Carat trials out-of-hours emails ban

Carat, the Dentsu Aegis Network media shop, is trialling a new email policy to encourage better health among employees.

Carat: it is launching its wellness month on Monday with this goody bag for staff
Carat: it is launching its wellness month on Monday with this goody bag for staff

As part of its annual wellness month, staff will be banned from sending internal emails on a Friday to deploy greater face-to-face dialogue across the business.

The agency is also making an effort to have fewer "out-of-hours ‘always on’ behaviours" by encouraging people to only send internal and external emails between 8am and 7pm Monday to Friday. At weekends, the company said, emails should only be sent "in emergency situations only".

Matthew Landeman, managing director of Carat UK, said: "We are mobile and connected 24/7 so it is becoming more and more ‘normal’ to send communications to each other well outside of reasonable working hours and people often feel under pressure to respond to these communications.

"Overall this has a negative effect on productivity and wellbeing as it means we get less overall down time, less opportunity to manage the cadence of our lives, and less time for re-setting our levels of energy and focus so we are happier and better at what we do overall at home and in the workplace."

This year’s wellness month kicks off next week and focuses on mental health to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs from 8 May to 14 May.

Over the next four weeks there will be more than 50 different free activities and lectures at the London office. Events last year included reflexology, a table tennis tournament, guided walks in nearby parks and galleries, and floristry lessons.

Landeman added: "This year we wanted to focus on mental health, equipping people with a whole range of tools to develop their own mental health and resilience as well as investing the time and effort needed to make us a more mental health aware business through training, personal stories and discussion panels."

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