Mental Health and Wellbeing

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Because learning matters.  


February 2020: AQR Spark – Mental Health and Wellbeing

A session exploring mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. With Helen Stephens, wellbeing coach and former Research Director at Ipsos MORI.

Chloe B’s thoughts:

Mental health is an important topic of conversation and, today, it feels more relevant than ever. This week’s Spark event made us think about the different triggers that lead to workplace stress and coping mechanisms we can employ to try and manage things moving forward.

Helen made many interesting points, but here are five things worth considering to improve workplace wellbeing:

  • Foster a culture of openness and curiosity. One of Helen’s big points was around ‘unclear expectations’ either from colleagues or from clients. It’s important to make sure everyone believes they are ‘one team’ right from the briefing call and that questions can be asked without the fear of feeling stupid or naïve.

  • Switch off. Make sure you allow yourself proper time to focus on the task in hand. It’s so easy to get distracted with emails, messages and everything else going on in our home lives. Switch off emails when you need to focus, leave your phone in another room, take your lunch hour away from your desk and go outside for some fresh air – even if it’s just for a short walk. 

  • Set yourself boundaries. I know from previous experience that this can be tricky so it’s more for senior management to be in charge of. Razor is particularly good at this – we have a no early morning/late evening email policy and absolutely no emailing over a weekend. It’s important these are properly implemented as company policies and not something that’s just a ‘nice to have’ as and when it suits.

  • Surround yourself with good people. Sometimes we want to talk to people that will just listen to – rather than try to fix – the problem. Make sure you have people that you can talk to whether it’s a line manager, a house mate or a friend to help relieve some of that pressure.

  • Remind people how great they are. Once we start to lose confidence, it can lead us to believe we’re bad at our jobs. We then start to collect ‘evidence’ that proves we’re not good enough which can result in a vicious cycle. Praising people when they’ve done a good job can really give them the boost that they need.

I’m not just saying this but Helen’s reminded me of how lucky I am. I work with such a kind group of people that really care about workplace wellbeing and will go out of their ways to check in on each other. Everyone is going to feel stressed/go through busy periods at some point but it’s having people there for you that can make a real difference.

Don’t forget to check the AQR and MRS calendars for upcoming events and training!