World Mental Health Awareness Day
Over the coming weeks and months, some employees may experience unanticipated mental health challenges from ongoing remote work and isolation mandates. With World Mental Health Awareness Day just days ago, it is important to be mindful of this reality and supportive to all around you. We write this blog to bring awareness to mental health challenges, as well as providing some ideas and resources for keeping a healthy mind and body to help prevent social isolation and burnout at this time.
Staying connected (while socially distanced)
A top priority for those who are energised by the social aspect of the conventional office life, is the need to maintain relationships with co-workers and managers as we all continue to work more remotely. Staying connected is critical not only to productivity and work performance, but to emotional and mental wellness. Technology can serve as a boost to aid in this communication and here are some of our suggestions of what our teams have done over recent months to help keep a positive culture and social engagement.
Virtual wine and cheese tasting
In place of social gatherings in a pub or restaurant where groups would usually be larger than 6, some of our partners have been running virtual wine and cheese tastings. The organiser usually partners with a wine company, who send out bottles of wine to those who have registered, then there is a presentation about the product or service, before a wine tasting takes place with someone who talks you through the different wines and encourages interaction. Our Head of Marketing recently attended one (for research purposes of course!) hosted by Salesforce in partnership with The Nude Wine Company and they had a quiz at the end then a general networking session, and it was a great experience.
At Timico, we love a good quiz, and this year hosted our Easter quiz virtually during lockdown. Using Microsoft Teams, the host ran a live video presentation announcing the questions, and participants used the M365 ‘Forms’ feature to submit their answers. Alternatively, if you run it in a small group, you could have everyone read out their own answers/mark their own quiz when you go through the answers at the end.
Virtual team drinks
We now spend so much time on video calls and talking about work all day, many are missing the casual banter over a drink at the end of the week. At Timico, the sales team have set up a fortnightly social drinks call using MS Teams on a Friday afternoon, where the chat is generally non-work related and everyone can have a drink and a laugh together to wind down at the end of the week. Other teams have set up their own virtual drinks sessions, and some have regular virtual morning or afternoon tea gatherings over Teams.
Virtual morning tea
For those missing chatting to people outside of their usual working teams, we have set up a weekly virtual morning tea on a Thursday on Teams. With up to 250 people enabled on a call, anyone from across the business can join, but it tends to be smaller groups. This is nice for those people who are looking to connect with others outside of their usual work circles or teams.
Activities to support happiness and wellbeing
In addition to connecting with others, it’s important to take actions to look after your own mental and physical health. Here are some other ideas for how you could use the time you save on not commuting to the office:
- At-home workout
- Read a personal or professional development book
- Learn a new skill
- Write, paint, draw, or do something creative
Share some other ideas with your teams – you never know what might inspire someone around you!
A healthy body contributes to a healthy mind
At times like these, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour, which in turn, can make you feel worse. We should all be encouraging each other to keep moving, especially while confined to a smaller space than usual for a longer period of time.
Whether your goals are focused on strength, conditioning, flexibility, muscle tone, or simply keeping moving for health and fitness – there are online workouts to suit everyone. If you’re not subscribed to a gym with an existing program, source an online workout that suits you and share with your teams! Here are some suggestions:
Joe Wicks The Body Coach: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAxW1XT0iEJo0TYlRfn6rYQ
Sweaty Better: https://www.sweatybetty.com/workout-videos.html
Turbulence Training: https://www.youtube.com/user/cbathletics
Jessica Smith TV: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB7wvgp4HUBe5TD10jIgxDg
Own Your Goals with Davina McCall (30 days free): https://ownyourgoalsdavina.com/
Couch to 5K app (running): https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/get-running-with-couch-to-5k/
HIIT workout: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbbZBtdd20U
Yoga with Adriene: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFKE7WVJfvaHW5q283SxchA
Mental health support from your employer
At Timico, our employees have access to a variety of benefits including an employee assistance program with counselling services for anyone looking for someone to speak to about stress, family care and other areas that might be bothering them and affecting their work. The app also provides access to breathing techniques, meditation music and coping strategies – great for when you just need to step away from everything for a few minutes.
Speak to your employer to see if there are any similar services available within your organisation or see more resources below.
Mental health resources
If you are looking for support for dealing with mental health challenges, there are some great resources available online, including:
- Every Mind Matters
- Together: https://www.together-uk.org/
- Mind: https://www.mind.org.uk/
- Anxiety UK: https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/
- Mental Health Foundation: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/
- Men’s health forum: menshealthforum.org.uk
- Rethink Mental Illness: rethink.org
- Samaritans: samaritans.org.uk
- Sane: sane.org.uk/support
With all of the challenges faced so far in 2020 and significant change to lifestyle for many, be mindful of how you may be feeling, as well as others around you. Everyone you meet is likely fighting a battle of some kind that you probably know nothing about. So always, be kind; and reach out to those who may just need someone to talk to over a cuppa – even if virtually.
If all of the above sounds great to you but your business isn’t yet enabled for this agility, speak to us about our remote working solutions to help keep your people connected, productive, secure and happy.
We deliver Connectivity, UC&C, Cloud & Hosting, Security and IT Managed Service Solutions to our customers, through Service Operations based in Newark, Winnersh, Telford and London.