Mental Health problems are all too common in the workplace, and as a result, it is the leading cause of sickness absence.
Recognising this fact and addressing colleague wellbeing at work is a priority for Astra Security, and they are committed to ensuring their workplace is a healthy and thriving one. There are a number of initiatives in place, which is a positive step towards making it a ‘better place to work.’
Sarah Steer, General Manager explained ‘We have embraced a number of initiatives here at Astra, including the Cyclescheme, Fruit Boxes, Flexible Working, and a lunch-time running club. Everyone can be involved but simply having these options available, makes people feel more positive, valued and more supported in the workplace’.
Health And Wellbeing Champions
Another step change which Astra has adopted is the inclusion of ‘Health and Wellbeing Champions’. This ensures that there is an open approach to staff-wellbeing, an ongoing dialogue and there’s a ‘go to’ person, who can provide support; help create change; or simply raise issues and challenges up the line.
Emma Wood, Health and Wellbeing Champion explained that being a Champion means ‘caring about the people you work with and helping to promote health campaigns and ideas in the workplace. Getting to know your colleagues better and knowing how the office works makes it easier to understand which strategies and solutions will work best.’
A wellbeing programme can improve employee health, both physical and mental as well as improve the culture of the working environment. Studies show that addressing wellbeing at work increases productivity by as much as 12 %.
Paul Beet, Managing Director went on to explain ‘It is a basic human need to feel valued and cared for, and this must be supported in the work-place. Our initiatives such as helping colleagues have a good work-life balance through flexible working; helping them to keep active through our lunch-time running club or helping our team to eat well by providing fresh fruit in the office are all ways in helping to make our work-place one which is healthy and thriving.’
Staying ahead of the game, understanding the issues and strategies available
Keeping up to date on the latest issues impacting health and wellbeing are also top of the agenda. Sarah recently attended a course on Managing Workplace Wellbeing in conjunction with MIND. The course focussed on how to recognise stress and practical coping strategies as well as learning how to build up capacity to cope and recover from problems, challenges and setbacks.
Mental Health Awareness Week is taking place between Monday 13th and Sunday 19th May. Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, it helps to raise awareness of topics such as stress, relationships, loneliness, altruism, sleep, alcohol and friendship.