Staff will be encouraged to take time out to tend to the plot
UK - To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, Unusual Rigging has announced the creation of an on-site allotment at its Bugbrooke HQ. The initiative aims to promote mental wellbeing amongst the company’s staff who will be encouraged to take time out from the nine-to-five to tend to the plot.
The company has also recently undertaken an employee survey to gauge levels of satisfaction in the workplace and has launched the Unusual Hub - a new employee access only communication platform that has been developed by Unusual’s IT team and a source of shared information and news.
Unusual’s facilities and resource manager Lizzie Richmond explains: “As a company, it is vital we look after our staff and in an industry where the culture can involve long, unsociable hours and periods of time working away from home, we recognise that this can impact on people’s mental health.
“Over the past year, the situation facing all our staff has been particularly stressful with the entire live events sector in turmoil, there has been the added worry of job security, the survival of the industry, not to mention the impact that lockdowns and working from home or being on furlough has had. People have been isolated and those who have been working on site have had to contend with very different working conditions.”
Richmond adds: “We wanted to make sure that as we slowly return to a more normal working environment, we take into account and are sympathetic to everything that each employee has been through and understand that the pandemic has affected everyone in different ways. We hope that the new allotment will encourage our team to take time out when they need it.
“A study by the University of Sheffield recently outlined the benefits of allotment gardening, with those taking part in the study reporting “high levels of social and community activities, including the sharing of surplus food produce, knowledge exchange, awareness and interaction with wildlife, emotional connection to their allotment, appreciation of time spent outside and aesthetic delight in the natural world”.
In addition to the allotment, a peaceful seating area has been created around the plot where a tree was planted in memory of the company’s founder Alan Jacobi (AJ) who passed away last April.
Richmond concludes: “We know that Unusual is only as strong as the people who work here and we recognise that the best way to keep our employees productive and happy is to give them the support they need to accept that sometimes it’s OK to not be OK and to know that as their employer, we will do everything we can to nurture their mental health.”

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