number before the end of 2022.
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