Corporate Wellbeing — Moving On from the Summer Funday
A good deal of attention has been paid recently to productivity in UK industry, which sadly is currently is the worst ranking in Europe. Some would put it down to us being lazier than continental workers. However, it’s been recognised for some time that much of the problem is down to our industry being behind on looking after the health and the morale of its workers.
In recent years, responses have ranged from offering health provision and gym membership to team-building awaydays and summer fundays — which, all too often, are treated simply as an excuse to get drunk together. It’s becoming recognised that if the UK is going to compete, especially in the uncertain world of Brexit, companies need some better ideas to get the most out of their employees, and we think here at The Arabian Tent Company we might’ve cracked it!
Traditionally, a lot of attention has been paid to absenteeism, whether it’s for genuine medical reasons or not. However, it’s been increasingly recognised that “presenteeism” can be an even more serious problem, especially when employees who should be off sick struggle into work.
It’s becoming recognised that the most serious reason for poor performance and decreased productivity is workplace stress. Stress has often been stigmatised like other mental health issues, however in recent years, many companies have begun to recognise the need to deal proactively with stress. The concept of Corporate Wellbeing is growing.
The Effect of Wellbeing on Productivity
A recent study by the Universities of California and Washington demonstrated that employees in workplaces that provide wellness programmes showed 10% higher productivity compared with those in similar workplaces that don’t.
This appears to be due to a combination of healthier employees being able to work harder and the motivation provided having an employer that cares for their wellbeing. The paper’s authors conclude that “firms can increase operational productivity through socially responsible health policies that improve both workers’ wellness and economic value”.
What Kind of Wellness Programmes?
Corporate Wellbeing programmes can come in many different forms, some focusing more on physical health and others on mental health — though medical thinking increasingly sees them as closely interconnected. A few calming examples of trends that look set to unwind in 2018:
- Encouraging healthy eating — Increasingly, companies are stocking their canteens and vending machines with healthy foods and juices. Of course, that doesn’t stop employees bringing in their own unhealthy options, but it does give a powerful message of change.
- Flexible working — Allowing employees to meet family needs by varying their hours or giving them the ability to work from home reduces stress and the illnesses it causes. It also motivates staff to feel more engaged within the company.
- Corporate classes – Companies are becoming more and more proactive in preparing classes within the workplace for employees to enjoy in their lunch breaks or pre clocking in. Yoga and meditation classes are usually the most favoured for a great start to the day or a midday motivator.
- Wellness technology — There’s wearable tech around that can monitor your heart rate, count the steps you take and measure calories. Companies are increasingly providing these devices to raise employees’ awareness of their health needs.
Patrick Watt, corporate director and global head of wellness at Bupa, has pointed out that “There’s a huge emphasis on businesses focusing as much on mental wellbeing as physical wellbeing.” Tackling issues like obesity and back-pain remains important, but it’s impossible to be physically healthy if you’re suffering from excessive stress.
Mindfulness is a technique that’s been growing through 2017 and looks like continuing in 2018. A type of meditation, part of its appeal is that it’s very simple and can be practiced anywhere, including at your desk.
All you need to practice mindfulness is a break of about ten minutes, in which you focus on your breathing, closing your eyes and grounding yourself in the present. We tend to spend most of our time living in the past (reliving unsatisfactory memories) or the future (worrying about what may happen), both of which increase our stress-levels. This easy technique can help tremendously to clear your mind when the pressure is on.
Corporate Wellbeing Day — The Trend for 2018
The most important trend for 2018, though, looks set to be the Corporate Wellbeing Day. The Corporate Wellbeing Day provides an opportunity to bring families along for healthy relaxation and exploration of wellbeing, as well as opportunity for socialising and teambuilding exercises.
One of the simplest and most important ways of being healthy, especially for people who work indoors, is to get out into the fresh air. This makes a tent, or perhaps a series of tents, the perfect setting for your Corporate Wellbeing Day.
Ambience is crucial, and a lounge tent with soft, warm colours, perhaps with an alluring Moroccan feel, would offer the combination of relaxation, pampering and exoticness that would get everyone in the mood for sampling therapies. A tent with our Arabian or Bombay Boudoir interior could house delightful yoga sessions, offering both physical and mental benefits for all.
Other events could also be held in smaller spaces, such as one of our enchanting Saffron tents. These could include:
- A personal trainer drop-in clinic, where an expert trainer can show how easy it is to develop a healthy routine of exercise.
- Private massage tents, the team at http://www.teampamper.com/specialise in calming all your sense with their range of treatment options.
- Get S’Juiced! Introduce a rainbow-array of delicious and health-boosting juices with a smart juice bar by the girls at S’Juice Me.https://www.facebook.com/sjuiceme/
- Workshops on healthy eating — which, of course, can be combined with the catering for the event.Our friends at Vagabond Foods can offer interesting and unique food, and you won’t even notice its veggie!
- Workshops on mindfulness, for employees who haven’t yet taken this up.
- Relaxation areas – The guys at Soak London http://soakldn.com/can provide a sauna area with traditional wooden hot tubs, massage, reiki and other calming treatments.
And, to complete the experience, The Arabian Tent Company can provide bell tents for “glamping” in style. Even people who don’t normally appreciate camping will enjoy this aspect of becoming at one with nature, especially after a long winter cooped up in an office cubicle.
Corporate Wellbeing is a year-round commitment, of course, and needs a variety of practices to be integrated seamlessly into your work culture. A summer day away, though, can bring it all together and be something everyone looks forward to. If a Corporate Wellbeing Day in tents is something that would benefit your employees, and so their productivity, feel free to get in touch for a chat about how we can help you.