As we move to a hybrid working world where working a mix from home and the office is the norm it raises the question, how do we stay connected with our team? Whilst an ever improving tech world offers amazing opportunities for working from anywhere, it does throw up the problem of lost connections.
Our Culture Lead, Sam Sharwin is responsible for this at Regital, and shares thoughts here.
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme for this year is loneliness. We have all experienced some form of loneliness through the pandemic as our social ties with friends, family and colleagues were disconnected. Loneliness doesn’t mean the physical time you spend alone. It’s a feeling of being isolated and there is still a huge stigma surrounding it. Workplace loneliness refers to feeling disengaged and disconnected from your colleagues, which can also lead to team members suffering from anxiety and stress. Levels of loneliness peaked at 3x the “normal” levels of loneliness in the pandemic and it can have a huge negative effect.
It’s said to have cost the workplace £2.5 billion a year in staff turnover as well as lower productivity. More importantly there is the human or emotional cost. We need social connections, that’s how we’re wired and we recognise long term loneliness can be bad for our mental and physical health.
Hybrid working has it’s benefits, with work / life balance much improved, but we recognise the importance of the water cooler moments that are lost when you’re working from home.
Whilst we support our team working from “anywhere” we understand the office is a real important component when it comes to fostering connections. Our office is in the city centre and provides a great collaboration space, where face to face meetings take place and socialising happens.
Wellness Wednesday, our award winning initiative helps to keep our team connected. This can be accessed every wednesday in-person through a range of activities to engage the team from walks around the city, to health shots to sense challenges. As Culture Lead, I try and keep it fresh and ensure where possible elements can be accessed virtually as well, with quizzes, desert island favourites and virtual coffees. We also offer a variety of training to raise our awareness about mental health and wellbeing. We’re also lucky to be able to offer guided in-person mediation every Wednesday and online on Friday to help the team have a clear mind.
Regital has always had a strong culture but we know we’re not perfect. We understand navigating this growing hybrid landscape is a work in progress and one size does not fit all. We are committed to finding the right balance of flexibility with human contact whilst finding a pattern that works for everyone. Whatever your working routine, keeping connected is vital and one of the many ways to prevent loneliness.