In an effort to destigmatize mental health in the workplace, Ogury has spent the last two years raising awareness around common mental health problems to our internal audience. 

Everyone’s mental health is impacted, whether directly or indirectly, at some point in our lives. In fact, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year. We recognize that, and we want to be part of the conversation. That’s why it’s important to us that Ogurians have access to the right resources and tools to reach out for help when needed. 

A group of Ogurians at the office
A group of Ogurians at the office.

This year, although Mental Health Awareness Week took place from May 9th-15th, we extended the initiative throughout the whole month. Our goal was to help educate Ogurians on the topic, encourage them to share and listen to each other’s experiences,  and get them involved in raising funds for the Mental Health Foundation. 

Launching Plumm

We kicked off our campaign with the introduction of a new mental well-being resource called Plumm. By introducing Plumm to the global team, we fueled the ongoing discussion around the importance of prioritizing mental health so individuals can thrive both within and outside the workplace. 

Ogury employees in yoga poses
A group of Ogurians take a break to practice yoga.

Through Plumm, employees have access to 1:1 video and chat therapy sessions with accredited therapists, unlimited access to a growing library of therapist-led psycho-educational digital courses, guided meditations and soundscapes, and the opportunity to attend live virtual workshops.

#dressingreenchallenge

With green being the color of Mental Health Awareness, we also asked Ogurians to get involved by wearing something green and sharing a photo of themselves on our internal social media platform. In a wonderful show of support, we had 65 participants, and managed to raise £650 for the Mental Health Foundation in just one week. 

Panel Discussion on Imposter Syndrome

Our Women Of Ogury (WOO) chapter hosted its first global panel discussion on Imposter Syndrome – an internal experience or psychological occurrence that is directly linked to mental health. While Imposter Syndrome touches all populations, it is particularly prevalent among women in the workplace. Over 100 people attended the panel discussion, and the WOO group created such a safe environment that many felt comfortable enough to share their own struggles with Impostor Syndrome. This conversation generated invaluable insights into how as a business, we can better support Ogurians in these areas. 

Locally organized events 

At Ogury, we believe it is crucial to  give back to our community. Therefore, while we asked employees to partake in our global campaign, we also organized local events to take care of our team. Thanks to our Office Managers, we offered Ogurians moments of self-care at their offices, including massage sessions, dietician visits and workouts. A happy body starts with a happy mind!

An Ogurian receives a massage.

The road ahead

Mental health is a priority at Ogury, even more so since the pandemic. Healthy employees mean involved and successful employees, and the launch of Plumm was a milestone in our promise to support each team member throughout their journey at Ogury.

Beyond that, we are committed to continuing the conversations around mental health in and out of the workplace through discussions and Employee Resource Groups. Mental health is everyone’s business, so we want to continue educating on and giving visibility to this topic to build an increasingly safer space for Ogurians to share their thoughts and experiences. We believe that in doing so, we will unlock more opportunities to drive change and continue building a business that employees feel confident and proud to be a part of.

Cindy Christodoulou
Culture Director

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Website defense is much like age-old military tactics in that you must prepare for both known and unknown threats. We reference Sun Tzu’s 5th century BC literature because though seemingly dated, many of its universal principles apply to today’s website security best practices. Even the most tech-forward companies are at risk of security breaches and inadvertent threats that may impact a website’s overall functionality. 

Be aware of common threats to security and functionality

As a developer, your goal is to be as optimal as possible with the least effort. This means building or maintaining a website that has clearly defined goals, requires minimal upkeep, is safeguarded against site errors, and employs strategically implemented functionalities – whether coded or by way of existing programs. The art of website security begins with preparedness.

Internal Threats

Yes, internal threats do exist. And no, they aren’t always intentionally malicious. Internal security threats result from a culmination of things, but they’re often a consequence of non-tech-savvy users having high-level permissions on the back end of a website. For example, a user with unnecessary access to settings or plugins may install, activate or deactivate a plugin that should remain untouched, or worse, interfere with a function that has additional code associated with it, thus triggering broken content or a site error (i.e., 404 Site Error, 500 Internal Server Error). 

On the other hand, internal peers may request website edits that are not optimal or best practice, requiring the designer or developer to stand their ground and convince others to follow their lead. While this may be unavoidable, you can fortify your website to limit any potential risk.

So, how can you protect your website?

Know thyself and choose your allies

Before building a new website, define your goals. What purpose will it serve? What do you or your client want to achieve with it? Can you reach these goals yourself, or do you need to outsource support? Answering these questions will allow you to create a website roadmap consisting of developmental milestones and opportunities to evaluate and identify potential weaknesses that you can get ahead of. This will prepare you to expect the unexpected and know when to retreat. Be realistic. Be proactive. Don’t be stubborn.

In addition to the standard optimization techniques, developers should also understand their capabilities and know when to use existing tools rather than build new ones. Don’t reinvent the wheel – if something does the job, and does it well, use it. 

Ogury’s web developers enjoy online tools such as PageSpeed Insights, GTMetrix and WebPageTest to diagnose problems and analyze potential areas of improvement.

A close-up of a man with glasses, looking at a screen
A close-up of a man reading website code.

Beware of hidden enemies, technically speaking

While it’s impossible to make your website 100% secure, you can make it less vulnerable. The mission here is to narrow your enemy’s attack line and be wary of hidden, accidental enemies (both humans and non-humans). Let’s take a look at how you can employ your first line of defense.

  • Plugins: Did you know that most successful attacks on WordPress websites come through plugins? This is because they are each a potential security breach, particularly with version updates. The more you weigh down your website with plugins, the more likely you are to run into a problem. Be selective in those you choose to implement, and don’t overuse them. 
  • Backups: Create a backup of your website regularly so you have something to fall back on should something break on the live version of your website. For example, if a plugin malfunctions and interferes with your website structure, you can quickly restore your most recent version until you resolve the problem.
  • Strong passwords: We have all been guilty of being “hackable.” Think simple passwords like name + birth year = ‘Nikola1983.’ Complex passwords are one of the more obvious lines of defense in the war on websites as they are harder to crack. If you cannot come up with password combinations that are complicated yet memorable, use a password generator. This will spit out something like ‘g8(yvMJRN29-E:ed’ and will likely need to be stored in a secure location.
  • Staging environments: With the exception of content updates, never develop directly on production servers, or what’s “live” and can be seen by website visitors. Build and test on a development server before pushing updates online.
  • Users: The fewer people with access to the back end of a website, the fewer opportunities for problems. Assign user permissions with care, considering their need, intent and skill (can they fix their own mistake?).
  • Hosting: Spend more on dedicated hosting or a cloud server to improve page speed and overall performance.

Exercise your authority

The phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen” is not unfamiliar to developers. There tend to be many individuals and teams who want to enforce their own ideas, solutions and deadlines in a new or ongoing website build. Marketers may request certain marketing tools be installed on your website that may create internal security risks or slow down page load. Designers may create beautiful mock-ups that aren’t easy to code, impractical or simply too clunky for ideal site performance. And clients may want their projects completed quickly and cheaply, which most developers know to be unrealistic.

As a developer, you must stand your ground while offering real solutions. Know your limitations, and don’t shy away from seeking more premium solutions when available. If you’re pressed to employ antiquated practices, back up your claims with metrics that support your experience and argument.

What’s next?

At Ogury, we encourage marketers and designers alike to share ideas for innovation and improvement to our website. Whether you work on your company’s assets or for a client, go the extra mile by adding functionalities, animations or integrations. A final tip would be to keep an eye on your competition for inspiration on new implementations or routes you’ve yet to take. Websites should evolve so be prepared to adapt.

Nikola Dimitrijević, 
Web Developer