D&I at The Lab : Inter-Covid Healing

type - features
category - gender
category - society
category - workplace
sector - diversity & inclusion
category - d&i at the lab
In the fourth edition of our Diversity & Inclusion at The Lab series, we explore possible approaches to the inter-Covid period and how we can collectively heal from the disruption caused by the pandemic, to both our working and home lives

It’s strange to think that something as important as mental health has for years been neglected, misunderstood, or worse, actively shunned. As a culture, we’ve made the transition of linking physical health to illness, and instead focusing on wellness – from a brand perspective Lucozade marked this with its well-documented leap from being a product associated with hospital visits and recuperation to the drink of choice for those aspiring to an athletic lifestyle – and yet many of us have been circumspect about recognising the need to look after our mental health.

Lockdown has forced us into periods of extended isolation – or the reverse, depending on circumstances. Whichever we’ve had to endure, finding balance has been what’s lacking. Our aim at The Future Laboratory is to support our team’s professional requirement for a more holistic attitude to managing mind, body and spirit during this disruptive time, and beyond. And we hope the features and resources in this edition of D&I at The Lab will also help you to find the techniques, support or inspiration that work best for you.

This is the fourth in the D&I at The Lab series. Stay tuned for upcoming articles. You can also read more on our post-urgency approach to diversity and inclusion, our approaches to Trans Inclusion and how we’re transforming the way we recruit.

Published by:

1 July 2021

Author: Chris Sanderson and Gursharan Panesar

Image: Mars House by Krista Kim, Canada


Ms MIN, China

Momo, senior strategic researcher:
Inclusive healing in the workplace

With The Future Laboratory’s Diversity & Inclusion strategy in full swing, it’s becoming clearer that we cannot strive for inclusion and equity without healing and wellbeing.

But the road to healing is challenging, non-linear and continually evolving. It’s unique for all of us and contextual to our needs. While Radical Softness and vulnerability create the tools that we need as a business to create a culture of balance, support, empathy and growth, we know that this is only one part of the puzzle to create an equitable culture.

Read more of The Future Laboratory’s Road Map to Collective Healing here. You can share this blog post with your network here.

‘The road to healing is challenging, non-linear and continually evolving.’
Momo Amjad, senior strategic researcher, The Future Laboratory
Human-centred Workplace by Wilkhahn in collaboration with 1zu33

Mental Health Network: How are you – really?

As part of The Future Laboratory’s D&I initiatives, we now have our very own Mental Health Network. But what does that actually mean?

If you’d asked us what mental health in the workplace was a few years ago, we’d have said something along the lines of a  few pretty ‘It’s Ok Not To Be Ok’ posters scattered around the workplace, but not many conversations going on about how productivity at work and mental health are significantly connected. In 2020, our bedrooms became boardrooms and suddenly the boundaries between work and personal life were blurred.

The pandemic has brought to light the need for a constant focus on mental health and wellbeing, both at home and at work.

The Mental Health Network is starting that conversation, creating a safe space where we can unwind, share, listen, learn and connect with each other on a genuine human level, away from our job titles. Our goal is to create a team of support, monthly wellbeing sessions and a wellbeing resource database. Tackling mental health in the workplace and how to heal is a collective effort, and we’d like to share some resources that the network has been using and talking about over the past month.

Everyone has mental health, so we might as well start talking about it.

Here are some of the resources, we'd recommend:

  • Headspace: Headspace has one mission: to improve the health and happiness of the world. Learn meditation and mindfulness with its free Basics course
  • Centered: Mental health techniques from verified experts. It currently has 75 free exercises
  • The Local Optimist: Spreading an optimistic message about a global issue – mental health
  • How To Cope With Lockdown Fatigue: A step-by-step guide on how to recognise fatigue and tips on how to combat it
  • How To Fail: A podcast that celebrates things that haven’t gone right by exploring how failures teach people to become better
  • myNoise: A white noise machine that allows you to customise what sounds you want to hear for relaxation and focus
  • ASMR Sleep Clinic: Insomnia and sleep deprivation are common issues when it comes to feeling rested and ready for the working day. ASMR Sleep Clinic is a series of short videos to help you drift off, resting your mind
  • Happy Data: Instead of focusing on what’s going wrong out there, Happy Data highlights the inspiring stories that have come out of the pandemic
  • Good Covid News: Reports on all the good things that are happening right now, things we often overlook by being surrounded by negative media stories
‘The pandemic has brought to light the need for a constant focus on mental health and wellbeing, both at home and at work.’
The Mental Health Network, The Future Laboratory

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YSM8 founded by Poonam Dhuffer

Kathryn, foresight editor: Inclusive healing for the South Asian community

Poonam Dhuffer, founder of YSM8 (pronounced Yes Mate) is doing brilliant things for the South Asian community, and for womxn and non-binary folx in particular, when it comes to compassionate mindfulness, loving kindness and safe spaces for people to explore self-care – especially in the South Asian community, a culture that’s predominantly focused on community care ahead of looking after the self. 

Through YSM8, Poonam runs Monthly Meets for Sikh women and non-binary folx, and Snacks + Chats sessions, bringing together diverse creatives to share how they are positively shaping their communities. She has also developed a series of brilliant workplace workshops where she explores inclusive healing in professional spaces that are open to all to listen, share and explore together.

Thomas, senior account manager:
Addressing burnout for those in sales roles

Here’s a great podcast by the Salesman which discusses sales burnout and examines what the term ‘burnout’ means, which can also be experienced by everyone in the workplace. Understanding and recognising the triggers of burnout will in turn help improve mental health, wellbeing and healing.

‘Understanding and recognising the triggers of burnout will in turn help improve mental health, wellbeing and healing.’
Thomas Rees, senior account manager, The Future Laboratory
Microsoft Corp, global

Gursharan, graduate trainee:
Understanding the newest generation of workers, remotely

Elizabeth Uviebinene recently wrote a piece for the Financial Times that encapsulates what it means to be a young person at work. For many new professionals, including myself, working remotely is all we know. Entering the world of work fresh from university is an incredibly confusing time and Uviebinene touches on how more difficult that has been during a global pandemic.


Want to read more?

This article is part of our Diversity & Inclusion work at The Future Laboratory. Explore our work on D&I on our blog and discover what steps we are taking to make a better tomorrow happen.

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