Posted on 20 Jan '21

'Happy Hour' is Back: How We Are Supporting Staff Wellbeing

Sarah Linington, Associate Director (Marketing), is a champion of our 'Happy Hour' and is a keen ‘booty crawler’. Read on to find out more as she explains the initiatives FindAUniversity has implemented to support staff wellbeing.

So, here we are in what is widely touted as the most depressing week of the year. Add to that the unprecedented times we’re currently living in – the third UK lockdown, delayed returns to campus for students, chaos for schools, and let’s not even think about Brexit or the USA.

Here at FindAUniversity we certainly can’t contend with the above, but we’ve been trying to keep our spirits up with various workplace initiatives designed to support staff. Where we’d usually lift our spirits with free Friday lunch, drinks in the courtyard, crafting in the café, or board games night in the boardroom – a global pandemic means we’ve had to get a bit more creative. So, grab a cuppa (and a biscuit) and read on to see what our ‘Wellbeing Champions’ have been cooking up for us.

“Happy Hour”

Nope, it’s not *that* kind of happy hour, ours is simply about swapping a darker hour for a lighter one while the days are short. We’ve introduced this initiative to allow everyone to take up to an hour at any time during the working day to get outside - whether it be a run, a bike ride, a walk or even a spot of gardening. It’s not a free ‘hour off’ – but it is a chance for us to get our fix of vitamin D when the sun is actually up, and preferably when it’s not throwing it down with rain.

Making Connections

Sometimes you just don’t feel like heading out into the great outdoors, and that’s where our GamesMaster, Patrick, comes in. Patrick has been helping us learn (some more quickly than others), the wonderful world of virtual games. Hosted at 4pm on Thursday’s, he’s lead us through Codenames, Wavelength and Paper Telephone to name just a few – and there’s plenty more in the pipeline for 2021. Games evenings have given us all a fun break from work, kept teams connected, and given us lots of laughs, and - it’s all free!

The “Booty Crawl”

Linked closely to the ‘Happy Hour’ is this. Run by Co-Founder Andy Holliday, this weekly activity has us getting competitive, pedantic, and sometimes in a little bit of trouble.

Each week we’re set five items of booty to ‘collect’ on a run, walk or cycle – and must prove ‘collection’ by taking a picture of the item and sending it to a dedicated WhatsApp group. There’s a weekly league table and we’re playing for the chance to win an Amazon voucher, and of course, ultimate bragging rights.

Staying Flexible

Since we moved into our newly renovated offices a couple of years ago, we’ve held free weekly Pilates classes in the café (not as weird as it sounds). And we haven’t let lockdown get in the way! Our lovely instructor Nancy hosts a Zoom Pilates class for us every Monday at 4pm, and we take part from home. The stretching, toning, gentle workout releases tension from a hard day – and luckily, coordination skills are not required.

Time for a cuppa

The coffee machine in our office used to be the source of all the good chat and was a great way to catch-up with people from teams that perhaps you don’t work closely with and we’ve missed it! Whilst we don’t all have fancy coffee machines at home, we do all have Microsoft teams, which means we can have virtual coffee breaks. These weekly 15-minute catch-ups for small groups of people bring us back together – they are a lovely way to take a break and focus on the positives.

Of course, what really keeps our spirits up is talking to you about your upcoming campaigns, and how we can help you with the challenges you’re facing right now. So, get in touch for a chat – and we might just update you on the Booty Crawl league table too. You can email us at [email protected] or call +44 (0)114 268 4940

FindAUniversity take pride in being experts in postgraduate education. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for regular insight, comment and case studies.

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