Mental Health Awareness Week 2022
According to the Mental Health Foundation “Good mental health at work and good management go hand in hand and there is strong evidence that workplaces with high levels of mental wellbeing are more productive. Addressing wellbeing at work increases productivity by as much as 12%.”
But it’s not just about productivity or good management, it’s about looking out for each other.
It's been a very challenging couple of years with teams being distanced, then tentatively coming back together again. It's been isolating and then claustrophobic, and the constant change has been disorientating for some. That's been a challenge for mental health in the workplace and we've all had to find new ways of understanding and coping.
As part of Mental Health Week, we asked our team what they’ve learned about themselves and others in the last years, and what advice they’d want to share.
"Communication is everything. We've had people join SPEY in the midst of a pandemic, working from home and meeting the team through a screen, but in this time we still managed to forge friendships and remain as close-knit as ever with our daily catch-ups and when restrictions allowed, meeting in our open office space."
"I think I've become more self-aware and I've realised that self-care isn't a luxury, it's a necessity. I sometimes need to put my headphones in and take my dog for a walk over lunch to reset."
"As useful as they are; Slack, social and SMS are no substitute for seeing people face to face. Down the devices in favour of doing things IRL as often as possible."
"I think the pandemic has shown us that creating flexible workspaces is the key. We are all a bit sick of Zoom but it was a lifeline for many businesses during the pandemic, also given the need to think about being more sustainable, creating hybrid working is definitely the way forward. It is great we are still able to have a mix of home and office time, I believe it is definitely the way forward."
"When working virtually, communication is really important. It's hard to pick up on when people are struggling when you can't see them face to face. I've learnt it's important to take time for yourself, and time away from your work, and screen, getting outside for a walk is great. I have also learnt it's important to ask twice if someone is okay."
"It seems really simple, but it’s so important to realise everyone reacts differently when they’re feeling under pressure, and everyone’s got different coping mechanisms. What’s hard is that you’ve got to learn what makes you personally feel better and more positive, and that won’t always be consistent. I know I need to do a bit of exercise, and I need to see friends, half an hour with headphones on does wonders, and saying what’s on your mind can make a problem disappear. But also that there’s no magic bullet and you’ve got to take each day as it comes."
"Over the past few years I’ve learned the importance of communication, whether that be in person or a quick message asking how you are. The friendship within the team has made it incredibly easy to do this, we all encourage one another to look after ourselves and to take a breather if we feel overwhelmed. I’ve found that taking a break from the screen can make a huge difference, especially going outside for a walk with other members of the team."
Bringing Gaelic into the Workplace
SPEY was the first integrated communications agency to offer the full spectrum of our activity bilingually and as Gaelic Week draws to a close, our team reflects on the language’s place not just in the communications sector but in workplaces all across Scotland.