Our wellbeing policy
The physical and mental wellbeing of our employees is a key priority at Better Nature. We know that for our employees to sustain their own mission and in turn, the business’, they need to sustain themselves.
We also recognise that everyone’s requirements for a happy and healthy body and mind are different. We therefore encourage you to figure out what is important to your wellbeing and work with us to create a working environment that helps you maintain this.
1. Working conditions
We recognise that Better Nature can sometimes be a hectic and fast-paced working environment. In such an environment, it’s important not to forget about yourself and your own wellbeing. Therefore, we have set out a few guidelines that we should all aim to adhere to:
a) Only work contracted hours as much as possible. Naturally there will be times that we will need to work a bit later to meet a deadline, but this should be the exception not the rule. We will be much more focused, productive, positive and informed on the world around us if we have plenty of time away from our work to enjoy our lives.
b) Take regular breaks. Your mind cannot perform at its best without being able to switch off throughout the day. It is, therefore, very important to take regular breaks, to help clear and calm your mind.
c) Look after yourself. Make sure you look after yourself during the working day. Give yourself enough time off to eat well, drink plenty of water and move around. You will be a better version of yourself (excuse the pun!) for yourself and the business.
d) Don’t panic. As easy as it is to fall into the trap, not everything needs to happen right now. Just take a deep breath and really evaluate what you need to do today, and what can actually be done tomorrow, next week etc. You can’t do your best work if you feel rushed and panicked.
e) Ask for help. If you’ve evaluated and actually everything does need to be done today, just ask for help. Someone else might have a quieter day and be able to help out, and if not, it helps us to realise that there’s too much for one person to do and we might need to recruit for a new role to support you. Never feel like you need to deal with the stress and panic alone.
f) Flexible working. While it is important for us all to work generally the same hours, so we are able to speak to each other when necessary, we should all have the flexibility to adapt our work schedules to our lives. Whether that’s starting half an hour later to go to a gym class or taking a longer lunch break to catch up with a friend, your working schedule does not have to be rigid. As long as the work is getting done and you’re enjoying the job, that’s what matters! This also goes for working location - it’s totally up to you to decide where you feel you work best.
g) Be open and honest. If you ever don’t feel happy in your role, please let us know and be as honest as possible! We’re always looking to improve and develop. There will be more on this in the following section.
h) Look out for each other. While we hope everyone is able to do all these things to maintain their own wellbeing, there’s also a lot we can do to help each other. A few of these things include: a) not putting any of your colleagues under undue stress (giving them a last-minute deadline you’ve known about for weeks, for example), b) respecting their time and their lives outside Better Nature (not asking them for anything outside working hours unless it’s an emergency, for example) and most importantly, c) if you sense they’re struggling, reaching out to them. If you don’t feel equipped to reach out to them yourself, that’s totally fine, but in that case please just flag to your manager, or Ando or I (Elin).
2. Available Support
At Better Nature, we’re committed to being an open, understanding and happy place to work. Therefore, if you ever feel that your role at Better Nature is inhibiting you from maintaining your physical and mental wellbeing, please make sure you speak to us about this. For the team in Indonesia, please speak to Ando, and for the team in the UK, please speak to Elin (or if you’d feel more comfortable with the other person, or Chris or Fabio, that’s fine too!).
You can reach us however works best for you - ideally, we’d prefer to organise a call so we can discuss the issue in depth, however if you’re not comfortable with this, feel free to email us. Together, we can come up with a plan of action of how to overcome this, whatever this entails. The conversations will, of course, be 100% confidential, unless we have your permission to share your comments with other relevant team members to implement the necessary changes.
3. Regular Catch-ups
On top of this, we recognise the importance of a regular catch up, to discuss how you’re finding your work and to air any feedback you might have, that we can then address going forward.
Therefore, bi-weekly calls will be organised as follows:
Indonesian team - Bi-weekly call with Ando
UK team - Bi-weekly call with Elin
Once again, if you’d prefer to speak to someone else, please just let us know. We won’t be offended - our primary concern is what works best for you and will help ensure you’re the happiest and healthiest version of yourself you can be.
4. Leave of Absence
There will be times when the support we’re able to provide you with isn’t sufficient. This may, understandably, lead to you having to take a leave of absence from your role. This has our full support and we encourage you to take however long you need (with full pay) to be able to return to Better Nature as happy and comfortable as possible.
In this case, while it is not necessary for our records, we do encourage you to go to your doctor for support and guidance. If this isn’t something you’d like to do, please ensure you seek help elsewhere, from friends and family, or one of the following helplines (from Mind UK)
To talk about anything that is upsetting you, you can contact Samaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can call 116 123 (free from any phone), email email@example.com or visit some branches in person. You can also call the Welsh Language Line on 0300 123 3011 (7pm–11pm every day).
If you're experiencing a mental health problem or supporting someone else, you can call SANEline on 0300 304 7000 (4.30pm–10.30pm every day).
If you're under 25, you can call The Mix on 0808 808 4994 (Sunday-Friday 2pm–11pm), request support by email using this form on The Mix website or use their crisis text messenger service.
If you're under 35 and struggling with suicidal feelings, or concerned about a young person who might be struggling, you can call Papyrus HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141 (weekdays 10am-10pm, weekends 2pm-10pm and bank holidays 2pm–10pm), email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 07786 209 697.
If you identify as male, you can call the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) on 0800 58 58 58 (5pm–midnight every day) or use their webchat service.
If you identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, you can call Switchboard on 0300 330 0630 (10am–10pm every day), email email@example.com or use their webchat service. Phone operators all identify as LGBT+.
For those of you outside the UK, you can find support available at: befrienders.org
We actively encourage all our employees to take their full holiday allowance and whilst doing so, to avoid engaging with any work as far as possible. It is so important for the body and mind to switch off from work and fully relax. By allowing yourself to do this, you will be a happier and healthier version of yourself.
All employees in the business are entitled to 21 days of paid time off (PTO) in addition to all the statutory public holidays of the country that they primarily work in. In total, this is typically 30 days off in the UK and 36 days off in Indonesia. If you are planning to take less than 7 days off in a row (e.g. a long weekend in Barcelona), please just let your team manager know 2 weeks in advance! If, however, you are planning on taking more than 7 days off (e.g. a beach-side holiday in beautiful Bali surrounded by tempeh and durians), please let your team manager know a month in advance just so that we can plan things around your leave.
To help the team track how many days off outside of public holidays that you’ve taken, please just log the days via this sheet here.
We only ask that you note down your top highlight from your time away in the sheet and to share any photos and videos that you’ve taken during your travels with the rest of the team. We want to create an environment that is super supportive of people enjoying themselves and having a great time. If it is fuelled by tempeh, even better!
6. Team Socials
Further, we recognise the importance for our mental wellbeing that work is fun and sociable, not merely focused on the job at hand. Therefore, starting with London, we will organise bi-weekly social events - with a team lunch and an evening out occurring once a month each (for whoever is able to join). If you have any suggestions for these, please let Elin know as she will be organising them!
In an ideal world, we would also offer free healthcare support to our employees, particularly in regards to mental health, as it is so poorly funded elsewhere. We are unfortunately not in the financial position to do this presently, however it will be a key priority in the near future as the business grows.
If you have feedback on any of this or any additional suggestions, please feel free to get in touch with:
Ando (firstname.lastname@example.org / +1 (413) 406-9272)
Elin (email@example.com / +44 7894859006)
Chris (firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 7766 926280)
Fabio (email@example.com / +44 7838300248).
We’ll constantly be looking to review and improve this policy, so this feedback will be welcome at any time. Thank you for reading and being part of this wonderful team!