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Wellness in the workplace

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Emma Gregory wellness, business travel jobs, happy at work...

Being happy at work is so much more than being able to have a giggle with colleagues over a cup of coffee at the vending machine. Most of us spend 40 hours a week in our place of work and how many of those are we thinking about our physical and mental wellbeing? Probably not enough. And how many of us have the opportunity to do something about it even if we are?

We’ve been starting to hear some fantastic ways our clients are now incorporating “wellness at work” as a vital part of ensuring their employee’s are happy and satisfied both physically and mentally in the their chosen place of work.

According to the Thriving at Work review in Oct 2017, there is a large annual cost to employers of between £33 billion and £42 billion caused by individuals being less productive at work due to poor mental health in the workplace, sickness absence and staff turnover. That’s huge! And whilst we can’t avoid sickness and stress in life, employee’s CAN do more to give staff the best chance of being happy in the workplace.

Putting a price on healthy and engaged employee’s really can’t be done but I think we’ll all agree that it certainly contributes to a motivated, productive and present work force which ultimately affects a businesses bottom line. It’s no longer good enough to simply complete a health and safety checklist when a new employee starts and then hope for the best. Staff are a companys best asset- without them being healthy and happy, a business faces long term sickness, low morale and pressured, de-motivated employee’s.

So what are companies doing in 2018 to promote “wellness at work” and how can it be adapted to fit your workplace?

  • Providing a “break out” area that is appealing:  A couple of hard chairs shoved to the side of the office next to the photocopier isn’t an attractive or relaxing space for an employee to take their lunch or have a break. Designate an area that wont be overtaken by meetings or used as storage space for the latest office deliveries. Invest in some comfy chairs, plants, non work related pictures on the walls and a radio. Make it an area where people can go to take a 5 minute break or have their lunch away from the ringing of their phone.
  • Make lunch breaks mandatory: It’s not good for our postures to be sat in the same position for 8 hours a day. We ALL need a break from screens, phones and emails. Remind staff on a weekly basis that no matter how busy they are, they have to make time to look after themselves and that starts with a lunch break.
  • Free fruit and water:  Keep bowls of fruit in the office and encourage your staff to help themselves. Healthy snacks not only provide vital vitamins but can help staff avoid that “3pm slump” where they feel the need to buy a sugary substitute. A supply of fresh, cool water throughout the day
  • Incorporate some form of exercise equipment in to the office. You might not have space for a mini gym (although some companies do!) but what about small handweights, yoga mats or resistance bands? And if you have more room why not splash out on an air hockey, table tennis or snooker table?
  • Exercise as a benefit:  Include gym membership offers as part of your benefits package. Find a local gym that does corporate rates and offer it to your staff and you could even offer yearly subscriptions as incentives prizes for high achievers. Also think about those who choose to exercise in a different way, could you offer £200 a year towards an activity of their choice? A bike, swimming sessions, tennis lessons…  all great ways to encourage physical activity.
  • Natural lighting and fresh air:  Bring the outside in! Being exposed to daylight helps regulate stress levels and keep our natural body rhythms in check resulting in better sleep patterns and a clear mind. Invest in windows that open, office premises that are bright and airy if possible, find somewhere where there’s an outside space locally that staff can enjoy.
  • Massages/counselling: Some companies invite local therapists to come in to the office once a month and give staff mini shoulder massages. Others offer set amounts of money per year as part of their benefits package towards talking therapy or, advise their staff they are able to request access to a counsellor for a set period of time per year.

So lets keep our workforce happy and healthy – it’s the key to any successful business and is important for each individual to live their best life possible.

For help recruiting for your next member of staff, or, if you are looking for a new job in the travel industry please contact Emma or Caroline on emma@urbanberry.co.uk or caroline@urbanberry.co.uk and we’ll be delighted to help.