7 June 2018
Payday lender 247Moneybox.com has launched a wellbeing programme for its employees to promote good mental health practices.
Office manager Jo Smith remarks: "Recognising that your staff are your key asset in building a sustainable business model is incredibly important. We recognise that no matter how much you enjoy your work, it's pretty much inevitable that at some point you will experience some work-related stress and negativity at some point. We have put in place measures to mitigate this and ensure that our staff have our support when they need it."
The lender recognises that taking care of the mental health of its staff not only positively impacts the bottom line but also ensures that its customers benefit. Smith continues "if staff feel better about themselves and are in a position to be positive about the stresses and strains of their work then they are going to be more effective at their job. Employees will engage with training more thoroughly and have a better grasp of what is required to promote best customer outcomes."
Stress and negativity at work can come from a number of sources be that a difficult project or a co-worker that just winds you up, resulting in feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Ultimately this can lead to a fall in work productivity and personal mental health and wellbeing. What the programme aims to do is to offer effective remedies and coping mechanisms to those negative feelings. Obviously preventing the stress causing situations is one route but sometimes this is just not possible.
Staff are encouraged to attend lunch time workshops that offer tips on how to prevent negative thoughts from forming in the first place. For example, deep breathing, body scanning and positive visualisation techniques. Staff also have the opportunity to voice or write down recent positive experiences at work or outside work which can help reduce the intensity of the negativity by contextualising the situation. Ultimately the aim of these workshops is to show staff that negative thoughts need to be recognised early and that they do not serve them well. If staff can become more emotionally agile and adaptive then they will be in a better position both at work and in life in general to deal with the inevitable ups and downs.
In addition, the firm has set aside break out areas, quiet and well away from the main office with doors and windows to let fresh air in and general office noise out. Luckily for the lender their office is situated near some gardens in central London that staff can relax and play table tennis if they so wish. The company has also established a physical exercise programme with boot camp classes and run clubs. This is alongside it's long established yoga sessions.
Whilst there are quite a few serious runners in the office, 247Moneybox.com is also very encouraging of novices or for individuals returning to fitness. The Thursday run is aimed at newbies and is at the pace of the slowest member of the group. Faster runners are encouraged to work on their technique including efficient breathing and every effort is made to emphasise the joy of running versus the pain of running. This mental reset is key to running sustainably i.e. not just every now and then as the pain is too great. Once 10 runs are in the bag, you are usually able to sustain a jog or something just over a fast walk for a reasonable period of time whilst maintaining a conversation. This is the sweet spot for any runner and the doorway to an enjoyable and mentally relaxing sport. The benefits of running on your own or in a group are numerous. Many find solo running to be incredibly mindful and help you exist in the moment. By listening and focusing on your breathing your mind can be still and absorb the surroundings of wherever you have decided to run.
The next level of running can be data driven for some. Breaking personal bests or improving your VO2 max can give an incredible sense of achievement. With the advent of fitness apps and social communities running need not always be a solo sport. Popular apps now connected to GPS can automatically calculate the fastest runners over well-known segments. Watches and phones provide accurate and easy to use data which in many cases is automatically uploaded to online accounts in the background. The data rich environment can help everyone who wants to improve from the first timer 5k to a seasoned ultra-runner.
Stresses and strains are part of our daily lives and whilst we can go to great lengths to avoid or lessen the impact, it will never be eliminated. Hopefully the payday lender has gone some way to help improving the wellbeing of its staff which can help drive excellent customer service in the business.