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Wellbeing in the workplace: #DayWellSpent initiative

Mental health concerns are often at the forefront of news headlines, and as an employer there is a role for us to play in actively promoting positive mental health in the workplace. An independent review commissioned by Theresa May revealed poor mental health costs UK economy up to £99bn a year with more than 300,000 workers laid off each year due to long-term mental health problems.

So, with the launch of our new wellbeing initiative #DayWellSpent, we caught up with Kate, Head of Talent & Operations.

1. What does wellbeing mean to you?

For me, wellbeing is a feeling of contentment in the knowledge that I am taking care of myself: mentally, physically & emotionally.

2. Is there a value / importance of wellbeing in the workplace, if so please can you tell me why?

Work is an exchange: time, commitment, energy, money, learning, to name but a few things. Our Carvers work very hard and we recognise that! The #DayWellSpent initiative empowers our employees to take a day for themselves, to foster a feel-good factor, to replenish their energy, and ensure there’s good balance in their lives. I think it’s essential for our mental health, and it benefits everyone in the company.

3. How does wellbeing and workplace culture link?

We encourage Carvers to bring their ‘whole selves’ to work: their personalities, appetite for work (and cake), and a genuine interest in our clients, projects and colleagues. Work is not done in isolation, and it’s important we look after our all aspects of our employees. Perhaps someone’s struggling, or tired, or feeling under the weather – we all have days like that – and that might signal the perfect time to book their wellbeing day.

In a holistic workplace culture, allowing employees to focus on their wellbeing is very much part of that mix.

4. Does Carve have a good workplace culture?

I’ve been at Carve for 8 years in November, and can genuinely say I’ve never enjoyed my role more. We have a commitment to our employees’ knowledge and development, with our lunch & learn sessions, team meetings (the perfect mix of hilarity and serious discussion), dedicated intranet software through which to share cool stuff, and annual individual training budgets. We also have an official Head of Fun and Deputy posts, to ensure there’s movie nights, office yoga classes with the lovely Francesca, and whatever other ideas the team comes up with. Not to mention our summer gatherings and legendary #CarveMas trips. I’d say our workplace culture is thriving!

5. Why did you decide to begin the wellbeing initiative #DayWellSpent – what will it achieve?

How often do we take a real ‘day off’, where we’re not rushing to get our car in for its MOT, juggling commitments and day-to-day goings on. I wanted to give a moment of pause, where Carvers were invited to focus on themselves: to be indulgent, curious, exhilarated, relaxed; whatever a #DayWellSpent means to them. And give people £100 toward that pursuit.

These are some of my suggestions:

  • buy a ticket and visit somewhere you’ve never been before
  • spend a day in a Spa
  • Take yourself out to afternoon tea
  • Climb a mountain (with £100 worth of snacks)
  • Go to the seaside
  • Take a cookery course
  • Have a drumming lesson
  • Visit a yoga retreat
  • Go white water rafting
  • Watch a play
  • Learn to juggle
  • Buy a book and spend the afternoon in your favourite cafe
  • Find a daytime disco to go to (that’s what I’d do….)
  • Take a day’s digital detox
  • Visit a gallery

Carvers are under no pressure to disclose what they’re up to – it can be a day they keep to themselves, or one documented on social media – whatever they like.  Disclaimer: it has to be legal…!

When you’re looking after yourself, it follows that many areas of your life benefit positively. Our #DayWellSpent is available to Carvers each year, but I hope it promotes a sense of wellbeing that lasts far beyond just one day.