Wellbeing, kindness, vulnerability and empathy
Asking for help and checking in on how people are feeling has become much more important every day. We have not always got it right, and it feels awkward the first few times, but the simplicity of asking how someone is feeling at the start of a meeting reassures us that we don’t always have to be 100%, especially as we can cycle through a variety of emotions in a working week in these, dare I say it, unprecedented times.
During Mental Health Awareness Week, our Random Acts of Kindness brought us even closer and offered joy away from the Zoom calls. Our Slack Wellbeing Channel and DMs have never been so active, with support for one another in our uniquely individual circumstances. Parents, carers, partners, flat mates, loved ones, they’ve all played an important role in the Fold too, supporting and contributing in so many ways to keep us safe, well and connected.
Almost against the odds, generosity has been our constant. A call, a message, a Moonpig card, a Greggs sausage roll delivered to the doorstep, a random shout out on a morning film; we know instinctively what will bring a smile.
We believe that kindness should not be considered a soft skill, or an optional extra. It’s vital for any team striving to be productive and committed to their employees’ well-being.
Importantly, whilst some have a good set-up to work remotely, we absolutely recognise that others want and need to work from an office. Being part of the Miroma Group means we can book space at their offices, which are fully Covid-19 compliant, should anyone need a place to work collaboratively, and they are able to travel to the office safely.
We experiment from time to time with new ways to stay connected. As the majority are happy and productive working remotely, then a mid-week Walk and Talk is our latest suggestion. Simply having a 10-minute chat over lunch to check in on someone and stepping outside into the fresh air, will help to make the most of the shortening days. If this idea doesn’t stick for any reason, we’ll listen, learn and go again.
Our Ambition value continuously stretches and guides our career progression, our agency development and our personal goals, and will continue to do so when the pandemic eases and life begins to return to a new way.
As we look into the next wave of uncertainty and fresh challenges, we continue to focus on everyone’s mental well-being, checking in frequently, understanding their resilience levels, leaders included, mentoring managers as they coach remote teams and keep up the mischief and kindness. Kindness increases our personal well-being, reduces stress and enables us to feel happier. Mischief keeps it fun.
Our endless curiosity in supporting one another, understanding our clients’ circumstances and sharing what is going on in the world has meant our conversations are more enriched. We have a greater understanding of our lived experiences and that has bonded us in a way that might not have come about had we been working only at Kirby Street. From day one, our curiosity helped us to understand where everyone was living; we created a quick map of locations to know who was at home, looking after an elderly parent, had returned to family or a new house share to avoid being home alone. Small things which seemed like nothing much, and yet rooted us.
Although a few of us have honed our sourdough skills or learned Spanish whilst on furlough, we have also been exposed to new and intriguing experiences even within the confines of our homes. The plethora of webinars available out there have given us the chance to take this new curiosity into our work and collaborations.