Curious Lab: the one with the well-being focus
Our Curious Lab is a protected amount of time that allows us to satisfy our inquisitive minds through a wide range of experiences such as exhibitions, immersive theatre, technology, workshops and film. The learnings from these sessions are fed back into our client conversations – making our work even more impactful. Our first Curious Lab of the year asked our team ‘how can we adopt well-being practices that work in the real world?’
What does compassion look like in our business?
We began by asking our team to take the time to read What Is Compassionate leadership by Suzie Bailey and Michael West at The Kings Fund. Readers are asked: what does compassion look like to you? How can it influence the way we lead and shape an ever-growing and evolving workplace? Compassionate leadership asks us to focus on careful listening, understanding, empathising, and supporting other people, enabling those we lead to feel valued, respected and cared for, so they can reach their potential and do their very best work. All our team are leaders so these discussions were crucial in understanding how we could improve interactions with one another. Our teams found that these four behaviours not only could help them individually but their colleagues and clients too.
Compassion is a theme that runs through our organisation, from internal collaboration to the way we ask how we can do things better. How can we do this better? When developing communication programmes, we not only collaborate with the client and their stakeholders but apply a level of empathy with the patient groups to ensure their insights can shape better more impactful work.
What are the four pillars of well-being?
There is a risk that well-being in the workplace can become a tick box exercise that isn’t baked into the company culture. We wanted to put this into effect by taking action after discussing the ways we will do it. Actions speak louder than words when creating a psychologically safe company culture for our teams to thrive and do their best work in.
During our Curious Lab session, we discussed the four pillars of well-being. These include:
- emotional well-being
- physical well-being
- social well-being
- financial well-being.
The pillars interconnect with one another to contribute to an overall feeling of wellness. For emotional well-being, we urged our teams to feel safe when sharing their concerns with one another. Physical well-being, we want our colleagues to take time out of their schedules to mindfully move their bodies recognising that physical and mental well-being can link closely. We take pride in the working relationships that our team have fostered, we know that maintaining healthy social relationships in the workplace is crucial.
How we integrate this into our company culture?
At Curious Health we want people to feel they can disconnect whether that be when their day has finished or when they are on annual leave; we encourage everyone to work flexibly in a way that suits them.
We always deliver for our clients and dedicate ourselves to the brilliant results that our clients deserve – so we focus on our teams’ output rather than how and where the work is achieved. We value being respectful to others in understanding how we all have different experiences, insights, and perspectives. We respect that some of us work at our best in the morning whilst others will find their output is at its best in the afternoon. This respect blends itself into being transparent with our needs – it’s crucial that we tell our team members how we’re feeling and our style of working on that select date. We know that not every day will be the same, and that is OK. One way we do this is through our diaries being kept up to date to highlight times of unavailability, rest breaks and productivity periods.
However, the individual need is always balanced with client and team needs. We always remain accountable to each other to ensure one person’s needs are not affecting the wider team in a negative way.
Three ways to add well-being into your day:
Whether that’s to grab a bite to eat or to walk their dog, getting some movement during the day is crucial to building healthy habits into our days. Ev, our Senior Account Manager opts to attend a weekly yoga class during one of her lunch breaks. She said, ‘I enjoy breaking my day up with a class because it takes me away from my desk – I feel calmer on my return. It also helps to reset if I’m having a busy day, I really value having a lunch break that is away from a screen of any kind whether that be my laptop, television, or phone.”
A recent study found that those who participated in some gentle exercise during their working day were considerably more enthusiastic, less tense and generally more relaxed feeling they could cope with the day ahead.
Play your favourite album or podcast.
We all know that feeling when we hear our favourite track being played through our headphones can be euphoric so what’s stopping you from having that feeling during your working day? Meditation is known to be a popular stress management strategy for calming the mind, but did you know that adding music can deepen the positive effects? It is said that 20 minutes is a good time for music meditation, even one song can help restore the energy within. So, what song will you choose?
As an organisation, we recognise that despite its many benefits there can be a feeling of disconnect among colleagues when spending most of their working week from home. We encourage our team to make time to have a virtual coffee with one another, in the same way they would if they were sat next to each other in an office. During our Curious Lab we noted that when you’re working from home there is an expectation routed from past work experiences to be at your desk from the start to the end of the day. We know that in an office environment, this would never be the case as we love interacting with each other about ongoing projects and our lives outside of work. We are always looking for ways to stay connected, so how do your teams stay connected?
Ultimately, wellbeing in the workplace comes down to having the right resource in place to do an amazing job for clients. We are set up to recruit slightly ahead of revenue to ensure that people have the headspace to do the job they are capable of doing and avoid burn out. We want to do things differently in a hybrid age and encourage our teams to join us on this. If you’re interested in how we’re doing things differently, and with more impact, in healthcare communications , get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
 The benefits of a lunch hour walk (no date) BetterPoints. Available at: https://www.betterpoints.uk/page/walking-during-lunch-hour#:~:text=To%20combat%20afternoon%20slumps%20in,to%20handle%20stress%20at%20work. (Accessed: February 2, 2023).
 Elizabeth Scott, P.D. (2020) Meditation that’s music to your stressed mind, Verywell Mind. Verywell Mind. Available at: https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-practice-music-meditation-3144791 (Accessed: February 9, 2023).