10 May 2021
In aid of Mental Health Awareness Week, we spoke to Jeanette Ward the HR Manager and Mental Health Ambassador at UK Connect about her tips and tricks to maintain a healthy mindset whilst working from home.
Since the spread of COVID-19 forced the UK into lockdown back in March 2020, many of us were driven to quickly adapt to a new working environment in our own homes. With the huge lifestyle change affecting so many of us, mental health within the workplace has become the forefront of our attention. It has become increasingly important to encourage conversation about mental health with a focus on providing help and advice to our employees.
The theme for Mental Health Awareness week this year is “Connecting With Nature.” It plays a vital part in preserving our emotional and psychological health and it is only in recent history we began to live and work in a context that separates us from nature. In a survey carried out by mentalhealth.org, 45% of us reported that being in green spaces had been vital for our mental health during the pandemic. Studies also found that during lockdowns people not only spent more time in nature but were noticing it more. We at UK Connect have been highly promoting this in several ways by helping employees change and adapt their habits to incorporate nature. A multitude of initiatives have been introduced and employees are encouraged to spend more time outdoors.
Many of us have been tied to our home office desks for the majority of the pandemic and are missing aspects of our past routines. Although the commute might not be the first thing that springs to mind when reminiscing on life pre COVID, they were very beneficial. It essentially helped transition into and out of work mode and without these ques it can be hard to switch off after work. A fake commute is essentially a morning routine designed to differentiate between work time and personal time. We encourage employees to brew a coffee and take it on a walk around the block before and after work, to kick start their morning and wind down after a long day.
Introducing a core hour strategy to the team has encouraged flexible working. All employees must be present to work between set times, beyond those hours flexible working is practiced. It enables employees to get away from their laptops and spend time however they wish. Whether it be getting out in the sunshine or snoozing the alarm a few extra times in the morning.
Charitable days are not only a great way to give back to the community but they offer an opportunity for the team to meet and connect in an outside environment. UK Connect has recently completed our first charity day of the year and it was the first time that many of our employees who joined during lockdown were able to meet in person. Everyone who participated left feeling both rewarded and thrilled with the work they achieved as a team.
To adapt to working from home and to bring happiness and a sense of normality, we replaced our Friday lunchtime pizza run with a choice between subscriptions for a home delivery of flowers, candles or fruit and vegetables. We also swapped after work socials with fortnightly virtual games and quizzes, led by the employee’s in the ‘Corona Café’ and the after-hours ‘Corona Inn.’
At UK Connect we remember that Mental Health is not just about a theme, it is all about starting conversations and talking about all the things in our daily lives that can affect how we are feeling. All our team have access to Health Assured EAP, the UK and Ireland’s most trusted health and wellbeing network and we check in with all our employees daily, making sure they all get the support they need and know that we as a company are there for them.
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“Working with UK Connect has been a smooth and easy process. The team has been fantastic by going above and beyond, getting our broadband installed for us within extremely tight deadlines and ensuring the client relationship is done in an efficient manner. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the UK Connect team, as I find they are highly reliable and have good attention to detail and carry out the job to an exceptional standard.