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Top Tips for Workplace Wellbeing

Media on Mars blog post thumbnail: Graphic of a umbrella over a heart
Reading Time 5 minutes
Blog post author picture: Kammi Rapsey
Thursday, 8th October 2015

The Mars studio is a busy place where the stress of deadlines and creative problem solving could quickly take on pressure cooker status. However, this rarely, if at all, happens. We asked the team how they keep the balance.

In what could be a highly charged workplace – ‘flexibility’ was the most valued attribute at Mars and the Martians added a bunch of nice insights to share with you.

This is what they had to say:

Kammi, Founder and Principal of Media on Mars, says there are three important elements that keep her sane:

  • Autonomy: Get great people to do what they do best and don’t micro manage them.
  • Flexibility: Empower people to do what they need to do and give them the flexibility to manage their lives around this.
  • Responsibility: Give people the ability to make decisions and make things happen.

Juliette, Senior Designer, distracts herself to regain focus,

“If I’m feeling stressed, I get out of the office and go for a coffee. I’ll read a book or the newspaper for 20 minutes and make sure I don’t think about what’s making me stressed. I also make sure to notice if I’m spending too much time worrying or ruminating about something — if this happens I stop and focus on my breathing for 5 minutes.”

Kate, Studio Manager, also has a top three:

  • Flexibility: having the freedom to ‘take 5’ if I’m feeling stressed, or work from home if I need a quiet space to buckle down.
  • Buddhify App: my favourite new app has an extensive library for meditation on-the-go. Specifically, there’s mediation categories such as Being Online, Feeling Stressed or Having a Work Break. Each are about 5 minutes in length, which is perfect for when you’re at work.
  • Support: feeling the support of my co-workers is integral to my mental health. Knowing I have a tight support network who I can turn to is the key to workplace happiness and mental health.

Orla, Digital Strategist and Designer, recommends having the:

 Freedom to take a break from work when you need to… getting away from your desk or a change in environment.”

Julie, Accounts Officer, really values,

“Being able to choose where we work from – e.g. office, cafe, home, library.”

Similarly Carola, Content Editor, appreciates how much the flexibility of working p-t at the studio and the rest from home contributes to her ability to handle multiple projects (both work and family).

“If I’m at my home office I like the incentive to get up and move around every now and then to do small jobs – like hang out the washing – it clears my head and keeps the blood flowing, so I’m refreshed when I sit back at my desk. Also having flexi hours means that I can attend important school events and attend to other business when required. When I’m really ‘lost for words’, basically having a bad dose of writer’s’ block – I use yoga, e.g. ‘legs up the wall’ or an inversion of some sort or go out for a run or a swim.”

Lauren, Art Director and Designer, acknowledges how much being active adds to her state of overall wellbeing:

“My personal favourite mental health tip is – keep physically active. I play a team sport that keeps me fit as well as being a great social catch up with friends and an outlet for stress, aggression and tension.”

Flora, Marketing Martian, follows a practice of being thankful and giving herself rewards:

“Journaling: every morning I write down three things that make me happy and grateful. Sometimes when I start writing the list can become quite long but that makes me feel very happy and inspired! When I need to do something that I find very difficult I will decide on a reward, something I am allowed to do after I complete the arduous task. Such as, going to the beach, painting or buying some really nice candles… or even a sublime sweet treat!”

Roman, Senior Developer, also espouses the ‘take 5’ approach, he says,

“If you’re stuck with something – take a break, go for a walk and have a coffee or tea. When you think your brain isn’t concentrating on the problem, it is still looking for solutions in the background. It’s also important to unwind and release energy after work, so I love to play in team sports and competitions. A really good thing for workplace health and which makes everyone happy is that I can bring Chucky, my dachshund, to work.”

The Martians all noticed as well, that the weekly team meeting adds to the inherent collaborative approach at Mars – if a member of the team is grappling with a challenge the weekly staff meeting is a great opportunity to raise issues and to brainstorm solutions.

So, to summarise, here are the Top Tips for Workplace Wellbeing from Mars:

  1. Integrate flexibility
  2. Allow time out when required
  3. Empower initiative
  4. Encourage active lifestyles
  5. Create an atmosphere of collaboration
  6. Bring pets to work (if they’re well behaved and the environment is appropriate, of course!)

What are your tips for mental healthiness at work? We’d love to hear your ideas.  (Use the comments box below.)

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