Clive Owen LLP, which has offices in Darlington, Durham, and York, has implemented a wellbeing programme to support its staff during lockdown and ensure a smooth return to office-based working.
After investing in mental health training for its management team, the firm trained an additional four volunteers as mental health first aiders to enable staff across all three offices to receive appropriate support.
An app was introduced which offers a series of inclusive wellbeing challenges with fun activities that get people moving, talking and motivated. They include developing healthy habits such as experiencing new fitness activities from walking to cardio, and mindfulness and meditation.
The teams have also enjoyed a programme of online events including quizzes and escape rooms and they have even been sent chocolate goody bags at home.
All staff have recently been given branded water bottles and fleeces to keep them warm and hydrated and encourage them to get out and exercise.
Caroline Bowerbank, HR & Training Manager at Clive Owen LLP, said: “Our initial concerns were around how we could work from home and the technical aspects and sorting out the technology to enable this. As we explored the new normal, new challenges presented themselves. How to onboard and integrate staff, how to support well-being and how young people could effectively learn and develop when they weren’t in a team of more experienced people.
“Dealing with all this has proved difficult but we have all evolved and developed and once we started to consider some of the other aspects of remote teams, we decided to put a new programme of activity in place whilst continuing to support employee well-being.
“It has been very difficult for so many people in different ways, the firm has tried to keep well-being, communication and engagement going in these small ways in recognition of their ongoing support.
“We are learning as we go and as we pass the year anniversary, the firm will continue to develop its programme to meet the needs of the teams and develop new habits that blend the old and new ways of doing business and working together.”
The communication team, led by Bridget Charlton, has introduced an internal programme to facilitate interaction throughout the organisation with regular feedback sessions, recognising the importance of the teams and ensuring that everyone is informed on the progress and direction of the firm.
Bridget said: ‘’As well as keeping everyone up to date with the firm’s position and direction, we have also encouraged both managers and colleagues to regularly check in on each other to increase social engagement and to make sure we are supporting each other. Many people are missing the social aspects of being in the workplace and the general conversations which help us all make real human connections and develop work friendships.’
“Engaging with some fun activities and our new wellbeing app has given us something different to talk about and it has been very positively received.
“Having the technology to facilitate these meetings has been great and means we can share more frequently across the firm. It’s something we intend to make the most of going forward as we gradually return to the workplace and learn how to blend the best of both worlds to keep the conversations going.”