Founder and Creative Director Mike speaks to The Dieline about the Straight Forward approach to supporting mental health and wellbeing in the design industry.
As Mental Health Month comes to a close this month in the USA, the Dieline wanted to speak to a wide array of design and branding agencies about what initiatives they run to support mental health in the workplace and what they are doing to raise awareness for this issue.
We all know the design industry can be stressful at times, so what steps are agencies taking to reduce stress in the workplace? These days many agencies recognise how important it is to empower their employees to be happy at work, but what are the benefits of this? And if you spot an employee on the brink of burnout, what should you do?
The Dieline spoke to employees at a variety of design agencies about what they can do to create a supportive community and help prevent designer burnout.
Here are Mike’s answers…
What initiatives do you offer to support mental health in the workplace?
We don’t want people to come in early or work late. We believe that a relentless working culture is ultimately damaging for business, so we avoid it. No-one will be as effective or productive after they’ve already worked a full day, and it’s important that people go and experience the things outside work hours that enrich their lives. Ultimately, the business and our clients gain from this. And we have mindfulness sessions with wellness training company Haptivate a few times a year to ensure people have the tools they need to manage their own mental wellbeing.
How do you aim to reduce stress in the workplace?
We choose to work in a very open and connected way where everyone is looking out for each other. Support is always there to reduce the potential for stressful situations. We are all aware of the projects that are live in the studio, so no-one goes under the radar without support.
How important is it to ensure that your employees are happy at work, and why?
We believe that all people, whether that’s our employees, our clients, or our partners, should feel fulfilled by the work they do. Feeling positive about your job and work life will lead to better outcomes, it’s as simple as that.
What should you do if you notice that a designer is burning out?
We hope never to see a designer burning out at Straight Forward. We believe that prevention is better than a cure. So, we keep to our hours – we don’t start early and finish late because it’s essential that people have lives outside of work. It’s vital that everyone has variety in their work and training and is supported to ensure they enjoy a healthy and long career.
Article originally published on The Dieline.