How Pneuma is embracing the challenges of a remote working model

As a follow-up to our previous post, ‘The past, present and future of remote working’, we wanted to look more specifically how Pneuma is addressing the challenges of remote working; overcoming some of the hurdles to prioritise staff - and patient - wellbeing in a pioneering way.

As a mental health provider, we are extremely mindful of the importance of staff wellbeing, and pride ourselves in our person-centred business model, which puts our practitioners front and centre of our priorities.

Our approach has been established to support the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme in England, a world-leading approach which focuses on the provision of talking therapies for adults living with anxiety disorders or depression. IAPT services are characterised by the provision of evidence-based early interventions; routine outcome monitoring; and regular, outcome-focused supervision, all of which are made possible by the Pneuma model of care.

In England, there is currently a shortage of qualified Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPs), owing to a combination of factors: the success and continual expansion of the IAPT programme; the desire for many PWPs to progress into other roles; and the adaptability of the PWP approach, which has made it very attractive to corporate and student wellbeing services. This low-intensity, high-volume approach is extremely effective in making a clinically significant difference over a relatively short time period, however it can take it toll on PWPs: if not properly supported, they can end up feeling stressed, isolated and become disillusioned, owing to the unique pressures of their work.

At Pneuma, we work hard to make sure that doesn’t happen. We not only recruit and clinically supervise our ‘remote workers’ ourselves, we actively support the staff wellbeing of all our PWPs, so that they are better able to provide effective online and remote support to IAPT step 2 service users.

Pneuma's Virtual Integrated Model (VIM) draws on the strengths of a remote working approach. By feeding directly into our clients’ digital platforms, the VIM broadens recruitment options, seamlessly increasing capacity whilst simultaneously ensuring that staff are well supervised, supported and cared for.

We acknowledge and fully respect the wellbeing of our staff, and work hard to ensure that they enjoy benefits including:
  • Freedom
  • Flexibility
  • Seamless support
  • Remote working
  • Work-life balance
  • A combination of home and office working
However, we also recognise that home working can present its own challenges, such as feelings of isolation, lack of cohesiveness within teams and difficulty in managing and supervising staff. To mitigate the effects of these issues, we also provide our remote workers with a comprehensive support package which includes:
  • The option of regular face to face support
  • Regular, informal staff gatherings to boost morale and foster good relationships between team members
  • Backup technical services in the event of internet / electrical outages.
In short, at Pneuma we always put the wellbeing and development of our staff first.

It’s clear that there is no one-size-fits-all model for home working. However, with the right approach, it’s possible to provide staff - and clients - with the best of both worlds.

At Pneuma, we are fully embracing this new movement - in which staff wellbeing really comes first - to enhance the quality of the service that we provide.