National Work Life Week: Seccl's three pillars of wellbeing

Working at Seccl

Read in 7 minutes

It’s National Work Life Week – an annual campaign to get employees and employers talking about wellbeing at work and better work-life balance. The campaign has a focus on working families and the need for flexibility, with a mission to “Make work work for all.”

I thought this was a great opportunity for me to share my experience as a single parent working for Seccl, and talk about the importance of wellbeing both inside and outside of work. I’m happy to report that Seccl does a lot to ensure the mental, physical and financial wellbeing of everyone who works there – which I’ll go into a bit more detail about in a minute.

But first, how do we approach wellbeing in a professional capacity? Well, in the same way we do in our personal lives – because there really shouldn’t be this great divide between our work and home selves. And if we can thank the last 18 months for anything, it’s for helping us become more comfortable with the inevitable crossovers.

Employee wellbeing is absolutely crucial to the success of any company. It’s well documented that when employees feel taken care of, supported and that there is flexibility in their role they’re far more likely to bring their best selves to the table. So then why are so many companies falling short? Why is flexible working still such a contentious issue?

Wellbeing should be a top priority

Now to get all woo-woo for a moment. As part of an ongoing quest to work on my own wellbeing, I’ve been trying Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning routine – which basically involves doing the following things as soon as you wake up: silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading and scribing (journaling). I was skeptical at first, but there is something about carving out the first 30-60 minutes of the day, and actively setting myself up for the day, that just works.

Because my imagination isn’t always tip-top when I first wake up, I often research affirmations I can use – and there were a few this morning that caught my eye…

My wellbeing is my top priority
Delegation isn’t failure – it’s okay to ask for help
I work to live, I don’t live to work

Since I turned 30, I’ve realised that prioritising my wellbeing is my main job, and it’s something I have to work on 24/7. If I’m not tending to wellbeing, my other roles – as a mother, friend, member of the Seccl Marketing Team – all suffer.

However, prioritising my wellbeing would be completely impossible if I was chained to a desk between the hours of nine to five, and my productivity and enthusiasm would definitely take a nosedive. Thankfully, we don’t operate this way at Seccl…

Seccl’s three pillars of wellbeing

Although the word seems to be thrown around all over the place these days, the concept of wellbeing is complex. Every single person has their own definition of what wellbeing means to them – and it is, of course, going to be impacted heavily by things like neurodivergence, mental and physical health, gender, sexuality, ethnicity and socioeconomic background.
Whatever our differences, there are certain things that make us alike, and broadly speaking, these are the three things we all need to keep us at peak wellness, and that Seccl focuses on…

  1. Mental health

It really is time for mental and physical health to be put in the same bag – and Seccl treats the two more or less the same. For the first time, I work for a company where I can just as easily take time off for a bad mental health day as a bout of flu.

Seccl's Sam, James and Dan enjoying a wild swim.

Seccl's Sam, James and Dan enjoying a wild swim.

There is an open and transparent approach to mental health from the top down, which I really appreciate. Hearing Sam, Seccl’s Co-CEO, talking about his own mental health during my first few weeks here made it so much easier for me to open up to my team about my mental health condition.

And the support is practical as well as emotional. Not only do we all get free access to Headspace, but since I joined earlier in the year, there have been free therapy sessions, access to wellbeing apps and dedicated sessions with experts, and regular AllCompany meetings where people are free to talk about any issues they’re facing or submit anonymous comments and questions.

A subscription to Udemy gives us access to all sorts of courses so we can expand our learning and keep our brains sharp – we’re encouraged to use 10% of our working weeks learning new skills, whether they’re work-related or not.

  1. Physical health

Sadly, I have worked in offices in the past where people were praised for never being ill – where we were given sick days as part of our employment package but encouraged not to take them. This always baffled me. It’s incredibly de-humanising (what are we, Robots?), but it’s also plain impractical. People get sick. And kids get sick a lot, and parents have to take care of them.

Perkbox Medical

Perkbox Medical

Hopefully, the last 18 months have changed our attitude to sickness and helped us to take our health – and the health fo those around us – a bit more seriously. I feel very lucky that at Seccl, I can take time off whenever I need it. I can go to the doctors in the middle of the day with no bother, and I don’t even have to use my lunch hour for health appointments.

As someone who has a few ongoing physical ailments (almost all of which get worse with stress), it’s a huge relief to just be able to deal with this stuff without worrying about it impacting my job.

Again, Seccl also offers practical support for physical health. We have access to Perkbox Medical, which was massively helpful when I couldn’t get a GP appointment for an ear infection. Often you can book video appointments with physicians the same day!

We’ve also joined the Outliers Collective – a wellbeing app focused on mental, physical, financial and social wellbeing. The app provides live events, workshops, classes and networking opportunities, as well as advice from qualified doctors, psychologists, psychotherapists and more.

I recently attended a session about health and nutrition (not dieting!) with a professional nutritionist, which was such an eye-opener. You can also find information about personal finance, attend live yoga classes and join cookalongs – so it really is focused on all areas of health and wellbeing. Sessions are pretty short, and you can catch up on stuff you missed using the app’s On Demand service. What’s not to love?

  1. Financial health
Octopus Moneycoach

Octopus Moneycoach

According to a Perkbox study, 61% of employed adults say money is the greatest cause of stress in their lives – yet it’s an area of our wellbeing that’s often overlooked.

One of the reasons I love working for Seccl is that it’s part of their mission to improve financial education for everyone. Money can be a huge source of stress, especially if – like me – you often find it overwhelming and confusing.

Seccl recently signed up for Octopus Moneycoach – a new financial coaching service for employers to offer their staff at a greatly reduced cost. I’ve got my session booked in for next week, so I asked Lorraine, one of Seccl’s Engineering Managers, how she got on with the service…

“Most of my stress is finance related,” she admitted. “Being over 50, a growing concern for me has been my pension. I’ve had a lot of jobs, so I have a lot of pensions hanging around and I don’t know what to do with them – I used to just put the statements in the bin and not think about it.”

“My coach was able to help with this – as well as a whole bunch of other things like life cover, savings and budgeting around my mortgage. They’re not financial advisers so they’re limited in terms of what advice they can offer, but having someone on my shoulder to guide me in the right direction is hugely helpful. I’ve signed up for the service going forward!”

I’m on a mission to improve my finances and boost my credit score this year, so I’m looking forward to my session and hoping it can give me some much-needed tips.

Wellbeing requires flexibility, trust and encouragement

Our jobs provide us with many things – purpose, structure, social contact, and hopefully a sense of fulfillment. However, most people work to get paid. They have their own lives outside of work, their own responsibilities and passions, and they don’t live purely to turn up at the office every morning.

Working for a company like Seccl, where I’m not expected to change who I am outside of work has truly transformed my wellbeing. While jobs in the past have eroded my sense of self, Seccl actively contributes to it. I have ownership of my role, full flexibility in how, where and when I work, and I can talk openly about my mental health struggles, personal life and my love for moody 90s grunge and Animal Crossing.

To find out more about working at Seccl – or to apply for a position – head to our careers page or email us at people@seccl.tech.