We’ve always been a business which prioritises the health and wellbeing of the team – it’s part of our approach to CSR – which is Common Sense Really. Formal and informal, our emphasis on wellbeing, mental and physical, is driven by a zealous determination to ensure a semblance of a work life balance for all. As we strive towards a new office normality, with staggered start times and WFH rotas, never before has this been more important. Not because three days in the office, two WFH isn’t what people want – it is [we asked, listened and created the plan as a result], but getting used to being together again is also somewhat daunting.
Can we remember our table manners, social norms, work wardrobe [smart casual], and avoid audibly commenting on how our colleagues, and friends, look after so long apart? Aging physically has played its part – certainly I speak personally here. I may feel like I’m still 25 but the lack of being able to ‘loup’ the gate when the cows got a trifle too friendly last weekend would bely this inner memory.
Long have experts demanded we ‘put on your own gas mask before helping others’ and while absolutely understood when in physical danger, it is much more difficult, mentally, to do this when steering a business, of any size, through the unknown.
In February 2021 we offered all Dragons training in Mental Health First Aid [not because anyone asked for it, or particularly needed it, but because it felt like a sensible thing to do] to raise awareness, tackle stigmas, put our money where our mouth is, in terms of a financial commitment to well being, and ensure a ‘reach out’ process for times of strife. Our Head of Cheer [of the four legged variety] ensures open air walk and talks which are highly recommended for helpful, honest, confidential conversations. And if mental health first aid training can help us in turn, to support our loved ones, then it’s an investment well made. More than half of all Dragons attended and ‘graduated’ after an intensive week.
Practical First Aid training is next on the agenda – not particularly because I expect falls, cuts and sprains in the office, but with a young workforce [at last] out on the town again, the chance of their coming across those who need help due to over indulgences are high. For those with responsibilities with the very young, or the very old, the threats look a little different. But for all, a little, focused, first aid knowledge is vital: firstly to help with your own shock when faced with a trauma; secondly, you might, actually, save someone’s life.
SnapDragon is fortunate to have grown, considerably, in the last six months. We have wonderful new clients and fabulous new Dragons, recruited to help brands thrive – often in the face of adversity – across the globe. We have recruited from far and wide, and will welcome all with open arms, when we meet them. Recruited, trained and befriended virtually, they are as part of the business as those who have been with us for years. But it is this need for the warmest of welcomes which returns us to the theme of ‘self care’ through the most challenging of circumstances.
We can’t open the door if we’re on the floor. And, at 55 degrees latitude, the nights are drawing in.
So, from 1st of November to the end of February, when the sun rises after 8am, we will start every Tuesday an hour later than normal to allow a period of [paid-for] ‘Dragon-time’. Whether for exercise, meditation, sleep, yoga or putting a wash on, I am hopeful an additional hour of free living can move us all towards opening the door – to continue the wellbeing, ambitions and development of our much-loved Dragons and the delivery of intelligent technology, and outstanding results in keeping businesses, and customers, safe for our revered clients around the world. And, so we can stand tall, open the door, and welcome all.