Our Wellbeing Lead Annie Barrett shares what inspired her to become a member of our Wellbeing team at DMW and reflects on how we have adapted to support our staff during a prolonged period of remote working.
Why I became a Wellbeing Lead
When I was asked to write this blog on wellbeing, I immediately felt panicked. I was nervous about writing the content and I began questioning how it would be perceived by others. What would people think? Would they judge me for what I was about to write? Will they be interested in what I have to say, and will anyone actually read what I have written?
As these self-critical thoughts encircled my mind, I started to think about what had inspired me to apply for the Wellbeing Lead role. It was my own passion for wellbeing, paired with a strong desire to support others who might also experience these types of feelings.
To the outside world, I am viewed by most as a happy, chatty and confident person, and whilst that is true for the most part, it is not necessarily the way that I would always view myself. By admitting this to myself and to others, I want to highlight that we all have our own insecurities that other people may not always see.
The role of the Wellbeing team
During what has been a particularly challenging year, a number of us may have experienced feelings that we have not encountered before as we have been pushed outside of our comfort zones. Whilst not everyone has been taken ill with the virus, we have all found that we have been impacted in some way. As a Wellbeing team, we are here to support all of our colleagues through these challenging times.
The Wellbeing team is formed of individuals who are passionate about supporting, coaching, helping and listening to our DMW family through the best and worst of times. As an organisation, we pride ourselves on the level of support that we extend to one another. Whilst we cannot all be together at this time, our social and wellbeing teams have worked hard to ensure that we maintain the all-important sense of togetherness and inclusiveness that the company’s culture creates.
Promoting mental wellbeing
Throughout the year, we have seen an endless offering of virtual activities to keep our colleagues engaged, motivated, and happy. We have organised daily virtual coffee machines emulating the everyday chats between colleagues over coffee in the office, and had care packages delivered to our homes. We have also arranged numerous virtual sporting activities including virtual runs, fitness challenges, and yoga sessions. During Mental Health Awareness Week, we organised a whole host of activities including a virtual bake off, drawing sessions and a guest talk from a motivational speaker. As a company, we continue to make use of our internal communications channels to share useful links, tips, and advice about working from home.
We also offer an Employee Assistance Programme and a number of our staff are qualified as Mental Health First Aiders. This means that they have been trained to spot the signs and triggers of a mental health condition, understand the factors that can affect wellbeing, and reach out in order to lend support and reassurance to those who need it.
We continue to promote a culture of openness and we encourage our colleagues to speak out if they are struggling. As a Wellbeing team, we are currently planning what we can do to further support our colleagues in the forthcoming year and we look forward to organising further social events to boost staff morale.
Now more than ever, we all need to do our bit to stay connected and talk to one another as much as possible. We are all very busy people, but we can often benefit from taking a step back, spending some time on ourselves and looking out for others. So next time you see an invitation to a virtual coffee session or a team catch up in your diary, consider joining those meetings. I encourage readers of this blog to remember that you should never be too busy to take care of your own wellbeing.