Ambition gives UK staff an extra hour off for Mental Health Awareness Week


Global professional services recruitment organisation Ambition has given its 40 UK-based employees an additional hour off work this week, in order to help staff focus on their mental wellbeing.

The initiative, which has been designed to allow extra time for employees to take part in activities that can help them de-stress or concentrate on their mental wellbeing, is one of the measures that has been implemented by the organisation this week in recognition of The Mental Health Foundation’s Mental Health Awareness Week, running between Monday 14 May and Sunday 20 May 2018.

Employees are able to use the extra hour off work as they wish, for example to take a longer lunch break, arrive at work an hour later or leave work an hour earlier.

Other initiatives Ambition has run this week as part of Mental Health Awareness Week included hosting a Curry and Chaat fundraising event, where employees enjoyed a curry together, and creating an interactive stress awareness space so that employees can share their experiences of stress and their tips on dealing with it.

The organisation has also been encouraging employees to use their lunch break to get away from their desks and get involved in activities that might benefit their mental health. Ambition suggested employees take a team lunch in the park, go for a walk, meet up with friends who work nearby, read a book, take a nap or listen to a podcast.

Ambition decided to recognise Mental Health Awareness Week as it wanted to encourage employees to be aware of their own mental health, as well as showcase that the organisation supports staff in taking time out of the working day to de-stress. Ambition also wished to highlight the importance of discussing mental health both in and out of the workplace.

The Mental Health Awareness Week activities were communicated to employees via an organisation-wide email on Friday 11 May 2018.

The initiatives this week form part of Ambition’s wider focus on employees’ mental and physical health and wellbeing. This includes the organisation holding an annual wellbeing week, where employees can participate in activities surrounding healthy eating, exercise and mindfulness.

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Nicky Acuna Ocana, managing director at Ambition UK, said: “Recruitment can be a very stressful career at times, so ensuring our staff take time out to unwind is something we take extremely seriously. This week especially we are encouraging employees to focus on their mental wellbeing and use their time to de-stress and bond with their colleagues.

“Although we are specifically focusing on mental health this week, we always encourage and support staff when they are feeling overwhelmed. Letting our staff know that we are here for them brings the team together and helps to improve productivity and communication across the business.”