Inclusive Healing in the Workplace

type - features
category - gender
category - society
category - workplace
sector - diversity & inclusion
Six months into implementing our diversity and inclusion business strategy, we turn our attention to inclusive healing in the workplace. This is the road map we’ve created to ensure wellbeing for all

Around the world, many marginalised employees are feeling added pressure to take on the D&I education of their peers – often at a cost to themselves and their wellbeing. And they’re not the only ones who are struggling in the workplace. According to a survey by Champion Health, 90% of UK employees feel that the coronavirus pandemic has had at least some impact on their mental health, with 40% facing a moderate to significant impact.

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.

The important vulnerability of Radical Softness

According to the UK government’s commissioned Stevenson/Farmer Review of Mental Health and Employers, only 11% of employees said they had discussed mental health problems with their manager, while half said they would never discuss it. As the understanding of wellbeing continues to face a renaissance and radical redefinition, at The Future Laboratory we are focusing both on individual health and collective healing that has vulnerability at its core.

One of the key inspirations for our approach is artist Lora Mathis, who introduced the concept of Radical Softness through a powerful photographic series. These images prompted us to look at our emotions as a radical political action in a society that tells us feelings are a sign of weakness. Since then, The Future Laboratory has embraced the power of vulnerability as a step towards creating a culture of inclusive healing for all employees.

Published by:

25 February 2021

Author: Momo Amjad

Image: Human-centred Workplace by Wilkhahn in collaboration with 1zu33


Off Hours, US

A culture of collective healing

At The Future Laboratory, we reject the problematic presenteeism of hyper-productivity and work addiction. Healing and wellbeing are core commitments for our business. As part of our Road Map to Collective Healing we’ve introduced a number of wellbeing benefits and internal resources and initiatives to create a culture where all of our team feel supported. In addition, our internal Wellbeing task force are consulting every member of our business to find out what else we can do to support and improve their collective health.

Health and wellbeing benefits

: Smart Health gives members of the team and their families 24/7 unlimited access to health and wellbeing support, including access to virtual GPs and mental health professionals

: A bereavement counselling service and probate helpline is available to any team member and their families who are dealing with a bereavement and need access to emotional and practical support

: A dental scheme supports members of the team with routine and emergency dental care

: An eye care plan offers access to eye tests and glasses required for display screen equipment

: Annual flu jabs during the winter season protect employee health

‘We reject the problematic presenteeism of hyper-productivity and work addiction.’
Momo Amjad, strategic researcher, The Future Laboratory
Pak Phon by Assani Lalitnantawat, The Netherlands

Culture of balance and empowerment

: A shared resource of easily accessible policies outlining The Future Laboratory’s approach to anti-bullying and harassment, diversity and inclusion, anti-racism, LGBTQIA+ inclusion, trans+ inclusion, accessibility and disability inclusion, wellbeing and mental health

: Flexible working hours give employees the opportunity to define their own working pattern whether it’s influenced by home-schooling, mental health needs or circadian rhythms

: Make Your Future Happen is an annual benefit that supports employees in accessing learning, research and development for career-specific needs to personal growth

: ‘It’s OK to…’ internal campaign empowers employees to challenge presenteeism and work addiction

: Investment into Smarter Not Harder training aims to help us spend time on the things that matter to us and dismantle hyper-productivity by focusing on tangible efficiency

: Summer Fridays aim to let employees switch off an hour earlier during the warmer months to enjoy the sunshine

: Enhanced parental leave gives employees eligibility to receive above the statutory minimum during parental/adoptive leave

: Employees can take a Humanitarian day to work on the causes they care about

: An added day off for birthdays encourages employees to prioritise celebration and joy

‘Flexible working hours give employees the opportunity to define their own working pattern whether it’s influenced by home-schooling, mental health needs or circadian rhythms’

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Healing spaces

As part of our road map, our peer-led employee networks are opportunities for those with any marginalised intersectionalities to be able to discuss their needs in a supportive space:

: Our Mental Health Network lets employees access a confidential space to start important mental health conversations in the workplace

: The Network for People of the Global Majority lets employees access mutual support and a space to be vulnerable without the constant challenges of white supremacy

: LGBTQIA+ Network creates a space for our LGBTQIA+ team members to be able to connect and express their sexuality and identity without fear

NoireFitFest, UK

Diversity and healing

: Monthly Diversity Afternoon Meetings invite the whole organisation to collectively gather and engage with vulnerable topics or listen to all things inclusion

: Monthly D&I Newsletters invite perspectives and experiences across the team on topics related to inclusion, identity, marginalisation and wellbeing

: Regular Resource Toolkits are shared on specific topics such as disability, race, gender, sexuality and more

: D&I Coaches are available for a judgement-free approach to help support, guide and mentor the team

‘Gather and engage with vulnerable topics or listen to all things inclusion’
The Venn Project by SpacePopular, London

Non-linear healing

At The Future Laboratory we are committed to creating a culture in which all of us can thrive, rather than some of us. Since rolling out a number of these initiatives over the past few years, we have seen an improvement in year-on-year retention of team members.

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.

You can 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.


Want to read more?

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

Alternatively, join LS:N Global where members get full access to our Intersectionality series.

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