The last 12 months have been a busy time for the MWC as they strived to put together initiatives to help combat the impact and emotions surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic. Throughout the year they invested heavily in training so that more individuals within the committee were trained to deliver mental health first aid and help support the wider Incubeta community. They also focused on elevating their voice and presence within the company by producing monthly newsletters, regular Slack channel communications and virtually encouraging the teams to prioritize mental wellbeing, both for themselves, and for the people around them. In addition to this, the MWC also launched a number of new initiatives to promote wellbeing and increase positivity throughout the uncertainty of 2021.
Employee wellbeing is a key focus for us at Incubeta and we want to make sure that we’re providing the resources, tools and means necessary to help our employees maintain their overall wellbeing. A big part of maintaining mental wellbeing is taking time off to focus on yourself. Taking time off work has proven to benefit mental clarity, productivity, work/life balance, improved focus and better relationships. With annual leave being typically used for social events, holidays or celebrations you don’t often get the chance to just focus on yourself and reset.
Recognizing there are days and times when we just need to rest and take a break early last year we created ‘Me’ days, giving the Incubeta team one Me day per tertile to allow people time to reconnect with themselves away from l social, familial and work responsibilities to help maintain mental wellbeing.
“I’ve used the Me Day’s for a few different reasons; as something to look forward to after a particularly busy time and I know I will need some time for myself but I have also used them when I can feel myself start to feel less motivated at work, even just one day really feels like it makes the difference! I’ve used them to just watch Netflix and not feel bad about it or I’ve taken my nephew for a day out which makes me feel so much more whole!” Ruth Steele, L&D Manager
Wednesdays are very wellbeing focused here at Incubeta. Every Wednesday we run wellbeing drop in sessions to encourage people to reach out if they have anything they’d like to chat about or would like support from a Mental Health First Aider on. We also run a wellbeing session at the end of every Wednesday, usually led by Orly our external Mental Wellbeing partner who teaches the team mindfulness, yoga and other positive wellbeing practices with a different theme each week.
“It’s really nice to be able to take some time to step away from work and refocus your mind. Having the sessions at the end of the day is a nice way to end the day and makes it easier to switch off after work” Lucy Smith, Account Director
Donut Time Takeover
We’ve done a number of Donut Time Takeovers throughout the year with the key outcome of the sessions being to encourage everyone to join and speak to someone they’ve never spoken to before and catch up with fellow colleagues, with the overarching idea being to take some time away from work, similar to if you were in the office and went to grab a coffee. Especially with our more virtual ways of working it’s important to socialise and meet new people and this a great way for everyone to do so. Each session has had a different theme, for example during stress awareness week everyone took part in a stress test before the session and this was the topic of discussion throughout.
“As a new joiner the Donut time takeover exposed me to people across the business who I wouldn’t have ordinarily spoken to, especially as some were working remotely. Speaking to a variety of new joiners made me more comfortable coming into the office as I recognised faces and we removed the potential awkwardness of the first conversation.” Seren Roberts – CSS Partnerships Executive.
During the height of lock down last year, we created a self-reflection checklist. The purpose of the checklist is to encourage people to check in with themselves and empower people to reach out to someone if they’d like support, even if that’s in the form of having a coffee and chat. The Checklist asks questions like How am I feeling today? What could be causing clutter in my mind? How can I take care of myself today? And what can I do to bring me joy? To bring this to life a little we also created a Jamboard where everyone can share responses to these questions and inspire others around them.
Get Home Safe Policy:
At Incubeta, we want our employees to feel safe, no matter where they are. We never want our employees to be in these situations, but if ever it does become the case that employees might feel unsafe on their journeys and need to get to a place of safety, financial restrictions should never be a barrier. Incubeta’s co-network Chair of the Women’s affinity network, Sidra Iqbal worked to create a policy which will enable UK employees to expense taxi journeys in instances where they feel unsafe and need to get to a place of safety. Our ‘Get Home Safe’ policy was introduced earlier this year, and although not instigated by the MWC, fully supports our mantra of placing mental wellbeing and employee wellness at the forefront of the company.
“This is a great policy that came off the back of the amazing work our Women’s affinity network have been doing, our team’s health, wellbeing and safety is always #1 priority and the unfortunate truth is our safety seems to be at risk, we are having to look over our shoulders when we are out or on our way home. We offer great benefits for our teams that can support their well-being such as gym memberships, healthcare, time-off policies and it’s great to see we now have a policy that is there to protect their safety.” Rahela Begum, HR Manager.
Want to learn more about life at Incubeta? Explore our previous blog in the series where we sat down with Natasha Veldsman from our South Africa office to talk about the launch of their Digital Academy, and the direction it’s going to take – Incubeta Insider: Incubeta ZA Launches a Digital Academy.