• Matthew Hoddinott

A Blank Canvas Week

Updated: May 19, 2020

Like so many, I see eloquent posts about the previous week, what’s been achieved, with a sense of fulfilment and almost glee that it’s the weekend.

I thought I’d take different tack, what I’m calling “preflection” rather than reflection. Our week ahead is heavily focused on client risk assessments, technical marketing and contracts. How diverse can you get?

I’ve always had the mindset that a Monday morning was an opportunity, a period of time for creativity, fulfillment and insightful action. Like a new dawn, I like the idea that this is a blank canvas for us to create upon

When I’ve talked in schools, I mention the number 2304 as the number of Monday mornings that you have to, on average, get up during your working life. This number is huge, and I have felt that if you’re not happy or fulfilled on a large majority of them, then we need to work out a way of improving that. Indeed, I’ve even named a business using the number (MAP2304) and certainly now, try to lead my life with that anticipation of Monday morning.

As Mental Health Awareness week kicks off, the irony hasn’t escaped me when I look at the work we will be doing.

To start the week, we have an inaugural virtual walk by The (respecting social distances and guidelines) which will be a focused walk through the Buckinghamshire countryside. This is a virtual network meeting, whilst walking, making full use of Zoom/Skype etc to share considered questions. This weeks question will be “how to return safely to work?” The purpose of the walk is to create supportive business relationships, with like-minded but divergent people, focusing on health, nature, improvement and importantly giving back to our communities.

Over the last week, we have undertaken a number of risk assessments for clients, and will continue to do so. The RAs consider how we support our employees and colleagues, not only to get back to work but also with their mental health. With over 11 million work days lost due to poor mental health annually, and that’s before COVID-19 reared it’s ugly head, productivity can be massively increased with better mental health. Imagine also how 8 weeks of semi-isolation will feel and then, 100% + as businesses and managers gear to catch up. Our risk assessments have, as far as reasonably possible, ensured that businesses (and schools) have the best measures in place, based on current Government and industry guidelines, for a safe return but also to ensure optimum performance, and minimal stress.

Additionally this week, we will be talking about the effects of roof design (Roofscaping) on mental health, society and health recovery as a whole. An holistic “well-building” approach to roofs space is able to provide some considerable but often unconsidered benefits to society.

And then finally, our main task will be to take our clients CPD presentations on-line. Without a doubt, Zoom, Teams, Skype and every other similar method of communication will have changed the way we work forever. To be able to demonstrate elevated landscape design, pavement design and environmental well-building design online / virtually to possibly 100s of people at once will change the face of everyone’s marketing and communication messages.

Whilst these are some of the plans for the week ahead, we continue to grow and serve our clients, adding new ideas and fresh thinking to their businesses, their story and their presence.

How can you not be excited to start painting on that blank canvas?

If we can help you with getting back to work, providing different thinking, creating space or assisting with your back log in management, estimating risk assessments or presence, then please don't hesitate to contact us. We, or some of our clients, may have the solution that you have been looking for.

Additionally, our sister company, MAP2304, will be having a webinar at the end of May, looking at the commercial realities around stress and returning to work, how we support our staff to develop efficient and healthy environments. The key message will be that healthy minds promote productivity which makes commercial sense.

So, through Mental Health Awareness week, your challenge is to ask as many people as you can:-

“how are you?”

and most importantly, really listen to the answer. If you get no response, ask again. Be kind, understanding and considerate. And if you feel you need to talk, please reach out. Please start the conversation.

In the meantime, remember the number 2304 and ensure that each one counts.

Have a Happy Monday and create the Best Week you can

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