Uscreates trials an internal wellbeing project in the workplace using the Double Diamond process
Working in the health and wellbeing sector means we are surrounded by constant inspiration to ensure that we practice what we preach and live the healthiest lives we can. At Uscreates this has manifested into an internal project ‘Us’, that aims to use the design tools we use in our work to develop a strategy for change to enable us to live happier and healthier lives.
Using the Design Council’s Double Diamond we set about to Discover what the broad aims of our project should be. We engaged the team to establish what areas of their work life needed addressing to improve their health and happiness. We asked: What are your healthiest and least healthy habits at work? The answers were framed around four key areas: mental, physical, dietary and environmental.
Plenty of predictable answers came out of our research as well as some unexpected ones: We had requests for a team holiday, for a biscuit ban, more fresh air, lunch time escapes to the park, and for fewer meetings. We also had a suggestion box for the team to share anything they felt was sensitive. We read and catalogued all of the suggestions, this process enabled us to Define the problem. We found the most responses by some margin came under the ‘Mental health’ category and thus made this the initial focus of our work.
We moved on to the Develop part of the process in order to formulate a strategy to improve the lives of the Uscreatures. Deciding to focus on one category at a time, we aim to structure each month as follows:
Week 1: Introduce the four changes at our team meeting
Week 2: Provide a platform for feedback
Week 3: Address any changes that might be needed
Week 4: Gather team feedback and produce a blog post
We kick started ‘Mental Health May’ a few weeks ago as part of the Deliver part of the process. We introduced our four changes for the month, chosen because they cropped up most often in our engagement and we felt they were important improvements that the team would value.
Our Mental Health May changes are:
- An email ban between 7pm – 8am and over the weekend to ensure the team are given time to switch off from work, wind down and enjoy their lives out of the studio.
- Booking in a lunch break when suits, to protect lunchtimes and ensure the team are able to have some time in the day to switch off, to relax and recharge.
- Introducing a flexible working policy to clarify when and where the team is encouraged to work.
- Address the number and length of meetings we have every week. We are still researching what this will look like, but plan to trial a day each week with no meetings and cut down how many are in our diaries, opting instead for quick catch ups and scrums.
We intend to share our experiences each month on these improvements and hope to encourage more organisations to adopt these health and happiness improving methods for their teams. We spend so much time in the office, it should be a great place to work that people want to go to every day.
Find out more
If you are facing similar issues in your organisation or would like to hear more about our “Us” internal project through a design process. Please feel free to contact our internal wellbeing champions Francesca Cook firstname.lastname@example.org or Hannah Pinnock email@example.com pdf