Stress Awareness Month: How We’re Supporting Our Team’s Wellbeing
We know that student wellbeing is crucial when it comes to their experience of university, but it’s just as important for us in the workplace. We wanted to share some of the activities that we’re doing at FindAUniversity to help our team manage their wellbeing during this busy period, and beyond.
At last spring is on the way with brighter days, lighter evenings and better weather for outside pursuits. It also brings open day prep, study fairs and a whole lot of marketing campaigns so it’s no wonder that April is also Stress Awareness Month. Here are just some of the ways we’re supporting our team’s wellbeing (they may give you some ideas to try with your team).
We have a dedicated team of Wellbeing Champions who campaign to change the way people think and act about mental health within the company. Our voluntary champions act as key points of contact for anyone who needs to talk or wants to find out about mental health services, as well as putting on a number of wellbeing activities throughout the year.
Our regular wellbeing initiatives include monthly Fikas, which are held both in offfice and virtually for those working from home. Fika is a practice which originated in Sweden, and allows you to take 15 minutes out of your day for a break and a catch-up with colleagues. We loved the idea of slowing down and making time for ourselves and others, and Fika has proved a big hit at FAU!
Doing something nice for someone else makes us feel good about ourselves and can also act as a great distraction from negative stresses. Instead of having to book a day of annual leave, we’re giving everyone in the company one paid day a year to support an activity with their registered charity. From tidying up the local community garden to working the donation phonelines, any activity is supported by us!
We've been able to support some fantastic initiatives in the past year. Soon after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, our Accounts Assistant, Agnieszka Zylowska, organised for several FAU employees to help pack aid and supplies for Ukrainian refugees in Poland. "There was a time limit on getting the aid sorted and packed to meet the transportation schedule, so it was an all hands on deck scenario", says Head of Data and Optimisation Jack Taylor, who volunteered on the day. "Fortunately, FAU were more than happy to allow a group of us to assist with minimal notice".
Head of Events, Eva Vichova, and Financial Controller, Helen Randall, used their charity day to volunteer for Joybank, a community project distributing toys to families in Sheffield who are unable to afford them. "Seeing how much love, dedication and hard work goes into the project was incredibly humbling", Eva reflects. "I am so happy that I was able to contribute (even if in a very small way) to something so important to the local community."
Last year saw another successful run of our Kindness Pledge Raffle, where prizes were in the form of a donation of your time, talent or both (including gin tasting, wild swimming, artwork, vegan donuts and a boardgame night). To top it off, over £1,300 was raised and donated to two local charities tackling loneliness and isolation, Reengage and Let's b:Friend. We're hoping to run our Kindness Pledge Raffle again this year!
Happy ‘get out and about’ hours
It’s important to be able to get out and about during the day, especially with the nicer weather. We’re continuing with our ‘happy hour’ to give people the freedom to get out and about at any time of the day, not just during their lunch break. While day drinking isn’t advised under the happy hour initiative, stomping across a field or relaxing to the sounds of the birds is! As long as you make the time up during the week, you’re free to take a happy hour, in addition to your lunch, every day.
On those rainy days it’s easy to forgo getting out for a walk, but our Headspace subscription helps everyone take a break indoors. Promoting healthier and happier living, everyone has access to daily guided meditations and mindfulness lessons to help them find some headspace and look after themselves.
We hope you’ve been inspired by some of these activities and remember to take time for yourself this month.
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