EPIC Blog: Wellbeing at Work
Today is the beginning of National Work Life Week in the UK, which gives us the opportunity to focus on wellbeing at work and work-life balance.
This years’ National Work Life Week comes at a time when our daily lives have changed considerably as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The COVID-19 outbreak will have a long-lasting impact on all walks of life; the economy, businesses, working, and social lives. Yet, one of the most immediate threats COVID-19 poses is to our mental health and the focus of EPIC Risk Management on our own wellbeing at work is one that we take extremely seriously.
EPIC Risk Management is committed to promoting the importance of mental health and wellbeing at work, investing both time and resource with our team members.
We have asked EPIC Risk Management’s Office Manager, Louise Flynn to outline how EPIC continues to promote wellbeing and mental health at a time where both of these particular subjects are of heightened importance.
EPIC Risk Management Office Manager, Louise Flynn: “This year has been a tough one for us all. The months of lockdown and loss have had a huge impact on our mental health.
"Whilst we all learn to live with the global pandemic and the devastating effects this has had on all our lives, one of the silver linings to take away from this period, is how highly employers are valuing the mental health of their employees and encouraging a culture of wellbeing at work.
"On March 23rd straight after Prime Minister’s Boris Johnson’s lockdown announcement, Paul Buck, CEO at EPIC Risk Management immediately contacted the Leadership Team with one clear message; ‘We have to look after the wellbeing of the staff’.
"Acknowledging the uncertainty and heightened levels of stress and anxiety employees were facing with the imposed restrictions, EPIC Risk Management immediately implemented measures to support its staff whilst they adapted to new routines and social distancing measures.
"The first challenge imposed by the ‘new norm’ was how do we keep employees connected, engaged, and to ensure they do not become isolated. A communications plan was rolled out and immediately ‘you’re on mute’ became the most common phrase used on video calls. Amongst the daily check-ins, there were virtual coffee breaks, weekly huddles and it soon became apparent who needed to go back to school with the Friday ‘pub’ quiz.
"To help support its employees with their stress and anxiety an Employee Assistance Programme was set up to provide EPIC Risk Management’s employees with access to a variety of resources and free counselling. According to EAP provider Health Assured, the number of calls received in September relating to stress and anxiety has nearly doubled with an increase of nearly 44% compared to the same time last year. This shows the devastating impact the pandemic is having on mental health and how the lockdown has overwhelmed many people.
"With the recently announced renewal of the WHYSUP collaborative partnership, WHYSUP will be providing EPIC Risk Management with a range of wellbeing resources for all employees.
"Several members of the team have recently completed their Mental Health First Aid qualification which now brings the total of MHFA’s at EPIC Risk Management to ten! This is a brilliant achievement and demonstrates how much the company values mental health with Head of Training and Development Caty Illingworth leading on this internally.
"In addition to the above employees were encouraged to set boundaries between ‘home’ and ‘work’ and were encouraged to take regular breaks from their home setup, utilise their daily exercise allowance, and keep to regular routines such as start and end times of their working day.
"Although the pandemic is far from over and as a nation, we are still living in fear of a second full lockdown, mental health and wellbeing at work are now at the top of many agendas for employers, no more so that here at EPIC Risk Management."
For more information on National Work Life Week visit: https://workingfamilies.org.uk/nationalworklifeweek/