A Moment’s Difference
December 18, 2017
A perspective on wellbeing by Daniel Robey, Founder & CEO, Think Jam
A study by Harvard University found that people spend 47% of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing. ‘A wandering mind is an unhappy mind,’ says Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert, the psychologists who carried out the study. Searching for happiness can often send you down a materialistic track, which isn’t always healthy, as we should ideally try to appreciate the moment we’re in and try to be accepting and grateful for what we have.
Taking time to stop and reflect is a huge part of personal wellbeing. However, our fast-paced industry and world of work often means that we don’t stop and take time to think about how we really feel in our daily lives. It can be hard to consciously take headspace time, which can make it a fine and delicate balance with many different steps to achieve meaningful results.
The Power of Entertainment
Graham Pembrey, BUPA’s Health and Lifestyle Editor, recently published a thought piece about how going to the cinema and watching movies can be good for wellbeing. Working in entertainment, it’s easy to take cultural activities like this for granted as screenings are often work for us, but I was thrilled to see it being highlighted in support of wellbeing to help focus, give a break from work and stimulate the mind.
Entertainment clearly plays an important role in contributing to our wellbeing. A film, TV series, book, game or theatre production is not a materialistic clutch for happiness, it is happiness. It is ‘the moment’. However, can we still see it that way when we’re so closely linked to the product? I’m sure that most of us wouldn’t work in this industry if we didn’t truly love entertainment. I get a buzz out of movies today just as much as I did when I first watched Die Hard, but how do we break free from the link to work and enjoy a film purely for pleasure and wellbeing purposes?
Being able to take a moment to cleanse the brain is at the heart of wellbeing. It is about finding peace with your mind. Everyone has so much going on, whether it is at work, home, or the constant digital notifications and email alerts we have pushing through. It can be difficult to get the balance right. But it isn’t complicated to set some boundaries for yourself and strip everything right back to appreciate the moment we are in.
Being mindful is being aware; it’s not something that should be measured. Instead, it is something that should be evolved. Mindfulness is a continuous process. Over time, taking five minutes out of a busy day to re-focus on the moment, can help to give a sense of calm and mental clarity, enabling people to be focused, productive and engaged. In essence, switching off can help you switch on.
A Culture of Wellbeing
It’s important for businesses to be aware of the importance of wellbeing and how they can improve the sense of community, work flexibility and altruistic wellness they provide their workforce. This will help people to thrive in all aspects of their lives, as well as understand the different factors, which contribute to distress. With challenges all around us to unplug, de-stress and tap into the science of the mind, wellbeing is an exciting space to make a difference in.
So how do independent companies compete with global corporate giants such as Google and Facebook in offering the right level of wellbeing to meet the needs of their employees? The answer lies in company culture.
At Think Jam our goal is to create a culture, which attracts great people and is true to our values. We’re committed to offering broad and innovative benefits for everyone to help good mental health thrive. Over the past few years we’ve implemented a number of important changes in this area. We’ve been working with Best Companies to ensure we listen to our employees. We analyse the survey results and have a ‘wellbeing committee’ to come up with plans to launch the most appropriate initiatives to meet the needs of our employees.
As a result, we’ve implemented the following initiatives in the last year, all of which support our employees by helping them to de-stress and clear their mind. These include:
- Mindfulness lunch and learn training presentations – covering tips and techniques to improve wellbeing.
- A fun ‘reclaim your lunch break’ activity programme including walking and knitting groups.
- Wellbeing financial aid to each employee.
- Monthly themes to share tips on healthy eating, local courses, mindfulness, mediation and exercise.
For a business working in a sector where the greatest resource is the people, where the marketing services rely heavily on creativity, energy and strategic thinking, to be successful we need to attract talented people who want more than a great salary and ideal location. As Diana Tickwell, CEO of the wellbeing non-profit Nabs points out, “Good mental and physical health is a huge driver of engagement, creativity and productivity”.
Recognising that a need for change is non-negotiable is liberating. I personally love change and it is my responsibility as the CEO of a busy and fast paced entertainment-marketing agency to initiate positive transformation, keep the business moving forward productively, while ensuring that we keep up with the pressures of modern work-life by providing a culture, which nurtures, inspires, stimulates and engages employees.
With the Christmas holiday coming up, I hope that you are all able to take a well deserved break, to put your feet up and claim some headspace back. Use the time to think about doing things differently next year and prioritise the New Year goals. The moment to thrive is now.