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Fluid happiness - Our workplace wellbeing plan

Hi, I’m Michelle. I’m a digital designer here at Fluid, but over the past 18 months I’ve taken on a new wellbeing role alongside my day job, something that was not only new to me, but also to Fluid.

This new role focused on creating a wellbeing plan for our team. We know that the workplace is where people spend most of their time, so it is very important for us to work to provide and maintain a healthy environment and learn to understand the people within it. In March we launched our new wellbeing strategy, we call it ‘Fluid happiness’. And in light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we had to quickly adapt this plan to support our team who are now working remotely, but more on that later.

So, what is Fluid happiness?

Fluid happiness isn’t just about us doing nice things and making people happy, it’s about supporting everyone so that we can all fulfil our potential. Our Fluid happiness plan covers all aspects of wellbeing including: mental health, physical wellbeing and social initiatives, as well as some all-encompassing, general happiness ideas.

Our pillars

We created six wellbeing pillars to align all of our happiness actions. These pillars address both team happiness and support Fluid’s mission and vision. And because we want to live by our values, each pillar is aligned to one of them. This way, everything we do will be true to Fluid’s vision. We will use these pillars as a tool to measure the impact of our wellbeing actions and we’ll keep going back to these pillars to make sure they’re making a difference.

Team happiness
Caring - Make people feel cared for
Positive - Make people feel happy and well
Ambitious - Help people fulfil their potential

Fluid's vision and mission
Trustworthy - Make us an attractive employer
Accountable - Make us a stronger team
Creative - Benefit the Fluid brand

Mental health support

Recent reports have shown that people working in the creative industry are 3x more likely to have mental ill health than the general population.

“People working in the creative industry are 3x more likely than the general population to have mental ill health. People who are creative are likely to be more in touch with their feelings. That can mean they sometimes experience things differently or more deeply than other people, that’s part of their craft”.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-foyle-west-43514255

Our number one priority is to promote mental health awareness, spot the signs and triggers of mental ill health and support positive wellbeing. Over the past 18 months, almost half of our team have been given mental health awareness training designed and delivered by MHFA England. We have introduced regular catch-ups with team leaders and an increased visibility in signposting people to get help and support good mental health. We also have weekly lunch time walks to get people out of their seat, away from their screen and talking. We call them ‘Walkie Talkies’.

Physical wellbeing

Fitness and exercise can play a huge part in our overall wellbeing. It aids with living a healthy and active lifestyle as well as building social skills and clearing the mind. We’re always keen to support our team in physical activities and we have several initiatives available for everyone to enjoy. We have a football team, run club, and we also offer all of our team members free gym membership and team exercise classes. We offer health insurance to all of our team. It’s a great benefit for quick and convenient access to industry-leading healthcare. In addition to all of that, we’ve got first aid covered as well with several trained first aiders in the office. Peace of mind for our team.

Social wellbeing

We’re a social bunch at Fluid and we like to work and play together. We have all sorts going on from team lunches, birthday celebrations and weekly wine bar trips to amazing Christmas holiday weekends away and lots of other activities in between! Whilst it sounds like a bit of fun, it really is a lot more than that. It’s about strengthening our working relationships, creating friendships and building trust. Our team has grown quite quickly over the past two years, and we want to make sure that everyone feels comfortable and confident in their role at Fluid. To help with this, we’ve created an onboarding scheme in which to ease our new starters into life at Fluid and fully support their understanding of their new role.

General happiness

We want our team to feel comfortable and proud of our Fluid home. We have recently invested in making some big upgrades and changes to make our workspace a better experience for both our clients and the team. We’ve stripped out the tired boardroom and made it a beautiful space to work and hold events. We’ve introduced quiet and relaxed areas around the studio for more informal chats and breakout work stations. We also now have a weekly fruit delivery and have introduced of A LOT of plants in the studio.

And finally… Lockdown wellbeing

Just when we thought we were breaking boundaries with the reveal of our Fluid happiness plan, two weeks later there’s a global pandemic and the entire country has gone into lockdown. For the past six weeks the entire Fluid team has been working remotely from their own homes and our daily working life is continuing… but not as any of us know it! Suddenly we needed to introduce a lockdown wellbeing plan. So, we came back to our pillars and happiness initiatives in order to convert our office-based plans to support remote working.

The first thing we did was to set up a wellbeing channel on our team communication platform dedicated to Fluid happiness and all team members are invited to use and contribute to the content in this channel. We continue to cover all aspects of our wellbeing plan for mental health support, physical wellbeing and social initiatives (whilst practicing social distancing!), as well as some extra support for helping the team adjust to life in these new situations. Tips for working from home, home schooling resources and help and advice for combatting loneliness and anxiety in these uncertain times are all covered.

I think it’s fair to say that we’re all starting to miss each other’s company now and keeping morale high is more important than ever! There’s been a lot of occasions to celebrate during lockdown. We’ve had team birthdays and big life events and we think it’s important to celebrate every one of them. We’ve had personalised greeting cards, verses of ‘happy birthday’ sang beautifully in team video calls and surprise happy post deliveries. And, most importantly, we’re still enjoying our Friday 5.30pm wine bar evenings. What’s not to love, they’re cheaper and now have a quiz too!

Take care, keep safe and we’ll meet again soon.