May 12, 2021
“If you take care of your mind, you take care of the world.”
At Law 365 we know that if we look after ourselves (and each other) first, we will do better work, we will have happier clients and we will create a great place to work.
Our CEO and Founder, Kim Simmonds, understands that each employee has a life outside work and that the lines between home and work life have blurred as more and more people move to flexible working. She also knows that employee wellbeing is paramount in building a mindful workplace. Here are some of the initiatives that have worked for us...
1. We promote a culture of openness
At Law 365 we help to build a culture of openness where people feel comfortable sharing what is going on for them and give honest feedback.
Often this doesn’t come naturally to people as most of us have been taught from a very young age to be ‘nice’, to ‘say the right thing’ and to not upset others, but this is not always conducive to getting the best out of each other.
Giving constructive feedback can be hard, so at Law 365, we have been learning to apply the Radical Candor technique for giving effective feedback. We’ve learned how to show that we care deeply about each other while also giving ourselves permission to able to provide challenge, which encourages honesty, openness trust and ultimately delivers results faster. Through practicing this framework, and asking leaders to role model it, we are more able to deal with the tricky stuff quickly and move on.
2. Mental wellbeing is a priority
Our in-house coach, Louise Otton is a mental health first aider and provides the team with a safe space to go and talk to someone if they are concerned about themselves or if they notice that someone else is struggling.
We know that understanding and spotting the early signs of any mental ill-health are key to helping someone get the support they need at the right time.
Anyone can fall into mental ill-health so it's important to build awareness in a workplace that de-stigmatises talking about it, and encourages people to bring their whole self to work. We are creating a culture of openness where we can share our vulnerabilities, as well as empowering everyone to take responsibility for their own wellbeing.
Law 365 are proud to have signed The Global Collaboration for Better Workplace Mental Health Pledge, joining other like-minded organisations that are putting their people first. For more details see Leadership Pledge Signatories.
3. We practice something mindful every day
Whether you choose to practice mindfulness or not, at Law 365 you are likely to find something mindful that suits you! From daily 10 minute meditations, to gong baths, sounds sessions, mindful walks and meditation challenges, we are invested in this.
Why? Because we have seen that it improves our focus, concentration, overall productivity and wellbeing.
Creating a new habit as part of a group can really help cement good new behaviours, because we also know how hard it is to commit to introducing a new habit into a busy day.
4. We have fun!
We work hard but we also play hard and Kim is a firm believer in encouraging her team to carve out a work / life blend that works for them. She recognises that this may be different for each individual and she also recognises that we need to have fun together.
During the pandemic the team have made a fantastic effort to stay connected, not just through the daily ‘tea breaks’ but through a variety fun virtual activities. From whisky tasting, pasta making to green smoothie making and charity walks, as well as regular Friday afternoon drinks on Teams, we have lots of fun. We also include the kids and held a chocolate making workshop for the children in the school holidays!
The team are thriving, we are growing and we know that all these small things are essential for ensuring our people are happy.
5. We use technology to optimise our wellbeing
Time is a finite resource and it is the one universal limitation that we all have to juggle, which if not managed well can become a source of stress.
We all have the same 24hrs a day and we all need to sleep, eat, move and manage our home lives. Our working days may be more flexible, but it does not mean they need to be longer.
One of the challenges of remote working has been that employees are working longer days with less breaks because they are not commuting and don’t have the natural breaks you would get in an office, however, research shows us our brains need a break!
We are firm believers in maximising technology to make our working days better by making small changes such as:
- Adjusting meetings in calendars to be 25 or 50 mins (instead of the default 30/60) with an in-built buffer to ensure you can take a brain break between Teams calls
- Using apps such as Microsoft Viva and Workplace Analytics to help each person understand how they use their time
- Encourage staff to take 1 min breathing breaks
- Schedule focused uninterrupted time where notifications are automatically turned off
- Remind people to wind down at the end of the day with a "virtual commute"
None of this takes up much time in the day, but these small actions add up to a much more productive and energised working week.
If you would like to find out more about what it is like to work at Law 365 read our blog, A Day in the Life of an Associate.