What ways can we boost our wellbeing in the workplace? We spoke to Becky Scott- elite personal trainer and corporate wellbeing coach of RS Performance Training, who shared her insight into this…

As discussed at the Making Diversity and Inclusion a Business Reality event back in May, it’s clear we live in a ‘microwave’ society – where everything is expected in an instant. We’re constantly connected to our phones, emails, messages… it’s all so rapid. So why don’t we take a step back and consider taking a break from the rush with focus on workplace wellbeing… and beyond? Here are a number of ways in which we can do so…

1. Wellbeing Programmes: The Stats

Let’s start with the facts. It has been found that, of employers offering wellness programs, 67% reported increased employee satisfaction, 66% reported increased productivity, 63% reported increased financial sustainability and growth, and 50% reported decreased absenteeism. (IFEBP). Even more pleasantly surprising is that 89% of workers at companies that support well-being efforts are more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work (American Psychological Association). Research has also found workplace wellness ‘programmes’ helped them take fewer sick days (HealthMine) and a whopping 77% would work out more if their employer had a gym they could use during working hours (Treadmill Reviews). Let’s start with the ‘small’ stuff and build from there…

1. Ways to Reduce or Utilize Technology for your Wellbeing

With software now available to track our screen time, it’s creating more of an awareness of how much time we really spend on our phones. Research conducted on a study of almost 4,000 men and women found that the highest levels of screen time resulted in an increase in higher General Health Questionnaire scores, where higher scores represent worse mental health status (Hamer et al, 2010), against those completing physical activities.
So how can we step away from the screen on a day-to-day basis? Or use software to improve our physical and mental wellbeing? Here are a few ideas…

  • Schedule a screen lock. Why not choose a time where you’ve got no choice but to avoid your apps, messages and emails? You never know, you might enjoy the space…
  • Track your screen time daily and make a challenge to reduce this. Not only will you have a benchmark to work against… it might unleash your competitive side (against yourself!)
  • Track your steps. Countless research shows that increased physical activity leads to better overall wellbeing, so why not take some time to go for a slightly longer walk? Also, a good excuse to get some fresh air in your lungs! Check it at the end of the day to see how far you’ve really come.
  • Use meditation apps. If you find the word ‘meditation’ slightly daunting (it can conjure up images of sitting cross legged on the floor humming, in front of a single candle) just see what works best for you. There’s something for everyone!

2. Six Weeks of Wellbeing Challenges

Six weeks are the usual measurement for changes to take effect. Many studies have shown changes over the course of six weeks in exercise, where benchmarking is assessed e.g. studies conducted on exercise (Adams et al, 1992,Owen et al, 2010). The chances are, if you think SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based) then you’re on the right track. Check your progress at the end of the six weeks…

  • Take regular walks and get outside for a break. Many of us are guilty of overloading ourselves with work and avoiding the walk outside of the office or work space. Fresh air and a brisk walk will energise you (movement is life!)
  • Cut down on snacking. Or even substitute snacks for something a little healthier. It’s amazing how much better we feel when we’ve eaten foods packed full of goodness and you’ll notice the changes quicker than you think.
  • Enjoy regular caffeinated drinks? Why not try and cut down or try some alternatives, such as decaf drinks or herbal teas? Cutting out caffeine can lower blood pressure and help improve sleep; both ways of leading to a happier, healthier lifestyle.
  • Set up a power walking or running club – or even a small sports team. You could meet weekly and have fun as well as getting fit and having something to commit to each week together.

3. Thought-Provoking Facts

  • In the 2018 Making Diversity & Inclusion a Business Reality report, one of the discussions reported the importance of redefining ways of working and unlocking the best potential in all employees to focus on the output results for the company.
  • “Happy colleagues = happy customers = happy profits” and without a proper commitment, this simply wouldn’t be possible.
  • Flexible working was a highlighted point; which also came up during this year’s D&I event. With more flexible working options, it was found that employees felt happier in the workplace.
  • Understanding each other and working together is vital for alleviating stress and enhancing wellbeing in the workplace.
  • Research within Making Diversity & Inclusion a Business Reality also highlighted that with better ways of working there is an increased commitment, loyalty and general willingness to go the extra mile when required.
  • This could all this be possible with heightened wellbeing of the employees – which can all begin with careful planning.

If you’d like to find out more, check out Becky’s Corporate Wellbeing info on her website for more details.