With Mental Health Awareness Week upon us, we focus on the wellbeing of employees in the workplace. So, what is wellbeing in the workplace?  Generally, workplace wellbeing relates to all aspects of your working life, from the quality, social, as well as the climate we work in.  A busy work/home schedule, trying to stay on top of emails, meetings, and deadlines, can all have an impact on our wellbeing.  We spend a lot of our time at work, how we feel whilst we are at work can be telling.  Promoting wellbeing in the workplace can help prevent stress and create positive working environments where we can thrive.  Not everyone is the same, so getting the balance right in the workplace can be difficult. A happy, healthy, and content workplace is great for everyone, and everyone matters!

What can employers do to support employees in the workplace?   By evaluating a company’s needs and creating a great working culture where employee engagement, happiness and retention are at the forefront of making a great place to work; identifying threats to wellbeing within a company; the implementation of a wellness program; social activities, a good work environment, personal growth and encouraging mindfulness are just a few. There must be a buy in from all levels within an organisation to gain real benefit. Taking simple steps an employer can improve the wellbeing of its staff, have high levels of morale, healthy and happy staff and of course increase productivity.

You can of course help yourself too. Social relationships are great for promoting wellbeing, like talking to someone at work instead of sending an email; take time to ask how someone’s weekend was; share your journey to or from work with a colleague. Being active, taking a walk at lunch time; taking the stairs not the lift; walking to someone’s desk instead of emailing. Learning can enhance self-esteem, read a new book, or learn a language. Being involved and importantly taking the time to listen, is hugely beneficial.  While an employer can put many initiatives in place within the workplace, it is important that you take responsibility for looking after your own health and wellbeing outside of work as well.

How are we doing?

Our people are incredibly important to us, and we have developed a strong organisational culture of trust, collaboration and transparency and we are continually working on ways to keep our staff happy and engaged. We operate a “dress for your day” dress code allowing employees discretion to dress appropriately for each working day. In the last year we have recognised that traditional working hours may not fit all employees and we have expanded our flexible working policy to allow staff to work from home once a week and have flexible start times, so they are not stuck to working the traditional 9am-5pm hours. Our office is open plan, with an eat in kitchen area where staff can eat together if they choose to.

We like to enjoy ourselves! We have a vibrant social committee as part of our wider commitment to staff well-being. We arrange a range of social events both inside and outside the office which give people the opportunity to get to know each other better and help build a collaborative culture in a galvanised and highly motivated team.

We have a strong focus on corporate social responsibility and in the last year we have supported a number of initiatives including providing Christmas Bedding to the Children’s Ward of our local hospital, donations of food and money to the foodbank, sending football boots and sports kit to children in developing countries, Christmas gifts to a care home, a donation to a Brownie Group and a Homeless Charity, we have sponsored a Beach Buddies Bin to name a few (note due to Covid restrictions we have provided more donations than time this past year).  We try and support organisations, charities and causes that staff have an affiliation with as well as supporting national events such as Wear it Pink for Breast Cancer, Comic Relief and Children In Need by organising baking competitions, cake sales, email bingo and other events within the office which not only raise money for good causes but are also fun for staff to involved in.

In February we held an active challenge month whereby we set ourselves a challenge to walk (virtually) from the Isle of Man to Boston Massachusetts by tracking and logging our steps. We are delighted to have smashed this goal with over 7 million steps being done and we also provided several healthy eating options for staff throughout the month. All these things may sound small, but we feel they are incredibly important and do contribute to the wellbeing of everyone.