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29 September 2023

Finding happiness at work - a blog by our wellbeing group members Emma Bremner and Sarah Lynch

International Week of Happiness at Work is a time to look at what makes us happy in our jobs and promoting a workplace environment that values employees' wellbeing. At Yorkshire Housing, we take huge pride in our commitment to employee happiness, and our wellbeing plays a big role in this.

In this blog we hear from two of our colleagues, Emma Bremner, an analyst in governance, risk and assurance, and Sarah Lynch, a senior finance officer, as they share their thoughts and experiences on happiness at work. 

Emma and Sarah are both part of our wellbeing group which meets monthly to raise awareness, break stigmas, promote positive behaviours, and emphasise that it’s ok not to be ok. They also organise sessions with guest speakers to inspire and inform colleagues. They're also part of other groups such as our menopause support group. Find out more about that here

For Emma, happiness at work means having a supportive and encouraging environment where people can take pride in their achievements, understand their role's contribution to their team, enjoy the company of colleagues, and feel a sense of achievement at the end of each day. She’s been a part of the wellbeing group for about four years, finding it an opportunity to connect with like-minded people who share her passion for creating a positive workplace.  

In Emma's view, feeling secure, valued, and understood in the workplace is key to happiness. She believes it’s really important to ask for help when you need it, build a strong network of colleagues with shared interests, and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Simple joys, like having a workspace with personal touches, also make her happy. And, recognising the signs of overwhelm, she prioritises self-care by taking breaks, enjoying lunch away from the screen, and spending time outdoors. One of her favourite things to do is what she calls "lunch break makes" – little crafting projects that are a complete contrast to work! 

This is all made possible by the flexibility offered by Yorkshire Housing, with our hub, roam, home approach. This gives colleagues the freedom to decide when, how and where they work. We believe that work is something you do, not somewhere you go.  

For Sarah, happiness at work includes feeling valued and appreciated, enjoying a sense of belonging, and being encouraged to be her authentic self. Her personal journey with health challenges led her to be passionate about workplace wellbeing. And joining the wellbeing group helped her connect with others who shared her mission. It’s been a vital part of her recovery and self-acceptance. 

Sarah appreciates the kind and supportive people at Yorkshire Housing who align with our values. Like Emma, she emphasised that flexible working options and employee benefits like Health Shield, Perkbox, and Health Assured also contribute to her happiness. 

She manages her workload by creating lists, assigning tasks, and learning to say "no" when necessary. She also highlighted that having open conversations with colleagues and finding workable solutions together really help. She’s also learned to be kinder to herself, by acknowledging her tendency to put pressure on herself. So now she makes sure to take full hour breaks to refresh her mind and spend quality time with her family.

At Yorkshire Housing, we’re big believers that happiness is about finding a balance that works for you, creating meaningful connections with colleagues, and seeking support when needed. Sometimes, we all get a bit too caught up in the to-do lists and the Teams calls, that we forget to prioritise our wellbeing at work. So, this is our reminder to you, to manage your screen-time safely and effectively, while putting in boundaries that protect us from feeling overwhelmed.  

And finally - if you’re heading out for a lunchtime walk, we’ve got the most fitting podcast for you all about workplace wellbeing! Listen here: