Like many others, the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns took its toll on our team. We knew people were feeling particularly isolated and some were experiencing poor mental health.
In addition to promoting professional mental health support, Conversation Co wanted to increase the social connection between team members and encourage staff to be physically active. Research shows:
- People who exercise regularly have better mental health and emotional wellbeing, and lower rates of mental ill health.
- Socialising positively affects your mental health. It also makes people feel happier, reduces stress, and decreases anxiety.
Walkie-Talkies were born! Every week a Conversation Co team member was paired with a different colleague. Staff were asked to find time in their calendars and schedule a “Walkie-Talkie”. This 20-30mins was used to have a chat about anything (no need to be work-related) and get to know each other. We also encouraged staff to use their mobile devices and walk at the same time to gain additional benefits.
We received feedback from staff indicating how much they valued the Walkie-Talkies and we committed to continuing them. As staff are able to socialise more post-lockdown we have changed the frequency from every week to every fortnight based on our workload and team preferences.
Walkie-Talkies are now included in our Conversation Co Staff Health & Wellbeing Plan as well as a host of other benefits including our EAP Program, flexible work practices and team building events.