Friendlier environments, health breaks to relax your legs and mind, collaborative activities and exchanges thanks to redesigned rooms, workshops aimed at limiting musculoskeletal disorders, wellness campaigns… Last fall, the staff and student community deployed creative and varied solutions to answer key questions raised.
It is from the six areas selected to measure the organizational health of the UdeS that levers were implemented in the various units to promote the development of a university community in which life is good, namely:
- Health (psychological health, physical health and healthy lifestyles)
- The time
- The work and study environment
- management practices
- Education / Skills Development / Career
- Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Haro in the sedentary lifestyle
For most of the staff working at UdeS, desk work in a seated and prolonged position is part of everyday life… as are the corresponding pains. Measures aimed at limiting physical illnesses and musculoskeletal problems were therefore developed as a priority in various departments, services and faculties. Interestingly, many units have relied on the expertise and dedication of their employees to carry out these initiatives.
Administrative coordinator of the Department of Libraries and Archives, Clotilde Rymarczyk pays special attention to good posture and physical well-being at work. She is also trained as a massage therapist, which has led her to establish daily stretching breaks with colleagues for several years. If the pandemic context ordered the cessation of these beneficial exercises in presence, the organizational health approach made it possible to relaunch them and reintegrate them into the workplace. The Directorate for Protection of the Work Environment and Study also approved information sheets prepared by the professional, with a special focus on the benefits of breathing, acupuncture and phototherapy.
Acting in a sedentary lifestyle is also a first-rate natural concern at the Faculty of Human Kinetics. The doctoral work of student René Maréchal, which focused on the sedentary lifestyle of seniors, was thus adapted to the context of office work, and used for the health of the Faculty’s staff and teachers. A skilled publicist, the student developed a video capsule presenting exercises, which served as a kick-off to the week of breaks and active meetings that the rectory team developed, as part of the organizational health approach. Kinesiology students also participated.
take care of us
As for the Training Support Service (SSF), where there was already a commission on quality of life at work during the pandemic, the “OLOF” project (eye of a lynx, ears of fire!) was recently created. A bit like the peer help program, the OLOF project aims to make team members aware of psychological health issues so that they can be mindful of one another in a spirit of benevolence at work. A first training workshop was offered to the team as part of this project, in collaboration with the RBC Center for University Expertise in Mental Health. The Quality of Work Life Commission is also working on developing a “wellness kit” that will give stakeholders quick access to relevant resources.
Created in fall 2021 by the UdeS Masters, Diploma and Doctoral Students Group (REMDUS), the Be United campaign is based on small gestures and beneficial advice that do good in order to enhance the well-being of the student community in a daily basis. “The simple fact of offering small gifts, kind words is a balm in people’s hearts, when we have just lived through a difficult period of pandemic”, says Marie-Pier Audet, instigator of the project, former director of communication and internal affairs at REMDUS .
In the same vein at Campus Longueuil, the “Little Christmas Attentions” project was implemented by members of the Psy-ISO Health Committee last December. At a time when students are experiencing the stress of final exams, the commission wanted to support them for a whole week with words of encouragement and chocolates, herbal teas and sweets. In addition to providing well-being and comfort, the activity had the effect of raising awareness of the psychological support services available on site and increasing the feeling of belonging both of the student community and the Campus employees.
Greener and friendlier environments
To allow staff, and more particularly philanthropy managers relocated and relocated to colleges, to meet in a pleasant and friendly place, the Foundation and Alumni Relations Service have reorganized their building’s cafeteria. Once dilapidated and dark, the new room is now bright, and staff-provided furniture has been incorporated. In addition to consolidating the bonds within the team, the organization of social actions made it possible to guarantee the financing of new ventures. Interestingly, even the staff of the Department of Buildings, who happened to be present one night when a silent auction organized by the staff of La Fondation was held, contributed in some way financially to the refurbishment of the premises!
On the Health Campus side, the dynamism of the students was in favor of creating greener and more responsible facilities and living spaces. Access to waste sorting stations has been completely redesigned. To combat food waste and promote responsible consumption, a Free Go Refrigerator was installed on the Campus, among other things. In the same spirit of ecological responsibility, food and clothing delivery locations have also been added. The teaching community also continues to care for Zen 7 Garden, a student initiative created a few years ago.
And if we are to believe the most exhaustive list of all other measures implemented and come across UdeS, then the organizational health of staff and students should be positively affected. An upcoming survey, scheduled for fall 2022, will also measure the health index of the entire university community.