We spend 50% of our waking hours in any given working day at work, equating to 35% of our waking hours over a 50 year working life. With so much of our time spent at work it is important to experience wellbeing at work. Smart employers are placing wellbeing at the heart of what they do but there are many not catering to their staffs needs in this area.
Martin Rogan, CEO of Mental Health Ireland said: “Our work has escaped the workplaces and often follows us home and on holidays via mobile phones and laptops. Employers are becoming more aware of the increase in stress and burnout within their workplaces resulting in more and more organisations develop wellbeing policies and programmes with employees to encourage open conversation about mental health in the workplace.”
Workplaces can use the Five Ways to Wellbeing as a starting point for developing a workplace wellbeing plan. These five steps have been researched and developed by the New Economics Foundation and have been proven to enhance wellbeing if practiced daily.
It is important that employees are involved in the planning and development of these events to encourage uptake from management and peers. Here are a few ideas every organisation can roll out during Mental Health Week and beyond.
1. Host your own Connect Cafe on 10th October
2. Have a ‘no phones in the lift’ policy to encourage people to chat with each other.
3. Create a Connect Board where staff can leave positive anonymous messages for others
1. Arrange your own 5000 Steps to Wellbeing Walk
2. Develop a staff league table for steps taken each day/week
3. Invite a yoga teacher in to the company to teach the staff some easy yoga moves
1. Organise an event where staff share three interesting things about themselves.
2. Invite staff members to deliver a presentation on a hobby or interest they have.
3. Create a library section in the office with books and magazines on activities/ hobbies
1. Encourage all staff members to get a small plant for their desk
2. Provide a list of mindfulness/ meditation apps for staff to download – Headspace, 1GiantMind, SimpleHabit, Gratitude365 or Insight Timer
3. Encourage staff to pay attention to how they are feeling throughout the day and to notice when they may be stressed or anxious.
1. Arrange a ‘Volunteering Talk’ for staff to talk about the different volunteering they do
2. Ask staff to give to the Mental Health Ireland ‘Making Cents’ campaign – donating the cents from their wage directly to Mental Health Ireland. More info at mentalhealthireland.ie
3. Examine staff skills set and develop a list of area’s staff could assist charities – database design, web design, computer skills, social media, presentation skills, odd jobs etc
Martin Rogan said “We would like to see and hear about any wellbeing at work events taking place. These can be communicated on social media using the hashtag #mentalhealthweek19 and we wish everyone a successful Mental Health Week where you work, rest & play!”
Head of Communications & Fundraising, Mental Health Ireland
087 795 7717