This is not one of those Mental Health day posts that sings and dances about the wonderful service we provide. We do enough of that on #feedbackfriday*.
We are a remote business. There is no commute to work, with flexible hours and the freedom to plan your day as you wish. Cue stereotype of super-cool individuals who can working in exotic locations (or at home in their pyjamas, just because they can!) feeling totally fulfilled with a fantastic work-life balance, much to the envy of all their mates.
The reality can be very different. Not everyone can work from anywhere in the world – most of us have commitments and families that keep us in one place. Those that do work from home don’t always have a separate dedicated workspace and live and work from the same room. The lines between working and downtime become blurred, in turn leading to overworking. Common sense tell us to take regular breaks but often in reality, before you know it (and I speak from personal experience), its 6pm and you haven’t looked up from your monitor. The absence of social chit chat around the coffee machine or lack of in person meetings, can cause feelings of isolation and loneliness. And don’t get me started on the tension that can manifest itself in our bodies, causing stiffness and pain.
The well being of our team is as important to us as the well being of our patients. So when we say World Mental Health Day starts at home, we mean exactly that. Some of our team work long hours dealing with the complex needs of patients – who need somebody sympathetic and able to provide not only the booking service, but hold their hand through the process. Patients can often be stressed, feeling desperate and need reassurance.
We recently started working with at1.Space who have been providing us with yoga and meditation tailored specifically to our needs. Once a week, we join an online session via video conference. This provides not only a break from work, but an opportunity to reset and energise the mind and have a chat with others. We are guided through the movements ranging from holding poses to stretching deeply. I emerge from these sessions feeling as though I have had a whole body work out, boosted circulation, and ready to face the afternoon. All without breaking into a sweat.
We have had great feedback from the team and there is lots more planned….we are going to be looking into nutrition next.
So, whilst we may not be able to meet around the water cooler for a conversation, we are working hard to make sure the team aren’t pouring from an empty cup.
Chief Operations Officer
* you can see our feedback on independent website I Want Great Care.