It is almost one year since we started working from home at Cubic. Back in March 2020 when the government in Ireland (where Cubic HQ is located) set out strict public health measures to combat COVID-19, little did we know we would still be sitting at the kitchen table 11 months on!
No matter how adaptable or resilient we have been over the past year it was daunting facing into 2021 amid further lockdown restrictions. Studies have found that since working from home was introduced the average working week has increased by almost 25%. Many find the boundaries between work and leisure time blurred; risking burn-out.
At Cubic we decided to enter the new year by changing our mindsets. Rather than being anxious about the past or stressed about the future we are making a conscious effort to focus on the now. On the Senior Leadership Team, we lead by example and support the achievement of a work-life balance.
Staff have the option to join weekly online yoga and mindfulness classes to promote physical and mental well-being. Workvivo, an internal communication platform, allows us to stay connected, sharing tips to alleviate stress, movie recommendations for ultimate escapism, or examples of ‘random acts of kindness’ from the week.
A six-week journey
To combat the January blues and lift morale, we went one step further by kicking off a company-wide initiative that truly reflects the Cubic company culture. We launched ‘Operation Transformation – Cubic Style’ which will run for 6 weeks and motivates us to adopt healthy habits, such as:
-Staying active through regular exercise.
-Tapping into our creativity by cooking healthy recipes.
-Increasing social interaction (virtually) by reconnecting with colleagues.
‘Operation Transformation – Cubic Style’ encourages everyone to get active, stay connected and mind our mental and physical well-being. The entire company has been divided into cross-departmental teams. We keep in touch over Microsoft Teams groups, sharing nutritious recipes and photos from our daily walks, runs, or cycles all while collecting points. It is not a fitness competition. The aim is to promote a healthier lifestyle, while creating the opportunity to stay connected ‘virtually’ with people we may not normally interact with.
The exercise effect
Let’s focus on what we can control, rather than worrying about factors we can’t. Ongoing lockdowns and limited social interaction can lead even the liveliest of us to feel powerless, lonely, and anxious. The Operation Transformation challenge encourages us to set short term goals and focus on the now.
Exercise has been proven to boost mood, promote feelings of calm and better sleep. A study conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes or walking for an hour a day reduces risk of depression by 26%. I find giving my mind a break for exercise helps me be present and reduces any unwelcome anxiety.
Combating cabin fever together
We’re an enthusiastic bunch at Cubic so many have taken to the challenge like ducks to water. Some managers have even moved weekly team calls outdoors so members can kick that cabin fever and go for a walk during daylight hours. Reverting to sharing updates over the phone rather than from the screen has been quite literally a breath of fresh air.
Prizes will be awarded to most connected, active and creative teams, as well as best team mascots, and team names. Cliff, our Office Manager, updates us on the leader board each week at our company catch up where we also get to admire team mascots (mostly Cubic pets!).
There is no denying that even the most introverted of us are benefiting from the excuse for more social contact. Operation transformation is our little way of lifting Cubic spirits during a particularly challenging period. As we weather this COVID storm we are inspired by our colleagues to get outside to recharge our batteries, be creative in our culinary skills, and earn some points for our teams.
If you are interested in joining the Cubic Team, check out our current vacancies.