Technology firm joins forces with Andy's Man Club to create digital wellbeing project

Luke Ambler, founder of Andy's Man Club
Luke Ambler, founder of Andy's Man Club

A technology business has joined forces with a charity that aims to cut the number of male suicides to create a project that promotes digital wellbeing

Many analysts are concerned that the high volumes of emails and other digital interactions in the modern workplace are posing a threat to employees’ mental health.

Think Cloud has created four jobs since moving to The Deep in Hull last year, taking its team to 11. It will soon recruit more people after adding a new dimension to the business with a series of masterclasses and workshops.

The company is also applying its skills to its partnership with the Yorkshire-based mental health charity Andy’s Man Club, with a strategy designed to reduce the stress generated by too much technology at work.

Think Cloud is planning an event in October which will see the company launch its new IT support application, Co-founder Leon McQuade will speak on Wednesday 11 September at the “Inspiring Business 2019” event, which will be hosted by James Legal at the Hallmark Hotel, North Ferriby.

A spokesman said: “In addition to the key themes of cultivating a winning environment and a winning culture, Leon will look at taking a digital approach to promoting wellbeing at work – in line with the overall aim of Andy’s Man Club to halve the number of suicides in men aged under 45.”

Mr McQuade said he wanted to provide companies with the best tools to promote digital wellbeing.

He added: “We ask businesses what they are doing to promote employee engagement and how their email strategy works. When are people allowed to receive emails? We can set start and finish times, enabling people to send emails in advance and removing access to tools and notifications when people leave the office. We also set up collaborative mailboxes so people don’t return from holiday to find hundreds of emails waiting.

“It supports flexible working and it helps us to use technology as a tool instead of technology using us as a tool.”

Freya Cross, head of business and corporate at The Deep, said: “I learned a lot from attending Think Cloud’s inaugural event, which was innovative and interactive and ensured we were participants – from building spaghetti towers to sharing experiences in technology – rather than just an audience.

“We recognise the importance of businesses ensuring they are aware, not just of the opportunities presented by app-based technology ,but also the wellbeing of their workforce.

Ms Cross added: “The Deep is committed to the Time to Change Employer Pledge, which is all about mental wellbeing, and we have been discussing how we can involve and support our business centre clients alongside our staff within our commitment to this initiative.”

Why it’s good to keep talking

The mental health charity Andy’s Man Club is run by unpaid volunteers from Halifax in West Yorkshire.

The group organises groups for men all over the UK so they can talk about mental health.

It is behind the the #ITSOKAYTOTALK campaign which aims to encourage discussions about mental health.

The club now holds peer-to-peer support groups at 20 locations across the country, including nine in Yorkshire, and it helped 10,700 men last year.

At the groups, men sit and talk to each other in a confidential environment.