Monthly Archives: June 2023

Cloud Design Box recognised by Mind for its commitment to workplace wellbeing

Cloud Design Box has been recognised for its commitment to workplace wellbeing by the mental health charity Mind.

We’re thrilled to reveal that we are one of 61 organisations to take part in Mind’s seventh annual Workplace Wellbeing Index and have been recognised with a Gold Award. And our Onboarding and Adoption Manager James Emmet has won the Wellbeing Lead Award.

We’re honoured to have been recognised for successfully embedding mental health into our policies and practices and demonstrating a long-term, in-depth commitment to staff mental health.

Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index is a benchmark of best policy and practice, celebrating the good work employers are doing to promote and support positive mental health, providing key recommendations on the specific areas where there is room to improve. This year, Mind surveyed almost 16,000 employees across the 61 employers participating in the Index.

Mind wellbeing index

The 2022-23 Index Awards, hosted by Mind’s CEO Sarah Hughes, took place on 29 June and saw people from a wide range of organisations across sectors come together to celebrate their achievements.

“Winning the Mind Wellbeing Lead award for 2023 is a huge honour, and I am deeply touched to have been recognised. I am incredibly fortunate to have been given the opportunity to serve as Staff Wellbeing Officer in an incredible company like Cloud Design Box, where wellbeing truly is at the heart of everything we do. And to have had the privilege of working with an incredible team of dedicated individuals who share my passion for supporting and caring for staff,” says James.

“For me, staff wellbeing is, and has to be, at the heart of everything we do. We can’t succeed and embody our Company Values – one of which is ‘Friendly and Supportive’ – if our staff are not thriving and performing at their best. It means creating a work environment that fosters positive relationships, supports personal and professional growth and provides resources and tools to help our employees manage stress and achieve work-life balance.”

James Emmett

Our commitment to wellbeing at work.

As part of our commitment to prioritising the wellbeing of our team, we have built three core things into our workplace culture:

Wellbeing intranet

Filled with resources for all staff to access from any connected device, including a mental health action plan following guidance from Mind. This not only helps our line managers support their team to spot and address the signs of poor mental health, but also every staff member to look after their own wellbeing.

Monthly wellbeing chats

Every member of staff at Cloud Design Box has a monthly wellbeing chat with one of our Wellbeing Champions. In these sessions, the staff member can talk about anything they wish, and their purpose is to build up a relationship with the Wellbeing Champion, so if they are struggling with something, they feel confident to talk about it.

Staff training

We have also delivered training for all staff and manager-only sessions to help raise awareness of the topic of wellbeing at work, as well as spot the signs of poor mental health in ourselves and our colleagues.

Our staff’s thoughts on wellbeing at Cloud Design Box.

An award for a commitment to staff wellbeing means nothing without the honest opinions of our staff.

As part of our application to Mind’s Wellbeing Index, our staff were sent a survey that asked them for their thoughts and feedback about our commitment to wellbeing.

Here are some of the key findings from the staff survey:

85% are motivated by workplace culture at Cloud Design Box.

90% feel Cloud Design Box encourages openness and discussion about mental health.

80% feel Cloud Design Box makes it possible to speak openly when experiencing mental health problems.

90% say their manager regularly checks in on how they’re feeling.

80% of staff who have experienced poor mental health while working at Cloud Design Box felt confident they would be supported.

“We’ve worked tirelessly to try and support our staff by frequently promoting awareness and educating all members of staff on the importance of wellbeing, mental health, and self-care, whether this is in-person, through presentations, or online content.” James adds.

“I had only ever hoped to help one person who may have been struggling and I would’ve considered that a huge victory. But the recognition of the work that all of Cloud Design Box has contributed to, and me personally as Staff Wellbeing Officer is beyond my wildest dreams.”

Our comitment to supporting the wellbeing and mental health of our staff wont stop here. We have signed up for the Mental Health at Work Commitment to continue our work in this area.

Andrew Berrie, Head of Workplace Wellbeing at Mind, said:

“Following the profound changes to working life brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, many organisations have spent the previous year reflecting on the changes in ways of working that have been beneficial whilst seeking to navigate new uncertainties and external factors impacting mental health and wellbeing.

I find it encouraging to see that mental health outcomes at work appeared to bounce back post-pandemic. The pandemic increased focus and expedited workplace wellbeing agendas, with more attention given to implementing mental health and wellbeing initiatives at work.

We are now experiencing the positive effects of this effort, with more employees reporting that they had good or very good mental health and fewer stating they experienced a mental health problem in their present role.

The organisations participating in our Workplace Wellbeing Index are, undoubtedly, leading the way in their work to assess the impact of their efforts. By consulting with their people on what is working and where they could improve, and embedding best practice, they are prioritising employee mental health and wellbeing.

Despite these positive findings, there are worrying trends which threaten the future state of mental health in the workplace. Organisations appear to be experiencing ‘wellbeing fatigue’, with mental health and wellbeing beginning to make fewer appearances on strategic agendas. With the effects of recession on the horizon and the present cost-of living crisis, there is a danger that workplace wellbeing may fall out of focus, something which has already begun to have a negative impact.

We also recognise that stigma remains a significant challenge and is likely to be growing in the midst of economic hardship. Already, fewer employees are disclosing mental health problems to their employers and fewer are being honest when mental health has been a reason for absence.

With all of this in mind, there is a growing and pressing need for employers to reassert their commitment to employee mental health and invest in workplace wellbeing, in a way that addresses current challenges and the unique circumstances and experiences of staff.”

To register your interest in taking part in next year’s Workplace Wellbeing Awards, please visit

Cloud Design Box finalists for People in Business Awards 2023

We’re delighted to reveal that Cloud Design Box and our dedicated team members are finalists in the Hull and East Yorkshire People in Business Awards (HEY PIBA).

The awards – which celebrate their fourth year this summer – acknowledge the remarkable talents and contributions of individuals and teams across various industries and raise the profiles of dynamic professionals within the region.

Cloud Design Box as a company has earned itself a spot as a finalist for the Judges Recognition Award. But we’re also thrilled to say that many of our staff members and our Onboarding and Adoption Team have secured places in several categories.

Cloud Design Box Team

Joe Bannister, Deputy Support Manager, has been shortlisted for the Mentor category. Reflecting on his nomination, Joe expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to contribute to the growth and professional development of his team members:

“I am truly grateful for the opportunity to assist others in achieving their goals. I take immense pride in being selected as a finalist for this award, and I am excited to see what lies ahead in the future.”

joe bannister

One of our newest team members, apprentice Jack Fullard, has also been recognized as one of the top three finalists in the Apprentice of the Year category:

“Being nominated for the Apprentice of the Year award is a great accomplishment. The nomination not only reflects my hard work but also demonstrates how much the team has helped me progress both professionally and personally,” enthuses Jack.

James Emmett, the Onboarding and Adoption Manager, has been selected as a finalist in the Manager category. James attributes his success to the unwavering dedication and resilience demonstrated by his team. Together, they have transformed challenges into opportunities, leveraging their strengths to propel the organization toward excellence. James regards this recognition not only as a personal achievement but also as a testament to the remarkable efforts of his team.

James Emmett

Furthermore, James and his entire Onboarding and Adoption team have been named finalists in the Team Impact category:

“The Onboarding and Adoption Team have worked diligently and relentlessly to improve the processes and procedures that have had a positive impact on the wider company and our customers. Becoming a finalist for Team Impact in the Hull and East Yorkshire People in Business Awards is a humbling recognition of the transformative power we possess when we come together with a shared purpose,” James adds.

Tony Phillips, the Founder and CEO of Cloud Design Box, expresses his pride for the whole team:

“I’m so proud of our exceptional team and their outstanding achievements. It was a surprise to see so many of our team nominated for awards, it’s great to see their hard work being recognised and the rest of the team is looking forward to supporting them on the night.”

The winners of the HEYPIBA awards will be revealed at the ceremony on Friday 30 June 2023.

How to set up branching in Microsoft Forms

The new branching feature in Microsoft Forms allows you to create an interactive survey, that brings up specific questions based on the responses given by participants.

Microsoft Forms is an invaluable tool for both teachers and students, offering educators a quick and easy way to create surveys and quizzes to gather insights into a class’s learning and development.

Branching in Microsoft Forms

Branching in Forms allows you to create a logical flow in your form, with follow-up questions appearing related to the respondent’s answer to the previous question.

To give an example, the question could be something like:

“In my spare time, I like to…” with multiple choice answers including Play sport, Read or Other.”

With branching, you can set it up so that if a participant selects “Play sport”, a further follow-up question can appear asking “What is your favourite sport to play?”

In this guide, we show you how to set up branching in Microsoft Forms for a more interactive and dynamic experience for your participants.


How to set up branching in Microsoft Forms

Branching in forms is a simple process and can be done once you’ve created all your questions in your form.

Note: Simplicity is key with branching, and it may not work as effectively if you’re trying to branch on multiple answers at a time.

  1. When you’re happy with your questions on your form, select the three dots (…) and a dropdown will appear.
  2. Tap Add branching to open Branching options.

Add branching in Microsoft Forms

3. From here, you are able to go through each question and add a branch to your answers.

 Branching in Microsoft Forms

How to add a branch to a question in Microsoft Forms.

After opening Branching options (see above steps 1-3), you can go to the question you wish to branch and go through each answer, using the drop-down menu to select which question the respondent will see next if they choose that answer.

Choose branching questions in Microsoft Forms

For example, if the respondent chooses “Read”, they’ll be directed to a question asking “What books do you like to read?”.


If you don’t want to ask any other questions after your selected question, choose End of the form to direct them to the end of the questions.

How to remove all branching from a Microsoft Form.

Branching can easily get a bit complicated, so if you do make a mistake, you can reset the form by selecting the three dots (…) and tapping Reset.

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Creating Word Cloud Challenge assignments in Microsoft Teams with Reading Progress

Microsoft’s Reading Progress tool is great for language learning and improvement, giving teachers and students valuable insights on improving pronunciation and accuracy.

See our guide on using Reading Progress in Microsoft Teams. 

In this blog, we’re going to be taking a closer look at the Word Clouds that Microsoft Teams produce based on the words your class is finding most challenging and how to generate Word Cloud assignments to help students further improve their understanding.


To enable Challenging Word Clouds, you must set at least one or two Reading Progress assignments in Microsoft Teams for your class.

View a challenging word cloud for your whole class.

  1. Go to the Insights tab in Microsoft Teams.

Select Insights Tab in Microsoft Class Teams

From here, you’ll be able to see data from assignments, reflections, student engagement and more.

2. Tap Reading Progress to dive into your class’s reading progress and a word cloud showing words that your class is struggling with as a whole.

Reading Progress in Microsoft Teams

3. Select the word cloud to begin setting an assignment for your students based on the words they’ve been struggling with the most.

Create Challenging Word Clouds with Reading Progress in Microsoft Teams

With your class data and AI technology, Teams can recommend similar words students may find challenging.

Set a Word Cloud Challenge assignment for the whole class.

  1. Follow steps 1-3 to view your class word cloud.

2. Select Create challenge assignment. 

Set Challenging Word assignments for your class in Microsoft Teams

From here, you can set an Assignment as you would normally in Microsoft Teams.

word cloud challenge


Set challenges for individual students.

You can see individual student data by searching for names in the Insights search bar.

Search Student in Reading Progress in Microsoft Teams

Then follow the above steps for setting a Word Cloud Challenge assignment for the whole class to generate their word cloud and set an individual challenge assignment.

Display a word cloud on your Class Homepage.

You can display your class word cloud on your Class Homepage in Teams as a Web Part.

Add Challenging Word Clouds to your Class Team's Homepage

  1. Go to your Class Homepage.
  2. Tap Edit. From here, you can edit your Class Homepage.
  3. Hover over the area you wish to add your Word Cloud and a plus button should appear. Tap the plus button.
  4. Add Challenging Words. You can search via the Web Part Search bar.

add to class homepage

    5. Tap Republish.

The Web Part is now visible to any student visiting your Class Homepage. It updates in real-time, so as your classes’ challenging words change, they’ll display on your homepage.

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Effortlessly Track Student Assignments with Our New Search Feature

Introducing our new student assignment search feature, now available to all teaching staff! With this latest addition, you can effortlessly search for a student and view all of their Microsoft Teams assignments. As a head of year or registration group teacher, you can use this tool to support students with their workload or quickly check the status of assignments.

New Microsoft Teams Assignment Search Feature

To access this feature, simply look for the link in the school SharePoint menu under “communications” (depending on your configuration). Please note that only teaching staff will be able to view the link. If you are a part of a multi-academy trust, the search will be scoped to the school where you are currently teaching.

Accessing student assignments via the SharePoint menu

This feature not only displays current assignments, but also allows you to view all past assignments. You will see the name and status of each assignment, as well as the class name and subject.

Teams assignment drill down

Select an assignment to delve deeper, where you can easily access teacher comments and view the assignment grade. The user can easily start a Teams chat with the person who set the assignment or send them an email.

Why should teachers use the assignment search tool?

Assignment detail demonstration

If you are interested in our education Teams and SharePoint solutions, get in touch with our team today. Experience the convenience and efficiency of our innovative features and take your teaching to the next level!

For more information about the Cloud Design Box tools, contact us on our website: