This week, we've been talking about how our modern way of working and living can cause issues with mental health that many of us don't even know exist, yet alone admit how it impacts us.
It's well documented that we need 3 simple things to keep our minds healthy:
- safe sun every day
- to exercise and get a sweat on
- to be with people regularly
Unfortunately, life in 2016 doesn't make this easy. We don't spend enough time in the day light because we work in doors or have further to travel to get to school, the doctors and work, and that means we have less spare time to exercise. We also spend a lot of time communicating with a screen rather than a person. The 3 simple things suddenly don't seem so simple
Working out what works for wellbeing
Recent trends tell us that more and more people are starting up in business or remote working and that millennials are increasingly looking for jobs where they don't work the traditional 9-5 for 48 weeks a year. But is this necessarily good for our wellbeing? Although this lifestyle gives more flexibility and freedom, it can also make life more isolating.
In our discussion, we all talked about times when we had been sad, unhappy, lonely or isolated but none of us wanted to say this was a €œmental health" issue, we try to avoid this as the word "mental" seems to have such a stigma. However, all of these feelings do affect our mental wellbeing and can end with serious problems if they are not cared for and treated. Our discussions led us all to say that we need to take much better care of our minds, as well as our bodies.
Your environment and wellbeing
People talk lots about coworking, and how the sense of community can improve wellbeing, but we think it's more than coworking, the environment too can benefit your mental health. Workplace offers a venue for a number of different workers to get together and form a community while they are working. This helps to form relationships that are supportive and nurturing. Over the first year that Workplace has been in existence it has become a real community; we have seen people join together in our yoga classes, chat about the ups and downs of business around the coffee machine, and share experiences, both business and personal.
What our members say
Gemma Donnelly is an office member at Workplace and a Legal and Technical Advisor for CPW. She works from Workplace with four other colleagues. She is also our appointed Yoga Champion (although I am not sure she knows it!), encouraging members to join in with our weekly member's yoga session.
Gemma tells us what she thinks are the benefits of working in a coworking space like Workplace€¦.
To myself and my colleagues, Workplace is more a lifestyle choice than a shared working space. Working for a national company, my role involves travelling between various regions. Extending our office portfolio to Manchester, where I live, has allowed me to be based closer to home. Whilst this is an undeniable benefit, the main attraction of Workplace is the environment itself. Its clever design has passionately created different work spaces which ooze personality, a far cry from the bland boxes offices once were. Beyond CPW's secluded office, as a member I also have the option of working within the open plan shared office space, as well as the quieter areas, when I need to focus on complex or confidential matters. The forward thinking mind-set of its founders has effectively created a space conducive to enhanced productivity and work-life balance. Aside from it being a pleasure to work in, the opportunity to interact with other members, of various professionalisms, has expanded by professional and personal social circles, to those I would not typically have the opportunity to engage in. The social, interactive, effective work space that Workplace provides makes it a wonderful place to work in and I would highly recommend it to any business or individual, if only just for the unlimited supply of coffee, sweets and biscuits that are on offer!
Jennie Liscombe is a Marketing Manager for Across the Pond, an international student recruitment company based in America. She moved to Manchester a year ago and worked at a few coworking venues in Manchester until she settled in at Workplace.
Jennie tells us what made her decide on Workplace and why she likes basing herself from one of the Hot Desks as often as she can€¦.
Working remotely allows you great opportunities but it can be incredibly isolating, especially when you are new to a city like I was. Searching for a co-work space takes time and you have to find your perfect fit. Work Place offers a professional and stylish hot desking environment which is the ideal base for me and any meetings I may have to have visiting colleagues or agencies. Mixing with people in similar circumstances to you helps motivate you and focus plus the chance to network with individuals from all different industries and take part in workshops, yoga classes and even bake offs offers you all the best qualities of an €˜office' in addition to the freedom remote working offers.
If you are interested in the subject, it's well worth following Sir Cary Cooper, the America-born psychologist and professor of Organization Psychology and Health at Manchester Business School on Twitter (@profcarycooper). He recently tweeted about the increase of flexible working and its benefits on wellbeing and has also developed the 6 essentials of work place wellbeing.