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The nights are drawing in, Michael Bublé is on the radio and the Red Cups are back in Starbucks – it can only mean one thing – Christmas is upon us. Around the country people are putting up their trees, baking gingerbread and watching Love Actually on repeat – but whilst some habits die hard, others might have to take a back seat this festive season.
The term Covid Christmas has been circulating throughout the media this Golden Quarter, but few are sure of what it really means. With Covid restrictions still in place, will it still be the most wonderful time of the year for the UK’s merry-goers? We spoke to our team over at Incubeta UK to see how atmospheres in the office have changed in the lead up to Christmas, and what the company has done to ensure that employee spirits are lifted and mental wellbeing is at the heart of the company this December.
Creating a Culture of Wellbeing – Callum & Leo, Mental Health & Wellbeing Committee
2020 has been a year of challenges, and as members of the Mental Wellbeing Committee we understand that the topic of mental health comes with a stigma. The role we play is to break that stigma down, opening up conversations that get people talking and thinking about their own mental wellbeing. One of our main goals is to be as approachable as possible to every member of staff at Incubeta, which has been a real challenge whilst working from home. To create and maintain a culture of wellbeing throughout the pandemic we put a number of initiatives in place to support and open up topics surrounding mental health.
From weekly drop-in sessions with Mental Health First Aid trained team members, to internal webinars with experts in the field of wellbeing, this year has been about both educating and, more importantly, about being there for each and every staff member at Incubeta. To combat the negative connotations associated with a ‘Covid Christmas’ we started the process of putting together a ‘Self-reflection Checklist’: encouraging people to check in with themselves and to empower staff to reach out if they do need support.
Moving forward, it’s vital for us as a committee to know that we’re being supported by senior stakeholders here at Incubeta. Our UK CEO, Luke Judge and the leadership team have been prominent ambassadors for us, as well as a number of other members within our organisation. As we get closer to Christmas, we’ll be revealing how mental wellbeing is being adopted in both Incubeta’s corporate policy, and in the support that is available to us.
Looking towards next year we know that there is always more we can do as a committee and as people in general. We aim to become even more approachable as we step into 2021 and hope to keep raising awareness for Mental Health and breaking down the stigma that comes with it.
‘Tis the Season to be Jolly’ – Daniel, Social Committee
The festive season is usually the busiest time of year for the Social Committee and that’s no different this year even though the celebrations are going to have a very different feel to what we’re all used to! Although the traditional Christmas party will have to be put on ice for this year, we are still hard at work planning a virtual celebration with the usual speeches, awards and entertainment and ensuring that all employees will receive some delicious Christmas goodies delivered to their door. Throw in this year’s postal-only version of Secret Santa and Incubeta advent calendars and we can safely say that we’ve done our best to keep the season of good cheer intact in spite of the Covid gloom!
Conjuring the Christmas Spirit – Catriona, People & Culture Committee
It’s definitely strange not to be in the office during our busiest time of the year – how do you sustain employee morale and conjure the Christmas spirit when everyone is working from home? As a member of the People and Culture committee we were keen to capture that warm and fuzzy Christmas feel, despite living in a new and somewhat strange virtual world. To ensure employee spirits weren’t dampened by the prospect of a Covid Christmas (and to achieve that end of the year feeling) we ‘conjured the Christmas spirit’ via food, music and competition!
Snacks are a big part of the festive season, especially on Black Friday – food that feeds the body and nourishes the soul. Despite the national lockdown, we didn’t want this year to be any different, so we sent delicious ‘Nummy’ donuts and a free lunch to everyone’s door! We also hijacked the Incubeta Spotify playlist to make it full of merriment. Just because we aren’t physically together doesn’t mean we rejoice in song together!
To channel team togetherness, we went global on our first company-wide competition – a journey to Lapland. We challenged all team members to collectively walk or run the 2623 km distance between the North Pole and Santa’s Lapland getaway in order to raise money for Unicef. Getting away from one’s desk and breathing in some fresh air is so important for mental and physical health. The team has been encouraged to post photos of their outings, with a prize to be won for the ‘best festive outfit worn while on your walk or run’.