This week we spoke with comedian and writer Steve Bugeja.

Since winning the BBC New Comedy Award in 2013, Steve has gone on to host the BBC Radio 4 series Economics with Subtitles, and has appeared on Love Island: Aftersun (ITV2), Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central (Comedy Central). Steve has also performed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for the past two years, appearing on the Opening Night Comedy Allstars Supershow (ABC1) and on Comedy Up Late (ABC1).

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I started to go to therapy recently - to iron out the mental glitches.

- Steve Bugeja

In this episode, Steve talks to us about working in a highly pressured environment, how he has recently started to have therapy and how perfectionism can sometimes get the better of him, as well as gives us a hilarious insight into his up and coming show 'Single Mum' debuting at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival later this year!

Thanks Steve, enjoy everyone!  

Redefining a work-life balance with Steve Bugeja…

Blending your work and life

We now live an exceptionally accessible era, our doctor appears on our screens, we can settle down and binge on 10 episodes of one series in one hit if we so wish, our food arrives steaming hot at our door from just the tap of a button. We live in a time of convenience and ease, what impact does this have on our mental wellbeing, and how does this correlate with our working lives?

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‘‘

Freelancing is so wonderful for work-life balance. Allowing you to fit in whatever commitments you have without any time restrictions.”

- Lucy Skoulding, Freelance Journalist

For some, this level of accessibility works well and the phenomenon of freelance working and being your own boss is becoming the norm. But, if you break it down, it’s a way of rewriting the conventional working day - no longer does everyone clock in at 9 and head off at 5. Some people have the versatility to work the hours they want to which then allows them to live their lives they way they want to. Robyn Vinter, Founder and Editor-In-Chief of The Overtake commented on running her own business, and the impact it has on her mental wellbeing; “When things are good, running your own business gives you freedom which helps your mental wellbeing, but equally when things aren't going well you can feel as trapped as you might if you worked for someone else.

“When you run your own business you never really switch off. You might be watching TV or at the beach but on some level you're still thinking about what needs to be done at work or worrying about paying staff.”

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Tuesday was suddenly no longer just the second day of the week. A day I could have poached eggs as I read my emails. A day I didn’t have to go and have a 10-minute talk to myself in the work loos after feeling inconsolable because I didn’t like the tone I used when speaking to someone.”

- Carl, cited on Time To Talk website

Lucy Skoulding is a Journalist, who works part time for a publication, and the rest of the time is freelance, we spoke to her about the impact this has upon her life. Lucy said: “My schedule can be completely all over the place, but I love it! It means every day is fresh and different. Freelancing is so wonderful for work-life balance because it allows you to fit in whatever commitments you have without any time restrictions. However with freelancing the most important thing I've discovered is to keep a routine as far as possible.”

I think Tuesdays have saved my life.
— Carl (cited on Time To Change)

But, when we consider working for an employer, versatility and a more fluid way of working seems to be the increasing normal routine for the UK workforce. Working from home, having flexible hours to be able to manage a work life balance is becoming increasingly expected within companies. Having these options have been linked with increasing your levels of good mental wellbeing, an article published on mental health charity’s website Time To Change, detailed about the mental health benefits a man called Carl experienced when he changed up his working routine and began working from home every Tuesday. Carl said: “For me, depression does not just bring a deep, seemingly irremovable sadness painted across the surface of everything I enjoy and love, it also brings with it a rage. A rage pointed directly at me. My line-manager started to notice I wasn’t doing too well, The solution we came to was me working from home on Tuesdays.

When things are good, running your own business gives you freedom which helps your mental wellbeing, but equally when things aren’t going well you can feel as trapped as you might if you worked for someone else.
— Robyn Vinter, Founder, The Overtake

“It might sound like a simple thing, but I think Tuesdays have saved my life. It was suddenly no longer just the second day of the week. Tuesdays are great, but not magic – however just knowing there’s a day that I can nurture my wellbeing and be a little selfish is so, so useful.”

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“Working flexibly allows me to be a mum with a career instead of literally careering through motherhood.”

- Ilana Bernstein, User Engagement (CRM) Manager, 87%

Have you ever felt like Carl? If so, it’s ok and maybe it’s time to talk to your manager and see if there is a way you can work more productively and happier having designed your own working schedule. For parents, the acknowledgement of being able to work flexibly can be the difference between whether they accept the job in the first place, having those formative years with a child are years that you’ll never get back and if your place of work can accommodate this and give you the level of flexibility to make this happen. It will not only give those parents a level of support and happiness, but on the whole could really improve employee retention. Working mum and User Engagement (CRM) Manager, 87% Ilana Bernstein commented saying: “Working flexibly allows me to be a mum with a career instead of literally careering through motherhood.”

7 ways to channel the real you at work

Everyone has a different approach to work, that might be because of your own attitudes or perhaps it’s tailored by the environment you’re in. It’s the age old nature versus nurture debate. Whatever your work style, it’s so important from your own wellbeing perspective is to feel fulfilled, and be able to be whoever ‘you’ are at work.

Here at 87% we are big fans of bringing your whole self to work, and introducing some quirk and personality.

So, here you have it, our 7 ways to totally channel the real you while you work…

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1.

It’s ok to sometimes just say NO.

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2.

You need work closure, don’t bring the work baggage home with you.

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3.

Don’t be the work martyr, you’ll annoy everyone!

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4.

Plan ahead, what does ‘future you’ want? Plan for your next role, or what your retirement will be like?

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5.

Set boundaries.

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6.

Don’t be a sleep hacker, it’s important. Be kind to your body, you expect so much from it, let it rest.

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7.

Email is not your life, and it doesn’t own you. Why not walk over to Sally and tell that for the 4th time you don’t know who stole her tupperware instead of sending a passive aggressive gif.

6 ways to show real support

Listen to the article here, or read below:

Life throws colossal curveballs our way which is always a test of mental resilience. This could be the loss of a partner, or a friend. A break up, family issues, or a particularly challenging situation at work.

Sometimes when you are the person others rely on to talk to or listen to their issues, it’s not always very straight forward. It is sometimes difficult to know how to give that level of support.

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We’ve got some simple tips that will help guide you through these sometimes quite difficult conversations, especially when you are speaking to someone who is feeling vulnerable. You want to make sure that you give them the best advice you can.

Listen in a non-judgmental way

When someone is finding it difficult to cope, their mind is racing and are most likely feeling highly anxious it’s always better to listen without becoming judgemental. If this person is worrying about something you see as insignificant, take a step back and try to see it from their point of view. Telling them to stop worrying isn’t going to instantly stop them from worrying, but could make them feel self conscious. Most of the time, you don't need to say anything, listening is such a strong antidote.

Be there, but don’t overwhelm

When people are going through hard times, chances are they aren’t going to be at their chattiest. Sometimes just being there and giving them the comfort of your presence without the pressure to actually be doing or saying anything is so powerful, and a true sign of a strong bond.

Don’t make anyone feel like a burden

Your objective is to support, and care. The moment the person you are trying to help feels as though they are a burden, they are less likely to open up and talk about what’s wrong. Let them work through issues, in their own time and on their own terms. Keep calm, and assure them that they are able to just be themselves, which involves patience from both you and them.

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Take ownership of smaller worries

When you’re at a crisis point in your life, the smallest things can become overwhelming. In everyday life these things may seem very small, like taking out the bins, booking a reservation or picking up some bits from the shop. But, to the person who is suffering these are worries that can be taken out of their lap for a short period of time. Remember what might seem really insignificant to you could be the biggest hurdle for them.

Keep them busy

When someone is going through an intense and difficult time in their life, sometimes their self care can slip, because usually their heath goes to the bottom of their own to-do list. Encourage them to get out of the house, even if it’s just for a walk around the block, or popping to a local cafe for a cuppa - a change of scenery is good, and allows focus to shift.

Keep your own behaviour consistent

This person you are helping is feeling emotionally vulnerable, and is going through some life turbulence. It’s very important that you as the anchor keep your behaviour consistent, stay calm and always try to kind even if at times they can come across unreasonable. You know that they are only lashing out because they are hurting.

Time for you

This isn’t in the list of tips because you should always be doing this. Being the support to someone is necessary, but can also be very draining. We are caring beings, and it’s within most of us to help those we are close to, but you can’t own it all. You also need a break, and to know where those boundaries lie.




Colin Brazier: "Are workplaces offering practical bereavement support?"

This week, Sky New’s Colin Brazier opens up about coming to terms with the loss of his wife last year, raising their six children now as a single Dad, and how Sky News supported him practically through this immensely difficult time.

Colin Brazier, Sky News

Colin Brazier, Sky News

Below, Colin gives us a truly authentic, and candid account of what he’s been through and what his workplace did to support him through this difficult time. Colin also discusses why it’s important to realise that sadness and grief are natural reactions to bereavement. And, if your place of work can put measures in place to make your life easier, or more bearable then this should always be the first option. Everyone should be fully supported by their place of employment through all instances in life.

Thank you Colin for talking to us about this and your palpable honesty…