It’s good to keep learning! Learning by doing is one of our core values at Unboxed - it’s not just a phrase we use. We encourage the growth and development of everyone on the team, whether working through a complex problem on a project or learning a new skill.

Keep Learning is one of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing. Research shows that learning new skills can really improve our mental wellbeing by boosting our confidence and raising our self esteem. Learning helps us to build a sense of purpose and importantly, enables us to connect with others and improves our ability to cope with stress. Learning is about challenging ourselves to develop what we already know or to do something different. It can take many forms. It could be learning from a colleague, starting a course, reading an article or everyday learning. Every experience means we broaden our perspectives and we become better able to adapt to new situations.

A new learning journey

We give all Unboxed team members ‘innovation days’. This allows everyone the time to explore things we’re interested in. We might see a developer looking at learning React, a designer exploring the commonhold system or a delivery manager reading a particular book. The opportunities are there to keep growing and sharing our knowledge with each other. It’s pretty cool!

Vicky studying at her laptop with a pen in her hand and a file of notes on the desk next to her

Learning new things can be hard, especially when we’re under pressure and balancing busy lives. My Unboxed journey has been a huge learning curve, but it’s time for me to take on a new challenge. I am excited to be starting the PGCert Psychology of Kindness and Wellbeing at Work with the University of Sussex. This course combines positive work and organisational psychology and the new science of kindness to support people wishing to promote wellbeing, positive relationships and a nurturing culture of kindness in our workplaces.

I hope this experience will enhance and develop my existing knowledge, and support the culture of Unboxed. Connecting with other people, in different and varied professions, all passionate about the culture of our workplaces will certainly broaden my perspectives and help me to gain more insight into different experiences and approaches. I will definitely learn even more about time management!

A few words on the power of kindness

Practising kindness has been especially important during the last couple of years of a pandemic. It may seem like a ‘softer’ topic to think about over the other demands of business and work, but prioritising kindness in your workplace and creating a nurturing culture can be transformative as long is it’s considered and doesn’t become a burden. It can sometimes be hard to feel kindly towards others, particularly with so many competing needs and demands on time, but being kind helps life to feel more meaningful. A sincerely motivated kind word, or act of recognition to a colleague can give a huge boost to our wellbeing. Receiving praise and positive acknowledgement aligns with a positive view of ourselves and our self worth. Making a thoughtful, genuine comment to someone means we’ve considered someone else’s thoughts and feelings and most importantly, we’ve made a connection.

When people receive acts of kindness, they generally pay it back. So the benefits for an organisation to actively foster kindness means creating a culture of generosity with spillover effects; reduced absenteeism, greater retention, higher productivity and people who can flourish. When we act kindly towards each other we foster an environment of collaboration and innovation, and when the going gets tough we are more resilient.

Wish me luck

I am going to be challenged over the next few months for sure. But I’m looking forward to learning from the expertise and experience of the tutors and my fellow students and with the support of my fabulous Unboxed colleagues, finding new ways to exercise kindness in the workplace and contributing further to a culture of wellbeing.

Written by Vicky Peel