Liberty News | May 20, 2020
Taking Care Of Our Employees Wellbeing In The New Normal
Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 couldn’t have come at a better time. In what has been a strange couple of months for all of us, we likely needed a reminder that it’s ok not to be ok.
Supporting employee wellbeing is always a priority. But when Mental Health Awareness Week comes around it’s important to recognise it, and here at Liberty we take it as an opportunity to remind our team of the support that is available to them.
Since 18th of March our Libertines have worked from home, remotely working on projects and taking client calls. We’re incredibly proud of our team for making a success of it too, but as a tight-knit agency we knew from the get-go that it wouldn’t be easy.
Everyone faces different situations working from home. We have team members with children, pets, and some without a desk space or comfortable chair. And let’s not forget the challenges of staying motivated and engaged in our work when PJ days are always an option and the PlayStation sits only a few yards away.
We also recognised the need to maintain a sense of togetherness.
We at Liberty are proud of the culture we have established; one big happy family with our values at its core. But with colleagues working remotely we risked losing the camaraderie and inviting silos into the mix. It’s why from the very beginning we put an emphasis on coffee catchups, regular quizzes and fun games to maintain our celebrated company culture. We have also maintained ‘Wins of the Week’ and celebrated our greatest successes with JustEat and UberEats gift cards, bringing everyone together to celebrate.
Liberty’s 12th birthday was a little different this year too, like most birthday’s in lockdown! Though we still managed to celebrate in style with a variety of Virtual Murder Mystery parties. Libertines each had a character to play and donned costumes to act out a scene to be solved. There was plenty of fun to be had, especially when we realised a few of our male employees were playing female roles – it was hard to miss their wigs and red lippy!
Now, we’re nine weeks into the lockdown and all of a sudden, this new way of working has become the new normal. And we’re kind of ok with it.
Office desks and chairs have been collected from the office by some, parents have flexibility to work when it suits them, there hasn’t been a need to furlough staff – in fact, we have made three new hires since being in lockdown, and the quality of work being delivered hasn’t been impacted.
But that isn’t to say there hasn’t been challenges. Anxiety, panic attacks, sadness and sickness have been some of the battles that our team has faced, and with it being Mental Health Awareness Week we are reflecting on those struggles.
Liberty maintains and updates an internal resource hub all-year-round, but at the start of the UK lockdown Perkbox was introduced. We specifically chose to partner with Perkbox for its employee assistance programme, which is accessible 24 hours a day 7 days a week and completely confidential; providing our Libertines with additional support. Though it’s proven worthwhile for its variety of discount packages and competitions too with colleagues nabbing hand sanitisers when they were virtually impossible to find!
So to build on this and to encourage positive wellbeing this week we’re supporting the Mental Health Foundation’s plea for ‘Kindness’. Research shows that kindness is an antidote to isolation and creates a sense of belonging. It helps reduce stress, brings a fresh perspective and deepens friendships too. Therefore, our team of happiness heroes (they know who they are!) have put together a calendar of kindness activities to spread the joy.
This week, Libertine’s have quizzed to raise money for charity (£132 donated in total), enjoyed a lunchtime yoga session and wellness walk, they will be participating in a bake-along and enjoying anonymous compliments given to them.
We wanted our teams to purposefully take time out of their day to destress, take in their surroundings and enjoy a little ‘me’ time – being kind to themselves.