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Wellbeing in Lockdown

Laura Hood

With the anniversary of the beginning of Lockdown recently upon us the team thought it was worth taking a look back at the last 12 months to see how everyone at IJYI coped with the sudden change in working practices.

Wellbeing and mental health has been a big focus for many organisations over the last 12 months and IJYI have also taken this very seriously. Throughout lockdown, with most staff working from home, the management team have encouraged everyone to join  “team huddles” which are held 3 times a week. This is a chance for people to connect on an informal basis, no shop talk! Of course, it’s not the same as popping out for some lunch with your colleagues, or having a chat by the coffee machine but it gives everyone the opportunity to have an informal chat and keep up those important connections with their colleagues. Then there’s “beer o’clock” on a Friday which is a virtual end of week drink and get together.

We’ve also had a few wellbeing boosts in the shape of food treats delivered to us during lockdown! Thanks IJYI!

IJYI treats

We’re really lucky at IJYI to have a professional yoga teacher in our midst. Lindsay Marsh joined the team in January 2021 and immediately gave everyone a wellbeing boost with a weekly yoga session delivered over Microsoft Teams. Thanks Lindsay!

Inspired by Lindsay’s yoga, the team thought it would be interesting to find out what everyone in the company had been up to over the last 12 months to help boost their wellbeing and the responses were really interesting!

Wellbeing boosters at IJYI

Wellbeing graph

I was particularly intrigued by the demolition and hot tub options! Two very different takes on wellbeing and really highlights how different we all are and how everyone copes with stress and change in their own way.

The demolition project involved moving a large rotten deck ready to build a new patio which is a rather lovely metaphor for a fresh start this summer. Well done Ric!

Tim’s hot tub caused much envy in the team, he said “you can’t bring electronic devices in, so it forces you to disconnect” which sounds like the perfect way to take some time out and gain some head space.

IJYI wellbeing activities

David Napier has created an indoor oasis with an amazing collection of stunning indoor plants and has even included a water feature. Everyone who has had a video call with David over the last few months has got to know Clarence – we thought Clarence was a dog at first but no, in fact it is a Livistona Rotundifolia, also known as an Umbrella Plant!

Personally, I used the excuse of having children to buy two guinea pigs, in principle for them but in reality for me! I find a sit down on the sofa, just me and the guinea pigs, is hugely calming!

IJYI wellbeing

Robyne Birkby, who spends a lot of time on customer calls in her role as Senior Business Analyst, has really found the benefit of being able to get out for a walk at lunchtimes with her dog and husband. Alongside that, Robyne has been growing an impressive amount of vegetables including tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, peas, aubergines, kale, spinach, garlic and strawberries. Fantastic! Everyone round to Robyne’s for dinner when we’re allowed!

IJYI Wellbeing

Our COO Alan is a keen cyclist so naturally a new bike and lots of miles out on the road have been his key to keeping sane this year. He’s really enjoyed lots of family walks and even a pond building project as well, nice work!

IJYI wellbeing

I was fascinated to see that out of all the activities mentioned, there was nothing which involved tech, which for a tech company was a huge surprise! The need to disconnect comes through strongly and it’s great to see so many of us getting active and enjoying nature.

It’s certainly been a tough 12 months but I think it’s fantastic to see how the team have managed to make the most of the extra time at home and put real effort into taking care of themselves, physically and mentally. Hopefully we’ll all be able to have a catch-up around that coffee machine soon.