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  • It’s Okay Not to be Okay: Mental Health Week 2019

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  • Wellbeing is as important in the workplace as teapoints and desk space – here’s how we promoted psychological and emotional awareness during Mental Health Week 2019.

    You’ve heard that health is wealth, but did you know that investing in wellbeing can pay dividends? 32% of people surveyed in our Annual Workplace Report, believed their workplace negatively affects their physical or mental wellbeing. Offices that support employees’ wellbeing reduce absenteeism and presenteeism, increase productivity and improve employee retention.

    At Oktra, we’re dedicated to enhancing wellbeing through office design that puts people first, whether we’re working with clients on fitness-focused facilities, or improving our own workplace. For this year’s Mental Health Week, we took time to come together as a company and focus on one of our most valuable resources – ourselves. Take a look at this day-by-day breakdown of our week of wellbeing:

  • Monday – Meditation

    Monday started our week with a fruit-based breakfast for the office, followed by a guided meditation session during lunch. Lead by Amisha Bhavsar from Inner Space, employees gathered in the agile area of our current office to take part in the session.

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  • With relaxing music playing throughout our headquarters, participants were led through 30 minutes of meditation with a focus on breathing and inner mental state. The workshop provided an opportunity to take a break from the rhythm of the work day and get in touch with what is going on internally – a chance to balance the mind and tune out the fast pace of the office.

  • Tuesday – Check-in

    On Tuesday, our Mental Health First Aiders gave an educational talk on mental health, focussing on how it affects individuals and the companies they work for. This was the team’s first talk, and the certified individuals introduced themselves as confidential resources for anyone in the company to speak with and get advice from. They also emphasised existing company resources like the Bupa Healthy Minds confidential help line – a 24/7 support line dedicated to mental wellbeing.

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  • Wednesday – Why worry?

    Mid-week was dedicated to introspective self-evaluation. We challenged everyone at the office to allow a moment during their day to take the NHS mood self-assessment, an online quiz designed to help participants understand their current and recent state of being.

    Taking time to understand why we feel the way we do can be difficult, especially in a fast-paced workplace. In order to navigate personal wellbeing, it’s important to acknowledge and speak about feelings as a way to discover the kinds of self-care practices that work best for you.

    Thursday – Finance

    Money can’t buy happiness, but poor financial wellbeing can lead to an overwhelming sense of insecurity and stress. That’s why, on Thursday, we held in-office consultations with financial advisors. Each session gave employees the opportunity to speak privately with a professional about all things personal finance.

    We also held a wellbeing scavenger hunt, testing office members on the information they’d learned throughout the week, and presenting the winner with a £50 Treatwell voucher towards the massage of their choice.

  • Friday – Bring your dog to work

    The final day of our Mental Health Week, Friday went to the dogs – literally. Dogs were allowed in the office all day, and we held a company-wide dog walk in the afternoon. Spending time with pets reduces stress by decreasing levels of cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone.


    To relax even further, there were massages available throughout the day, and we provided drinks for the office from 4:00pm. A happy and healthy workforce is something we’ll raise a glass to any day.

    Mental Health Week 2019 brought about an opportunity to unite in wellbeing practices that we may tend to overlook in our personal lives. Investing in wellbeing takes effort, both on a personal and company-wide level; positive wellbeing isn’t something that happens in the course of a week, it’s a part of our overall health and it requires constant maintenance. But it’s worth it. Seeing as it has the power to positively impact every aspect of our lives, promoting mental health will always deliver an invaluable return on investment.

    If you’d like to learn more about supporting employee wellbeing through office design, get in touch with one of our specialists.

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