It is October 2021. Offices are open, meeting rooms are booked out, there are queues in Pret, rush hour is a thing again. Our lives are opening up. It’s almost like the pre-pandemic working world.
Except that it’s not.
For most of us, this is only half the story.
The other half is a makeshift ‘home office’ in the corner of a bedroom, putting a wash on at lunch time and Zoom calls galore.
Welcome to the new world of hybrid working.
At The Nursery, this is now our reality, as we split our time between working at home & the office … and, on the more recent occasion, a viewing studio! This new way of working brings new challenges, as we learn to balance the benefits and restrictions each working space brings.
So this has got our Health & Wellness (H&W) Team thinking: how can we adapt the way we support the wellbeing of our colleagues in a way that incorporate both ways of working?
Before lockdown, The H&W team ran several in person events including office massages, healthy breakfasts & smoothie stations. During lockdown, they had to switch to running events virtually. Over the past 18 months, the team has focussed on different areas of wellbeing from laughter yoga & sound baths to sleep training & posture workshops.
Looking back on these events, the team spotted a trend and this will inform their approach to company wellbeing going forward We are a company of hybrid workers so we want to take a hybrid approach to wellness.
The Team noticed that over lockdown, virtual wellbeing gave the company access to more niche and quirky wellness ideas that they wouldn’t tend to get the opportunity try in person.
The nature of online also increases anonymity and privacy, which made people feel more comfortable in participating and giving something new a go. You can turn your camera off (a no judgement zone), put your headphones in (be fully present) and can fully relax in the comfort of your own home (no need to pop the relaxation bubble & take a stressful journey home). You can embrace your own comfortable, personal space and just be.
Whereas in-person events are great for things we can and want to experience together. We can run workshops and sessions where we can chat, collaborate, share the experiences and where the social aspect enhances the value of the activity. We can make the use of the shared office space and make the journey into the office even more worthwhile.
Based on these benefits the H&W Team have identified, going forward they will be planning sessions that will utilise the nature of each working environment. So our Nursery team will be looking forward to some Virtual Chocolate Tasting (close your eyes, relax, enjoy) & some in-person Terrarium building (chat, share, create)!
Written by Sophie Marder, part of The Nursey Health & Wellness Team along with Jane Passey, Ebbie Elson-Maller, Lydia Morgan & Izzy Fox