If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that mental health and wellbeing must always be a priority.
COVID has changed the game and reliability, routine and resilience can no longer be taken for granted. That’s why Vitruvius has developed an encompassing Wellbeing Strategy to look after our people and ensure they have the tools they need for both at work, and in their personal lives.
We focused on four key areas to begin with – physical health, mental health, social responsibility and our work environment – and took an in-depth look at each area with a quarterly focus. We also provided a half day off for each staff member as paid ‘wellbeing leave’ and gave them $100 to invest in their mental health by doing something of their choice that made them feel energized!
Our goal is to help staff continuously improve their skills and engagement in each area, recognising that techniques that work for one person aren’t necessarily going to work for everyone else.
We kicked things off by promoting physical health at the beginning of last year. Our Tauranga staff took on the legendary Mount Everest Challenge where the goal is to climb Mauao 38 times in 50 days (the equivalent height of Mount Everest), while our Wellington team did rock climbing and F45 sessions.
That was followed by hosting Nigel Beach for a workshop on stress, anxiety and living in the modern age of comfort. He taught us Wim Hof breathing techniques and how exposure to cold baths and showers can help improve our mental and physical health. We gained a lot from this session and highly recommend it to everyone!
To enhance our social responsibility, Vitruvius has partnered with the Graham Dingle Foundation and donated time to the amazing work they do to help young people overcome life’s obstacles. Some of our Wellington team hosted mock job interviews for older teens to help them prepare for the workforce. In addition, the Tauranga office volunteered their time to a local environmental project in Whakamarama to improve pest control and protect our native species, whilst the Wellington office volunteered their time through planting 1000 trees at Ascot Park with Conservation Volunteers New Zealand and Porirua City Council.
And finally in the latter months of the year, we turned our attention to our work environment, undergoing ergonomic assessments of our workstations and looking at office aesthetics to make office life more comfortable and enjoyable. Real plants have now replaced fake ones and we organised a mini putt competition to inject more fun into our lives!
We’re measuring the success of our Wellbeing Strategy in a number of ways – by monitoring staff turnover, tenure, sick leave and productivity. We also ran an engagement survey to directly seek opinions and feedback and were thrilled to know that almost everyone (96%) feels proud to work at Vitruvius and would recommend our company to family and friends.
We will continue to focus on what we are doing well and what defines our culture and way of working.