By Sara Guenoun

Eat, sleep, work, repeat. Eat, sleep, work, repeat.

For many office-based workers out there, this might have been the routine for the last six months or so, and all within the same walls.

The pandemic has changed the way we go about our daily lives. And although working from home does have its perks – not having to cram yourself into a subway car every morning with other commuters, and sitting a mere ten feet away from your kitchen for easy access to a snack break – if I didn’t have the backing of a strong team and a company that invests heavily in the wellbeing of its people, this could have been a much more challenging period.

Here’s why putting employee wellbeing at the forefront is a no-brainer, in a pandemic and always:

Working from home can be lonely without support

No matter how many Teams calls you have (in your pajama bottoms) being at home can be a lonely way of working. PR is a hugely rewarding career, but it’s fast-paced, energetic and challenging too. It can be tough not being able to turn to our colleagues as we usually would to hear them tell us, ‘you got this!’ (probably the most frequently used phrase in Aspectus offices).

That’s why the recognition of each individual’s mental health is so important. At Aspectus, we’re all encouraged to make sure we take daily breaks in the fresh air, or to take time out from the screen to sit down with that much-needed coffee, or show our families and pets some attention. Our management team have been having regular catchups with everyone across the business to make sure everyone is okay and feeling personally supported. We even have a wellness buddy system, so everyone has a specific colleague looking out for them.

Small gestures make a big impact

Aspectus is a company that knows the small things are actually the big things. And the combination of the various gestures our teams have been given during this period have added up to have a huge effect on our overall wellbeing.

Recently, we were all given the first ever Aspectus bank holiday – an extra day of vacation to relax and wind down. Then, we were awarded some extra time-out to go out and get a much-needed new hair cut once salons and barbers opened up again (thank god – because the ‘dos were really suffering in lockdown).

Aspectus also understood that working in a flat with other roommates, or in your bedroom, might not have been the comfiest set up if not approached well, so everyone across the business was provided with a financial stipend to improve their working space.

Mindfulness matters

Aspectus cares a lot about mental health. We’ve always been encouraged to prioritize our mental wellbeing, take time for it, and view it as a fundamental part of our working lives – not something that exists around the edges.

Never has this been more important than during COVID-19. That’s why we’ve had fantastic mindfulness initiatives put in place during this time, to make sure that mental health never needs to be bumped from our to-do lists.

We’ve had weekly virtual meditation classes with experts to help us let our surroundings melt away, and find some peace and calm in our days. We’ve also hosted online yoga classes to chill out and stretch out after a day of leaning over the desk.

Culture makes all the difference

Working in PR is a thrilling and rewarding experience. But it’s important to be part of a company that knows its people are the ones who fuel the business. At Aspectus, we’ve always been told that without us there would be no clients, no profits and no pushing boundaries. Over the course of 2020 and all the craziness it brought with it – we’ve certainly been reminded that we come first.

As we look ahead to potential office re-openings and excited reunions, it’s important to take a moment to realize that Aspectus has remained a space that people love coming into – even when that space is a virtual one.

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