1HQ Singapore celebrates Global Wellness DayWritten by Karen Cole 21 June 2021
Since opening 1HQ Singapore in 2018 I have championed and valued wellbeing throughout the business. Unfortunately, more so now than ever, wellness in the workplace is a huge point of discussion.
I always recall one very low point in my career before I re-joined 1HQ. I remember feeling uninspired and unmotivated to walk through the door of the studio in the mornings and I never want my team to feel this way. I value my team as human beings, not just resource on a studio plan and proactively encourage them all to promote healthier lifestyles and attitudes. Simple things, such as making sure they step away from their desks to take the lunchbreak they are entitled to and leaving the office on time to make it to the yoga class they have booked. Small gestures, that make a big difference.
For Global Wellness Day on the 12th June, I made a slightly bigger gesture and decided to close the office, gifting the day off to the whole team, much to their delight.
Since the start of 2020, work as we know it has not been the same. We’re not sure it ever will be. I am extremely proud to say that as a team we have navigated our way successfully around the on-going pandemic and the challenges that it has thrown upon us. But it’s not just about making sure my team are happy walking through the door anymore – it’s a lot deeper:
- We need to ensure our colleagues have the energy and motivation to get up each morning and move, what might be just a small distance, from their beds to their desks as their work/life boundaries have been significantly shifted.
- Where once in the studio we could bounce ideas off each other swiftly and effectively, we now need to work together to stay creatively motivated despite working in isolation and only virtually.
- As a leader, I need to take responsibility that my team aren’t spending all day, every day in front of their computer when I can’t physically be there to remind them to take a break.
These are just a few of the examples and I’m sure there are many more.
When we talk about “wellness” we aren’t just talking about physical health. Although that of course is a crucial aspect. Wellness within the workspace is about enabling your employees to nurture themselves holistically; body, mind, heart and soul.
On Wellness Day, my only request to my team was that they used the day to take some time to look inwards, to refocus and to find their own way of treating their wellness for the day. It was a day for my team to remember the importance of taking care of themselves both physically and mentally. How they spent the day was completely up to them.
I believe that how employees are feeling, both mentally and physically, is a fundamental foundation for business growth, stability, strength and sustainability. I am a firm believer that a company culture built on the wellness of its team is a thriving one.
So how did we spend the day?
Vera Lee – Senior Designer
“On wellness day, I decided to take a long stroll in the park. Walking in nature helps me to declutter my mind, forget about daily stresses and simply focus on the present. My head feels clearer and my body more relaxed immediately after. When work and life become busy, I sometimes forget about my mental health and start to notice negativity creeping into my headspace. Our thoughts create our reality. Being in a good mental state is crucial to my productivity and as such I try to prioritise taking care of myself physically and emotionally.”
Fendy Tasman – Senior Designer
“Ever since I’ve stepped into fatherhood, life has revolved so much around our new little one that I have neglected my own well-being. Having the day off just to treat myself made me realise how my own wellness is so important. Before parenthood, I was able to take the evening time for myself and take a break to use my journal for self-reflection. This wellness day has given me the opportunity to just step back from the daily routine and allow me once again to re-look at, and reflect on, my own life.
We often miss the beauty of scenery when we travel through life so fast. Everything seems blurry. Pushing the brake pedal to step out and enjoy the world around you helps you to remember there is so much to experience on the along the way rather than reaching the destination swiftly.”
Sindy Seet – Account Manager
“With preference for something less strenuous, I chose to visit the museum. The day was well spent, becoming acquainted with the incredible world of biodiversity and learning about the diverse ecosystems of SEA. The journey through the gallery was an experiential (and tranquil) one… I found myself in awe of the myriad of well conserved ‘cool’ specimens.
With all that has been going on in the world recently, it is rare for a workplace to recognise the importance of wellness and wellbeing. I am so appreciative and thankfull for the day off to take a moment away from everyday stressors to recharge and restore my batteries.”
Betsy Bebbington – Account Director
“I finally made time to try out paddle boarding and had lunch on the beach after with the birds.
With work, caring for little humans and nurturing my relationships, my wellness sometimes goes amiss. I always have elaborate plans to fit self-care into my days by getting up early to exercise or read a book instead of crashing out, but there aren’t 30hrs in a day unfortunately. I read somewhere that ‘you can have it all, just not all at the same time’, so the day was a great reminder make time for my wellness.”
As for my day. I planned a digital detox and family time. My mobile was powered down the night before and I managed to stay off my Mac all day! I took myself off to a part of Singapore I’ve not visited before, Bishan, where there is a Garden Spa and holistically immersed within the lush greenery of a national park. After my extremely peaceful massage, I chose to spend some quality time with my (not so peaceful) 6-month-old baby girl, Darcy. Just us two. We spent the afternoon at Gardens by The Bay exploring the Flower and Cloud Domes, stepping into colourful nature and having some very special mummy and daughter bonding time. Nothing warms my heart more.
Here at 1HQ Singapore, we will continue to champion wellness within the workplace and will be celebrating Wellness Day yearly, in June, as a team. A simple gesture that makes a significant difference.