Why we think mental health awareness is so important

stigma, mental health awareness, Xerocon

Last month the FF team took a trip to Xerocon (the biggest accounting software conference in the UK). This year, the theme of the event was community and purpose. About the why and the who of what we do. We listened to inspiring talks about staff wellness, and heard from speakers who had experienced their own struggles with mental health and finding purpose. 

One of the reasons we love working with Xero is because we get to be a part of a community that shares the same values we do. We believe it’s a company-wide shared responsibility to be aware of what our people are going through. 


Productivity doesn’t correlate to taking on more work 

We believe in striving for work-life integration, not work-life balance. Work-life balance suggests that work is not a part of the grand scheme of our lives, where in reality it is a huge chunk of our time.

It’s nonsensical to think we have no duty of care to one another, when we spend a majority of our lives at work. We don’t want our staff to be unhappy, or stressed. Productivity doesn’t mean working staff to the point of stress – it means working smarter, not harder

Caring about productivity means caring about wellness too. When we’re rushing around with too much to do and too much to think about, we’re not able to do our best work. Overworking, overloading and stress can cause us to become sick, which makes us less productive. 

We look at our employees strengths, skills and passions and we’re realistic about what can be done and what we can automate. It’s the same advice we give our clients, and brings us right back right back round to Xero (and why we love it so much). 

Key takeaway: Start creating a better work environment for your staff by stopping doing unnecessary tasks. Use Xero to take the time consuming manual tasks off your hands, and your team’s hands, so that you can all be more productive and do work you actually enjoy. 


People are living real lives inside and outside of these 4 walls

Relationships are built on trust and understanding. The way to build trust is to provide an open floor for your employees to be able to talk about their experience.

It’s a big deal for us at FF that people are happy in their environments – and the key word there is people. Our staff have real lives outside of work. They have families and commitments and hobbies and homes. It’s important to us that no-one misses the school plays or sports days and important appointments.

So we like to check in with each other. Have a coffee and a chat. We hold a group huddle every Monday to talk about our personal development, to share ideas and allow for change. Sometimes we’re faced with challenges, and we deal with those too. 

Key takeaway: Make a point of checking in with your team. If something feels off, or someone is a little quiet, see if they need a catch up to talk. 


The stigma isn’t welcome here

The Mental Health Foundation report that 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace, and their evidence suggests that 12.7% of all sickness absence days in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions. Mental illness can look really different for everyone, so it’s important to be open and to provide support. 

Not everyone will suffer from a mental illness, but everyone has to take care of their mental health. We offer our team private medical care, which comes with EAP (employee assistance programme) and a help line. 

We encourage our clients to take time for themselves and to manage their own work/life integration, and take care of their team. It’s important to us that we can be an example of a wellness orientated company who are still successful and productive!

Key takeaway: Mental illness shouldn’t be an occupational health hazard. 


If you’d like to talk to us more about our wellness ethos, or how we can help save you from stress by implementing Xero – please do! Our door is always open.