How often do we ask one another, “Are you OK”? As I write this, I cannot help but wonder how many of us are actually okay enough within ourselves to go out and ask this to others. In recent times, all of us are struggling with something or the other. Our mental health seems to be out of its place. Stress, anxiety, and depression all surround us due to busy and messed-up work schedules while being in a constant rush of pushing deadlines.
This needs to be pondered upon.
So, let us dwell further into it by talking about the day called R U OK Day?
History of R U OK Day!
R U OK Day is named after a non-profit organization with the same name, founded by Gavin Larkin in 2009.
After losing his father to suicide, Larkin pursued a course and took up a project on suicide prevention to honor him. This led him to start a national day of action with main focus on listening to people going through a tough phase.
Australians celebrate this day every year on the 2nd Thursday of September. R U OK Day has a Western counterpart, also called World Suicide Prevention Day. Both these days talk about establishing mental peace in their own ways.
Thus, on this day, the people of Australia connect and communicate with each other and address issues of insecurities, isolation among other things.
How to Celebrate R U OK Day in the Workplace?
The years 2020 and 2021 have been a struggle in themselves. The pandemic what with lockdowns, and everything in between took a toll on most of us.
But one thing that stayed intact was the workplace stress. However, employers in the current era are pretty much equally concerned about their employees’ mental being along with physical wellness.
So, with the 2nd Thursday of September being on 10th September this year, we are already there.
So, let us catch up with some ideas companies can go forward and implement in their workplaces on R U OK Day.
1. Bring the Team together
Just like on a normal day, call out your employees and ask them to join you over for a cup of tea or coffee.
In this coffee session, create a comfortable atmosphere for them to speak their heart out to each other. In this way, you as an employee can understand what your employees are going through. Encourage conversations one after another and get to know them.
2. Pop up the Best Ideas
Ask your employees to come up with excellent lines on how to strike conversations and reward the top five best liners with a prize.
Then take all the amazing conversation starter ideas, print them, and put them on display in the office.
3. Make a Conversation Corner
Keep a separate room, also known as the conversation corner in the workplace. Reserve that room for employees to come in with whoever they need to share their problems with.
That’s you being supportive enough.
4. Practice Yoga
Yoga and meditation act like great medicine when all you seek is a stable mindset. Just invite a professional who can impart some meditation and yoga sessions to the workforce.
Those relaxation sessions will calm the mind and help employees build emotional resilience. Not to mention how the flexibility is an added bonus.
5. Invite a Speaker
With the aim of staying physically fit, mental wellness gets neglected. This goften ives rise to unresolved issues left unattended.
Invite a speaker who has enough experience to share with your employees and motivate them to deal with stress and come out victorious.
Also, you can join in and ask senior management to talk about their personal experiences around mental stress. You can further stress the fact about how talking and expressing are the key to the ultimate solution.
6. Carry your Dog to Work
How can someone see dogs and not be happy instantly? Dogs are stress busters and mood cheerers. So just bring your dog to the office on R U OK Day and create an environment of positivity and playfulness.
7. Host a Virtual Event
Now, employees coming to the office have their peers in front of them. What about the remote workers? The situation for them is more problematic. Because work from home takes a toll on mental health. It often pushes individuals towards isolation and depression.
All you ought to do is launch a virtual event. It can be anything. Engage all your employees into doing a common activity like lunch and learn, virtual yoga sessions, etc.
8. Play Games
As the name suggests, R U OK? on this day, you have to indulge in more than okay events, like sports. Bonding can happen over a good round of bowling or charades, maybe.
Or better to organize a cricket or soccer match for the employees and make it a fun event with no work on that day. Employees can play in teams and get to know each other enough to confide in each other.
Wrap it Up
Hope the points mentioned above were useful. The primary goal is to make R U OK Day a lot more than okay for your employees. So, this R U OK Day, celebrate it in the workplace and turn the work environment cheerful and comfortable for everyone.