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How can organisations better support their 24/7 workforces? There is good evidence that shift work is related to serious health issues.

How can organisations better support 24/7 workforces?

With round-the-clock access to many goods and services, it’s sometimes easy to forget about the people that power our always-on world. For example, the: Factory workers producing goods day and night; Truck drivers travelling across the country while everyone else…

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Are Australian universities keeping up with the changing needs of international students?

Are universities keeping up with the changing needs of international students?

Today is International Students’ Day – a day of international observance of the student community and a celebration of the multiculturalism of international students. It’s a day to appreciate what the international student community brings to their host nations, as…

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2021 results regarding the learning experience for international and domestic students in Australia.

QILT SES results: the challenge of low learner engagement, and the importance of personal safety

The latest QILT Student Experience Survey (SES) results brought both positive and negative news for the Australian tertiary education sector. On the positive side, the university student experience in Australia has started to improve. On the not-so-positive side, more work…

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Wellbeing agents of change Melanie Silva, Steven Worrall, Elle Dias and Heidi Beck.

Q&A with Melanie Silva, Steven Worrall, Elle Dias, and Heidi Beck (Sydney event)

We are pleased to share this final instalment from our recent Agents of change for organisational wellbeing event. Held in our Sydney office, this event for wellbeing leaders generated much formal and informal discussion as attendees and panellists shared questions…

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Wellbeing agents of change Steven Worrall from Microsoft and Melanie Silva from Google.

Wellbeing agents of change: Steven Worrall and Melanie Silva (Sydney event)

We are excited to share the next instalment from our recent Agents of change for organisational wellbeing event held in our Sydney HQ. This session’s panel brings together two high-profile Australian managing directors who have become personal agents of social…

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Wellbeing agents of change Heidi Beck from Team Global Express, and Elle Dias from Red Bull.

Wellbeing agents of change: Heidi Beck and Elle Dias (Sydney event)

Recently, we were delighted to host a gathering of wellbeing leaders at our Agents of change for organisational wellbeing event in Sydney. Transformational change only happens when leaders ‘walk the talk’, so we were keen to hear how some of…

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Mental Health Australia Report to the Nation. A pulse check on our mental health and wellbeing.

Mental Health Australia’s Report to the Nation

On 10 October 2022, Mental Health Australia (a peak, national, non-government organisation representing and promoting the interests of the Australian mental health sector and issues in Australia), in collaboration with global research firm Ipsos, released their first Report to the…

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WHO guidelines on mental health at work. Employee wellbeing. They follow the release of ISO 45003.

WHO guidelines on mental health at work

On 28 September 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) released its first-ever global guidelines on mental health at work. The WHO guidelines were released in time for World Mental Health Month in October and have received praise on social media…

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Psychological debriefing is not current best practice for university students and staff.

Myth: university students and staff need psychological debriefing after traumatic events

For years, support programs have prescribed the urgent deployment of a psychologist or trauma counsellor to the scene of a critical incident or traumatic event. As a result, well-intentioned universities keen to exercise their duty of care have traditionally agreed…

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It is a myth that university student and staff wellbeing cannot be measured.

Myth: university student and staff wellbeing cannot be measured

Wellbeing advocates often struggle to secure appropriate funding for their university wellbeing initiatives. Many times this is because their business cases focus on qualitative rather than quantitative data. This presents a mismatch with budget holders who prefer quantifiable metrics –…

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University wellbeing solutions can be digital but students and staff need expert clinicians too.

Myth: digital-only solutions are the answer to university wellbeing

As the lines blur between our personal, academic, and professional lives, staff are increasingly turning to their employers to better support their mental health and wellbeing. Looking for easy wins and low-effort solutions, many organisations (including universities) are banking on…

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University staff EAP programs: are they providing the best support for your university staff?

Myth: employee assistance programs (EAPs) meet the needs of all university staff

EAPs have long been a mainstay offering at Australian universities, as well as at 80 per cent of Australia’s top 500 companies. But, given that workplaces have changed significantly over the past two and a half years, are traditional EAP…

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Myth: university students and staff know how to access wellbeing support

Each year, universities invest significant time and dollars into the wellbeing of their students and staff. Motivated by legal and moral responsibilities (plus a desire to protect their institution’s brand and future), health-savvy universities prioritise, fund, and promote wellbeing support…

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Natalie Jones from Quantium and Dr Jamie Phillips from Sonder, at Sonder’s employee wellbeig event.

Sonder serves up employee wellbeing evidence (Sydney event)

Too many leaders are investing money in wellbeing initiatives that are not evidence-based and/or are increasing their organisational risk. These are just two of the truths shared at Sonder’s recent event (held in partnership with Marley Spoon) for wellbeing leaders…

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Cost-of-living pressures add to worker distress. This is affecting employee wellbeing.

Supporting workers who are experiencing cost-of-living pressures

With interest rates continuing to rise, Australia’s cost-of-living pressures show no signs of abating. Workers are making impossible financial compromises to the detriment of their overall health and wellbeing, which is further lifting the lid on a workforce in physical…

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Business unit leaders at Sonder - a company providing safety, medical, and mental health support.

Sonder raises AU$35m to accelerate growth

Since launching Sonder in 2017 with two close friends, Christopher Marr and Peter Burnheim, our wellbeing and safety company has come a long way – thanks to the support of our dedicated team members and supporters, together with valued customers…

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Psychological safety updates in 2022. What’s changed in Australia since the release of ISO 45003?

Psychological safety: What rules have changed in Australia in 2022?

A year after the release of ISO 45003 shone a spotlight on psychological safety, it’s time to review what’s changed in the legislation and guidance material in Australia since we published our original ISO 45003 guide. But first, let’s recap…

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Workplace Wellness Festival 2002 Sydney. Workplace wellbeing. Employee wellbeing.

Workplace Wellness Festival (Day 2 of 2)

Workplace wellbeing, health, safety, diversity, inclusion, gender equality, compliance, culture, and belonging. These were the themes of day two at the recent Workplace Wellness Festival (WWF) in Sydney, as guest speakers shared stories, data, and insights about how to evolve…

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Workplace Wellness Festival 2002 Sydney. Workplace wellbeing. Employee wellbeing.

Workplace Wellness Festival (Day 1 of 2)

Every organisation wants its people to be well. But how do organisations evolve existing strategies to achieve this, given the pressures of COVID-19, the spike in talent mobility, and the changing needs of today’s hybrid workforce? This was the overarching…

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Five roles of university executives who are reshaping institutional wellbeing. Includes a best-practice example of an agent of change.

5 roles of university leaders who are reshaping institutional wellbeing

In today’s world of higher education, international ranking is not the only north star. Senior university leaders must also focus on engaging and creating meaningful value with all stakeholders on that journey – students, staff, employers, partners, donors, community organisations,…

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University leaders who are agents of change for student and staff wellbeing have become personal agents of social change.

What does it mean to be an agent of change for university wellbeing?

To instigate meaningful change in institutional wellbeing, today’s VCs, DVCs, PVCs, and senior university leaders must step up and become personal agents of social change and true impact players across their ever-expanding ecosystems of influence. Senior university executives, spurred on…

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A centralised gateway to support for Woolworths Group

Client case study A single gateway to support for Woolworths Group Who is Woolworths Group? Woolworths Group is the largest retailer in Australia and a major retail operator in New Zealand, housing leading supermarkets and consumer retail brands such as…

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Marley Spoon and Sonder – A recipe for success

Client case study A recipefor Success Marley Spoon is a global direct-to-consumer brand solving everyday recurring problems in delightful and sustainable ways. Their vision is to ‘build a better everyday, just for you, just right’, which is not only applied…

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The impact of customer hostility - an event for business leaders in Melbourne, hosted by Sonder.

The impact of customer hostility on a workforce in distress (Melbourne event)

Incidents of aggression from customers can be extremely stressful for frontline workers, and potentially have long-term impacts on employees and their organisations. Last week in Melbourne we gathered a selection of business leaders to discuss this important topic, highlight some…

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CEOs and leaders who are reshaping organisational wellbeing, employee wellbeing, workplace wellbeing

5 roles of CEOs and leaders who are reshaping organisational wellbeing

In today’s complex business environment, shareholder value is no longer the only north star. As Lurie and Tegelberg from McKinsey & Company have said, modern leaders “must focus on co-creating meaningful value with and for all stakeholders, expanding beyond shareholders…

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Agents of change for employee wellbeing are reshaping how organisations see workplace wellbeing.

What does it mean to be an agent of change for employee wellbeing?

Today’s CEOs and senior leaders have become personal agents of social change and true impact players across their ever-expanding ecosystems of influence. This is different from the late 1990s and early 2000s trend of “corporations as social change agents” and…

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Customer hostility and workplace aggression. How can managers and workplaces support employees?

How Sonder’s medical team supports a workforce in distress

The pandemic has exacerbated customer aggression and workplace distress, as well as highlighted gaps in employee support. What more can be done? How does Sonder’s medical team help our customers and their team members? At our recent event for retail…

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Bec Goulter from the National Retail Association talks at Sonder’s event about customer hostility.

The impact of customer hostility on a workforce in distress (Sydney event)

Since the start of the pandemic, some retailers have seen instances of aggression from customers increase by up to 400 per cent. With this in mind, Sonder recently brought together business leaders from consumer-facing sectors to discuss the impact that…

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This year’s Wellbeing at Work Summit explored wellbeing trends and what organisations can do to improve workplace wellbeing.

Wellbeing at Work Summit

For organisations across the world, 85% of costs are absorbed by their people. Talent is the “make or break” of an organisation, so an inclusive, supported, and healthy workplace just makes good business sense. To hear how some leading organisations…

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A human-centric solution for BINGO Industries

Before BINGO’s Chief People Officer, Jo Cairns, needed a new approach for the wellbeing and safety of her highly diverse workforce. Fondly referred to as GOgetters, the BINGO team has a high proportion of on-road team members, mostly male and…

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Sonder is accredited by The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS).

Why is ACHS accreditation important to us and our customers?

Last year, Sonder proudly became the first technology company to become accredited by The Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) to their EQuIP6 Standards. This post explains what this means and why it is important both to us and our…

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National Student Safety Survey (NSSS) results. What are Australian university leaders doing?

University leaders and the NSSS results: why is student safety not improving?

Following the release of the 2021 National Student Safety Survey results at the end of March, the media has been abuzz with damning headlines about the extent of the “distressing” and “abhorrent” sexual harassment and sexual assault of university students…

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Perks do not keep people engaged in the workplace. Read the evidence.

Myth: employee perks keep people engaged

Yoga studios, rainbow slides, NASA sleep pods, organic lunches, daily ice cream allowances, volleyball courts, climbing walls, gyms, saunas, massage, ping-pong tables, games arcades, puppytoriums, hair salons, in-office scooters, childcare, acupuncture, Olympic-sized pools for SCUBA-certification at lunch, Botox-injection rooms, tanning…

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Employees do not need psychological debriefing after traumatic events. Read the evidence.

Myth: employees need psychological debriefing after traumatic events

For years, employee support programs have prescribed the urgent deployment of a psychologist or trauma counsellor to the scene of a critical incident or traumatic event. Subsequently, well-intentioned employers who are keen to exercise their duty of care, have traditionally…

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It is a myth that employee wellbeing cannot be measured in the workplace. Read the evidence.

Myth: wellbeing cannot be measured

Wellbeing advocates often struggle to secure appropriate funding for their workplace wellbeing initiatives. Many times this is because their business case focuses on qualitative data, but budget holders prefer quantifiable metrics – to satisfy their due diligence, allay their sense…

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The second employee wellbeing myth is that digital-only is the answer. Standalone self-help apps.

Myth: digital-only is the answer

As the lines blur between our personal and professional lives, employees are increasingly turning to their employers for better mental health and wellbeing support. Looking for easy wins and low-effort solutions, many organisations are banking on self-help digital tools as…

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Paid time off (PTO) is a band-aid for employee burnout in the workplace, not a cure.

Myth: paid time off cures burnout

In the past twelve months, the global media has done an exceptional job of glorifying companies that have gifted their employees with paid time off (PTO) to curb burnout and improve mental health and wellbeing. Business leaders who have not…

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Employee wellbeing: what does the evidence say

Employee wellbeing: what does the evidence say?

The world of employee wellbeing can be a maze of shiny objects and misinformation. Business leaders, trying earnestly to look after their people, are confronted with conflicting messages at every turn. It’s confusing and disorienting. How can you be sure…

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Sonder Exec Lunch Event

Reimagining workplace wellbeing

We were pleased to recently welcome around 30 executives into Sonder HQ to discuss the topic of rethinking workplace wellbeing – an important topic on the minds of all people leaders, given the high percentage of mental health concerns but…

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workplace mental health experience

Workplace mental health: employee experiences

Everywhere we turn, we’re reading statistics about employees wanting their employers to provide better workplace mental health support. Millennials in particular want their employers to implement additional mental health initiatives – 87 per cent compared to 67 per cent of…

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workplace mental health solutions

Workplace mental health: right-fit solutions

Low employee uptake of workplace mental health support has largely been accepted with minimal inquiry. But with this year’s release of ISO 45003 and the subsequent spotlight on workplace psychological health and safety, it’s time for organisations to ask why…

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Mental health support uptake

Workplace mental health support: Why only a 5% uptake?

Workplaces have changed beyond recognition over the past two years. Expedited by COVID-19, we have become more digitally enabled, embraced newfound flexibility through hybrid working, introduced new on-site safety measures to enable lockdown restrictions to be lifted, and there has…

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Blog header - How can you support your students differently

How can you support students differently?

Now that the world has been disrupted, what does the new horizon of student support look like? Do we know what constitutes meaningful, relevant, holistic and compassionate care during a period of deep uncertainty? Sonder’s Dr Jamie Phillips and Robert…

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Australian International Education Conference - Header

Australian International Education Conference

The Australian International Education Conference (AIEC) is a key highlight in the annual calendar for the international education sector. Practitioners, teaching staff, researchers, policy makers, vendors and other stakeholders come together to learn about major industry trends and to network…

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Line managers are not mental health experts

Line managers are not mental health experts

Dr Jamie Phillips, our medical director and head of member support, recently delivered a presentation for line managers at the Workplace Mental Health Symposium (WMHS). His key insights for managers were: 1. You are not a mental health expert –…

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New user-friendly guide to ISO 45003

Since ISO 45003 was published on 8 June 2021, online WHS and forums have been abuzz with questions around what the world’s first international standard for mental health in the workplace means for CEOs, board members, People and Culture Directors,…

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Why is ISO 45003 important?

In a perfect world, every workplace is safe, every employee is well, every person is engaged and productive, every organisation fulfills its moral and financial objectives, and everyone involved ‘does the right thing’. There are no risks to brand reputation,…

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How does ISO 45003 fit with existing WHS rules?

One of the key questions asked by CEOs, board members, People and Culture Directors and WHS managers about ISO 45003 since its launch on 8 June 2021 is: “How does the new standard fit in with existing WHS rules and…

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Workplace Mental Health Symposium

Recently, we participated in the annual Workplace Mental Health Symposium, hosted by the Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Association. It was a great virtual event which attracted speakers and participants from across the Tasman and across the globe. Here’s…

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Sonder’s wellbeing model

We’re often asked to explain the meaning of Sonder and the model of care that we practice, as we work 24/7 to serve around 400,000 eligible members across organisations such as Woolworths, Commonwealth Bank, Allianz, NSW Government, Australian Army, and…

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Sonder: A new look, a new level of support

At Sonder, we’ve been trusted with providing safety and wellbeing tools for our members since 2017. This has taken us on a journey of continuous improvement – as we reimagine health, safety and wellbeing for our members and customers –…

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