In 2015/16 stress accounted for 37% of all work-related ill health cases, with 45% of working days lost due to stress. With this statistic in mind, it is no wonder workplace wellbeing is edging higher up the agenda of employers and HR Managers.
We are extremely lucky to be working with Yorkshire Yogi, one of our latest clients, whose core activity is focused on workplace wellbeing, and while we work in an open and honest environment, with a supportive team around us, we all fall into the trap of being busy and not looking after both our physical and mental health in the way we should.
However, we felt a little guilty about preaching about what she does without actually having gone through the process, so we sought to put that right.
Therefore, on Monday 18th September, we arrived in our slacks, hair up and ready to embark on a full day’s worth of wellbeing and mindfulness, focusing on stress management and self-care.
Effects stress can have on your body and mind
We often forget how much our personal life can cross over into our work, so learning to care for ourselves and realising that, in Kelly’s words, “we can’t pour from an empty cup” is vital.
At the start of the day, we looked at the effect stress has on the body. It was astounding, and we were shocked to realise that at some stage in our lives, we have all fallen victim to one or more of them. Here are just a few examples:
- Skin breakouts
- Trouble sleeping
- Digestive problems
- Social avoidance
Focusing on replenishing ourselves
Once we addressed the effects that stress can have on our mind and body and how they impact our functionality in day to day life, we stripped it back to basics by considering how we can better look after ourselves.
By identifying what gives us energy and more importantly what makes us happy, we improved our self-awareness and increased our levels of emotional intelligence. The session, more importantly, enabled us to identify how we can fit the above into our everyday routine to help improve wellbeing.
In a recent survey, 81% of companies were offering training around recognising stress within the workplace and 62% offering counselling support.
While these stats are evidence that firms are moving with the times, employers are still unsure as to how to support their employees with preventing stress?
However, there are many ways in which an organisation can practice workplace wellbeing and here are a few ideas;
- Flexible working
A flexible policy ultimately gives employees the opportunity to have a healthy work/life balance, fitting in appointments and general duties around a busy working week.
- Ensure your staff take a break
Giving your mind time to refocus can significantly boost productivity throughout the day. Encouraging staff to get away from their desks and go for a walk on their lunch break, pop outside for some fresh air or even find a breakout area within the workplace for a change of scenery.
- Encourage activity
Many workplaces offer gym memberships or even the freedom to workout during their breaks. Exercising can boost mood immediately, as well as releasing endorphins in the brain; physical activity helps to relax the muscles and relieve tension in the body. It’s even been said that exercising can improve memory and thinking skills. An even better reason to encourage your staff to get fit!
Creating a friendly working environment can be tough. People may spend the whole day, head down, behind their desks. Organise a team lunch once a month where employees come together, socialise with each other and get to know their peers. Get your colleagues together and simply sit, eat and talk! We would also recommend setting some boundaries too… so no phones and laptops to prevent distractions.
Keeping It Up
Like most things, keeping up the good work is difficult. Particularly when you’re changing the way you think.
However, such simple alterations can significantly change wellbeing.
Think about the impact that the working environment can have on the overall mood, health and wellbeing of your employees and make the new implementations part of the workplace routine.
However, don’t leave wellbeing at the office. Think about the impact your daily decisions have on your overall mood, health, body and wellbeing. Get into the routine you’ve been meaning to do for all these months, listen to your body and most of all, slow down and you are guaranteed to feel the difference.
Noticing the Difference
After our Wellbeing Workshop with Kelly, we noticed the positive impact it had on us that same day! While we do a pretty good job of creating a positive, calm and inspiring workplace, there were a number of strategies we took home with us and implemented it into our personal lives as well as making further alterations to the office. Already staff are feeling increasingly motivated, less tired and mood has improved greatly. Our MD, Katrina even bought an electric aromatherapy diffuser for the office to pump out scents which improve mood and productivity along with bringing in some healthy baked treats!
There have been numerous studies surrounding the impact that mental health has on working life, and we can honestly say that in just over a week, we have noticed the difference. So, we’ll leave you with a few of our favourite wellbeing facts and statistics, and the rest is up to you!
Quire Fire Facts
- Companies, where health and wellbeing is poorly managed, were four times less likely to retain staff talent within a 12-month period compared to companies with a good approach to health and wellbeing.
- One-third of days taken off work through illness in the UK are a direct result of work-related pressure or stress
- Only 2 in 5 employees are working at peak performance
- 79 per cent of employees believe that the responsibility for managing employee health and wellbeing should be shared between the Employer and Employee
- 74 per cent of employees also agreed that knowing that their employer cares about their health and wellbeing would make them more likely to be satisfied, loyal and motivated at work.