Here you can download our free workplace wellbeing and mental health resources developed by the Umbrella Team. For additional reading resources, visit our Thinking page
Collective grief in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle
For those impacted directly or indirectly by Cyclone Gabrielle, you may have noticed that your emotions are heightened right now – or that you don’t even know what you are feeling. This is completely normal and understandable as we adjust to changing circumstances and different routines.
Men’s Mental Health: Q&A
with Umbrella CEO – Dr Dougal Sutherland
Mental health is a topic that many men find difficult to talk about. We often struggle to find words to support others going through a rough time, especially at work. Last year, we did a webinar on men’s mental health and collected questions from the audience.
What should HR do about mental health at work
by Ceara Nicolls, HRNZ Magazine (Spring 2022)
Ceara Nicolls, Research Associate at Umbrella Wellbeing, summarises the research and provides answers on what HR can do to create effective, proactive and meaningful mental health strategies.
How to support people through grief and loss
by Bronwyn Moth
Various terms such as “grief” and “bereavement” are used in diverse ways – in this article, we refer to “grief” as the emotions we feel in response to loss. These can include painful emotions commonly spoken about in grief, such as anger, sadness, hopelessness, shock, loneliness, despair and emptiness. However, other emotions can also be present with grief, including joy, pride, a sense of warmth, or thankfulness at having been connected to a valued human being or other. “Bereavement” is a useful term for the process of experiencing grief (the emotions) and the process of making sense of loss over time.
Six guiding leadership principles: how to support your team
Have you ever reflected on the role you play in supporting your team members in terms of their mental health? Have you considered whether your previous responses to situations have helped a team member feel understood and supported, or have made them feel alienated and invalidated?
Guiding principles: Choosing a workplace wellbeing provider
Organisations that prioritise the wellbeing of their employees have better business outcomes, lower absenteeism and presenteeism, and fewer injuries. They experience higher productivity and customer satisfaction – as well as fulfilling ethical and legal duties to look after their people.
Getting under the hood of employee financial wellbeing. What really drives your belief system around money.
White paper 2022 by Umbrella & Footprint Connect
Financial wellbeing is about more than outputs; it’s about our relationship with money and, more than that, it’s about our beliefs and the role they play in all aspects of our life, including wellbeing.
Why assess employee resilience and wellbeing?
With the pandemic continuing to bring high levels of stress and challenge, employee mental health and wellbeing are at risk. So, what can employers do to protect their people from burnout?
Six tips by a sleep psychologist to improve sleep quality
by DAN FORD
Research shows that around 30% to 40% of New Zealanders report they wake up feeling tired and fatigued on a regular basis. So, how do we get better quality sleep?
Boost your team’s energy
by AMANDA WALLIS and GAYNOR PARKIN
Are you noticing higher levels of fatigue in your people? Many managers are reporting more of their team members are “running out of puff”, taking longer to get tasks done, and dropping down on energy.
Coping with pandemic stress as a small business owner
by AMANDA WALLIS and GAYNOR PARKIN
It’s been a rollercoaster for our small business owners in Aotearoa – jumping from lockdown to lockdown, from unknown to unknown, and navigating the minefield of ever-changing employee, stakeholder, and business needs.
Presenteeism: The missing piece of the productivity puzzle
by AMANDA WALLIS and GAYNOR PARKIN
At its essence, productivity is the ratio of output to input. When we focus on optimising our input to boost our output, we can build productivity using what we already have.
by JUDE BECROFT
We all know the importance of making time for non-work activities – but how often do you cancel these due to what feels, in the moment, like a more pressing and urgent work demand?
“I can’t keep doing this!”: Five ways to reduce personal burnout risk
If stress from work is leading to recurring thoughts in your mind like, “I can’t keep doing this” or “Stuff this, I’m quitting”, it’s possible that you’re experiencing burnout.
Dispersed but connected: How can teams flourish?
“How do I know how my people are feeling when the only connection with them is through a screen?”
Harnessing our innate growth mindset by activating both grit and grace
by ANNIE TALBOT
How can psychology help people grow and learn, no matter what stage of life they are in?
Supporting your people to thrive in our “new normal”
by ANNIE TALBOT and JASMINE HARDING
As New Zealanders adjust to life outside of lockdown, we’ve had a range of conversations with employers and employees around how workplaces will proceed.
Redefining productivity in a flexible working world
by GAYNOR PARKIN and AMANDA WALLIS
Lockdown was a crash-course in flexible working. In a matter of days, thousands of New Zealanders were forced to pull together a slapdash attempt at a home office with limited resources.
Out the other end of lockdown: What can we take with us?
New Zealanders everywhere are rejoicing as we lift COVID-19 restrictions. But, if you have bittersweet feelings about lockdown ending and moving into Level 2, you can count yourself among the many.
Learning from those trickier “bubble buddy” moments during lockdown
When lockdown was announced, we tried to do the right thing and draw those nearest and dearest to us to make sure we looked after each other through this trying and scary time. However, even with the best of intentions and patience, there would be moments sent to try us!! And they did.
Reflecting on your role
For most of our client organisations, many people’s day-to-day roles have had to rapidly adapt to COVID-19, and navigate what comes next. Understandably, this can be an unsettling time as organisations work out which daily business operations are viable, and which need to be set aside or managed differently.
Taking care of our minds right now
We are thinking beings… and there are a lot of unknowns right now.
Top tips for fighting fatigue
Our work and home routines have been transformed by various stages of lockdown and upheaval. It might seem paradoxical that, for those of us who are objectively doing less, our fatigue is nevertheless increasing.
Five ways to maintain a flexible mindset
The human mind is unique, it can construct futures and reconstruct the past. This ability to construct expectations of the future, along with the drive to enact them, has been the secret of our success as a species.
Stay home and go outside
Two days ago, I found myself slumped on the couch at 5pm, equally unenthused by the thought of working, cooking dinner, scrolling my phone, or doing any of the other rotating house-bound activities that kept me occupied during the first two weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown. I rallied my spirits and I got outside. It felt great.
Parenting in lockdown:
Four favourite tools
by JO CLENDON
Our team at Umbrella have years of collective parenting experience from babies to teens, and now grandchildren.
Happy families in lockdown:
An oxymoron, or a goal worth pursuing?
by JUDE BECROFT
Family relationships inevitably take a hit when family members spend an extended period of time in close proximity with one another, such as family holidays or annual celebrations like Christmas and Easter.
Unblending work and life – Get your head in
the game by establishing transition rituals
As many of us grapple with the challenges of working from home, we are learning that it’s sometimes difficult to shift our mental space when we shift our physical space―particularly when they are in such physical proximity.
Five tips to strengthen your relationships during isolation
Feeling connected to others is an essential human need. Importantly, this connection with people can be highly protective when we are coping with difficult experiences.
Self-Isolating without work?
Wellbeing strategies for when you can’t work from home
As we look ahead to weeks of house-bound self-isolation amidst the COVID-19 crisis, it is easy to feel anxious, grief-stricken, or hopeless. These feelings are a valid psychological response to stress, and they are shared by thousands of others across New Zealand and our world.
Collective grief in a time of change
During these uncertain times you may have noticed that your emotions are heightened – or that you don’t even know what you are feeling.
Give yourself a break: Practising self-compassion during isolation
In a matter of a few days, it may feel like everything has changed. Suddenly your living room has become your office and your new “colleagues” are the same people you eat, sleep, and spend every waking hour with. Under COVID-19 isolation protocol, we are having to constantly redefine our sense of “normal” — and there is nothing normal about it.
Taking care of your mental health in response to COVID-19
Feeling scared, anxious or worried in response to COVID-19? You are not alone.
Supporting the wellbeing of your people in uncertain times
Leading well and supporting your people when the world is changing rapidly around you brings new and unprecedented challenges.
Does working remotely mean being remote?
Research shows that a key recovery strategy is to connect with family, friends and work colleagues.
Psychological detachment – how to get the most benefit from your down time
Most of us would agree that time away from work is important to our wellbeing, and to restore our ability to perform well when we return. But how often have you got to the end of your weekend only to feel as though you need another one?
Wellbeing and remote working
Remote work and “virtual” teams are becoming common particularly for knowledge work. A third of New Zealanders reported having worked from home in 2018, according to Statistics New Zealand.
Maximise the advantages of remote working
The flexibility of working outside the office is often talked about as a major factor in improving employee productivity, managing teams adaptively, and in helping people to better integrate work and life.
Feeling connected when working remotely
With rates of remote working on the rise, research suggests that it can be beneficial for both the employer and the employee to allow for time away from the office.
Boosting our wellbeing during uncertain times
2020 is throwing out many challenges, not least the uncertainty created by the current COVID-19 situation and the potential impact on our physical, mental, and financial wellbeing.