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Wellbeing in the Workplace

Wellbeing in the Workplace

Whilst work has many positive effects on your health such as building self-esteem and confidence, it can also have various negative effects such as causing stress, anxiety, and depression.

At a recent client's conference, delegates experienced quite an unusual comfort break. They were invited to down tools during the morning's session and either take the exhilarating thrill of a rollercoaster before their refreshments or take some time out at one of the mini massage stations.

The morning's content focused on wellbeing in the workplace. With guest speakers from both the medical profession and a company employee who bravely recounted their experience of mental health issues. It seemed fitting to carry the theme through to the coffee break. This not only rejuvenated the delegates but also reinforced the message that the company really did care and value its staff members mental and physical health. This client clearly recognised that by changing the conversation on mental health was important because when we get our #headstogether we can achieve great things.

There are plenty of small steps we can all make to incorporate wellbeing in the work place and improve the working atmosphere, here's a list of A&I Group's Top 5:

Bring the outside into the office! Studies have found that people who have a view of the outside are 25% more likely to be productive, processing calls and information 12% faster. People working with computers are more likely to get migraines, so the natural light can help if the glare of the computer is too much.

Primary colours, excluding red, are said to contribute to wellbeing. With yellow being the colour that makes people feel most creative, green to reduce stress levels and blue connotes focus and calm. If you don't want all of these colours in the office, why not introduce a room in which people can go to feel calm or to get their creative juices flowing. Rather than being too dramatic and painting walls, adding art or photos team members can relate to can also work. Millennials especially want to work within a creative environment.

Noise can work differently for people, for instance if there are phones constantly going off or conversations and general background noise, it can be distracting for some. You can accommodate this by having phones on silent, switching the teams to headset devices and potentially switching to carpet flooring instead of people stamping down on tiled or laminate flooring.

Some people work well in a noisier situation, often when there is music. Buy a radio and ask people what their preferences are. This can make people feel more at ease and less stressed.

Relaxation Areas
On average people spend 8/9 hours a day sat down at work, which is longer than some people sleep according to Get Britain Standing Campaign. Sitting at a desk upright all day can cause all kinds of aches and pains. Consider getting some furniture that encourage people to move around, whether it's going to the relaxation area for an hour with your laptop or getting adjustable desks in which, you can sit or stand at. People who stand at work are reported to have more energy and better focus in what they are doing.

Work on the Move
Working 9-5 everyday can take its toll. Thanks to technology people can work from home, from a train and even from a plane. Consider offering flexi-time so people can work around their schedules with childcare etc. People may be more at ease and work better from the comfort of their own home.

These 5 might not sound as appealing as a personal massage every morning but sadly that's probably not realistic. However, the above ideas are, and they don't come with a big price tag.

There is no escaping the fact there is a growing recognition of the importance of individual wellbeing inside and outside the workplace. In working to get the very best out of their organisation, many managers are choosing to adopt practices to increase the wellbeing of their staff. A recent and comprehensive study (GOV.UK - Review of evidence on employee wellbeing and its potential impact on workplace performance) suggests improvement in wellbeing will result in improved workplace performance: in profitability (financial performance), labour productivity and the quality of outputs or services. So, what are you waiting for. Let's all get our #headstogether.

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At a Glance

The Governments Department of Health advises that 1 in 4 of us will experience ill mental health at some point in our lives. It is therefore important that employers and their staff take steps to promote positive mental health within the workplace and support any of their teams experiencing it.

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