In a lifetime, the average person will spend at least 90,000 hours working. Depressing? Not anymore.
We set out to prove this seemingly paradoxical concept last week as a debut Wellness Week was rolled out in our London office.
Employees at a tasting session with Healthy Nibbles a healthy vending and subscriptions snack business
The world is evolving at an unprecedented pace, presenting a whole host of contradictions. Extraordinary advances in medical science have not prevented the rise of chronic disease, obesity, and poor health. Urbanization and increased mobility have brought people closer together physically, but alienation and loneliness has never been higher. Advances in technology, designed to create efficiency and convenience, leave us unable to ‘unplug’, blurring the boundary between work life and home life.
The world’s 3.2 billion workers are increasingly unwell due to burnout, stress, physical and mental illness and chronic disease, resulting in approximately $7 trillion in lost productivity annually (reported by global polling firm Gallup).
The need for more balance and wellness, and for an existence that is regenerative and sustainable, has never been higher.
Led by Associate Director and former Bupa Wellness Consultant Jen Christie, employees at the SR Group were invited to a range of workshops and seminars designed to educate and inspire employees. The week addressed holistic wellness in the workplace and covered exercise, nutrition, sleep, emotional wellbeing, passion and purpose.
Chloe Cunningham from Health is Wealth on all things sleep and nutrition
Guest speakers included Corporate yoga brand Yogist; Mindfulness guru Daniele Boido; Wellbeing expert Kate Flowerdue from Thrive Performance and Wellbeing Consultancy; Mel Hales, founder of wellbeing and leadership consultancy Rush Collective; Chloe Cunningham, co-founder of corporate wellness business Health is Wealth and Pilates teacher Anna Biela.
Daniele Boido delivering a seminar on meditation and mindfulness in the modern world
Friday’s finale saw Bodyism’s founder and bestselling fitness author James Duigan deliver a thought-provoking talk on the four pillars of health: movement, mindset, nutrition and sleep.
James Duigan discussing Bodyism’s four pillars of health
Luxury wellness brand Bodyism, who have just added Workplace Wellbeing to their repertoire of services, are guided by a simple philosophy: ‘Be kind to yourself’.
“Any change that happens in the body
happens in the mind first”
Bodyism’s signature Blueprint class for employees with pre-workout Berry Burn shots
Each morning during Wellness Week employees received a different ‘surprise and delight’ on their desk; including sustainable glass water bottles (acting as a reminder to drink more water) an Oddbox fruit delivery supporting sustainable farming, positive affirmation cards from Mindful Mail and healthy Graze snack boxes.
Mindful Mail cards support mental health charity Mind
The business transformed an unused meeting room into a pop-up nature-inspired ‘Mindfulness Room’ where employees were encouraged to take time out of their day to nap, meditate or simply breathe and rejuvenate.
Jen Christie of the SR Group advises: “A successful workplace wellbeing initiative requires a number of key elements to ensure its success. It must receive active endorsement and participation from the top, promote a holistic approach to wellness and present choice to employees so that they can join in with activities that meet their individual needs.”
Jen goes on to explain: “Research shows ‘off the shelf’ workplace wellness programmes don’t work. The birth of any workplace wellness programme or initiative should be organic and come from an evangelist within the business who is genuinely passionate about employee welfare and who can identify wellbeing concerns.”
Blueprint class, led by Bodyism’s top performance specialist Sophie Thomas, in full swing
A survey has been distributed encouraging feedback from the office but Jen isn’t in a rush to submit the Wellness Week’s ‘ROI’ to the boardroom: “I am not convinced ROI is necessarily the right measurement for a workplace wellness initiative or programme. The value of these programmes is difficult to quantify because it is intangible. Its success should be attributed more to qualitative outcomes such as improved employee morale, improved engagement, improved job satisfaction, reduced presenteeism and reduced stress”.
Employees enjoy a deep relaxation session led by mindfulness expert Daniele Boido
The discussion of workplace wellbeing is becoming increasingly prevalent in boardrooms across the country, conjuring a new and important philosophy for the SR Group…
Is it possible to think we could leave work feeling MORE refreshed and well than when we arrived?
Watch this space…
Reference credit: Global Wellness Institute, The Future of Wellness at Work, January 2016
Co-written by Jen Christie and Beth Jones