Wellbeing in the Workplace: Cheap, Cheerful & Crucial

There is a falsehood residing in the minds of many senior executives, one that leads them to believe that building a workplace where wellbeing is prominent is both an expensive and time consuming process.

I set out to bust this myth during a recent class session on the Masters in Talent Development & Human Resources with IE School of Human Sciences and Technology, where I teach this very topic. We, as a collective, set about exploring not only the component parts of personal wellbeing but also how those are applicable to organisational wellbeing as well.

The work of the Happy City Initiative in Bristol beautifully established the components of personal wellbeing as:

http://www.happycity.org.uk

Let’s take 2 of those components, Place & Social Relationships, and examine what is currently evident within modern organisations.

PLACE: both the physical and non-physical space that we occupy as part of our working day significantly impact our performance and productivity levels.

Organisations already invest in the physical workspace, as well as, health and safety features. Creating and maintaining a fresh workspace that is both welcoming and safe for their staff is a basic expectation from all.

The non-physical space refers to emotional/cognitive space we occupy as part of our day. Organisations already have embedded decision-making processes and an organisational culture. Time, energy and resources have already been invested in developing these elements but are they now reflective of the changing nature and dynamics of the working environment? Are decision making processes inclusive, dynamic and transparent? Is your culture a positive one with clear values and a purpose?

In other words, as an organisation you are already investing in both the physical and non-physical space the question is are you getting the ROI you should be getting?

SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS: they provide the social fabric of the organisation. The formal and informal approaches and structures present within organisations are critical to the development of strong social bonds and relationships that enhance individual and collective resilience, adaptability and creativity.

Organisations already invest in formal approaches such as: team building workshops; training courses; and CSR days. On the other hand, informal events occur on a daily basis at coffee/lunch time, along with events such as celebrating birthday/Christmas parties.

However, is enough been done? and is the value of both the formal and informal approaches and structures understood by the organisations leadership? Small cost effective steps can be taken to reinforces social relationships such as internal chat platforms, mentorship programs, and employee recognition programs.

CONCLUSION

It is clearly evident that organisations are already investing in the wellbeing of their staff either consciously or unconsciously. Therefore, the very notion that to ensure the continued wellbeing of your staff or indeed to introduce wellbeing in your workplace is expensive is a fallacy. Many of the key ingredients are already there, they just are not being used effectively.

Refining your understanding and focus with regards to wellbeing in the workplace is cheaper than not doing so, a cheerful and happy workplace directly impacts engagement levels and productivity, while building a positive workplace is crucial for recruitment and retention rates.

Guest contributor: Declan Noone, Co-Founder Serrano 99 Management Consulting and Positive & Mindful Leader Magazine

www.positivemindfulleader.com

Press Release: Wrkit certified as Healthy Place to Work

Wrkit recognised as trail blazer for their healthy workplace approach

Dublin Tuesday 11th September 2018: Wrkit employee engagement and retention specialists have been officially certified as a healthy place to work. The accreditation came following their participation in the Healthy Place to Work pilot programme in December 2017.

Formally launching later this year, the new global standard for healthy workplaces has a central focus of recognising organisations who are leading the way in creating healthy environments for their employees.

Speaking on the programme objectives, Healthy Place to Work Executive, Fania Stone has said “the healthy environment is measured through the levels of purpose, mental resilience, connections and the focus on physical health found in the workplace, as well as by looking at how health is embedded into the strategy of the business.’

Just five organisations from the pilot received the accreditation, among them were the IRFU and Leinster Rugby.

In response to receiving the certification, Wrkit CEO Katharina Callaghan has commented, “the Wrkit mission is to cultivate healthy habits in work and life. That commitment has always been to our workforce, and to our clients. We embrace collaboration and smart working practices, always striving to empower each employee to shape their own roles and use their skills. Participating in this programme has validated our own approach, we’ve gained some new insights and will leverage these in shaping our own long-term business strategy”.

For references:

Sara Glynn, Marketing and Client Engagement Manager

Email: Sara.glynn@wrkit.com Tel: +353 1 662 4170 (Dublin)

 

World Suicide Prevention Day

World Suicide Prevention Day takes place annually on September 10th. The aim of this day, which is organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), is to raise awareness worldwide that suicide is preventable.

Thousands of lives are lost to and are left devastated by suicide every year, but the IASP are aiming to show that this does not have to be the case. There are many ways that you can get involved this year, both inside and outside of the workplace, in order to promote understanding about suicide, and to support those affected by suicide.

Cycle Around the Globe

An initiative called Cycle Around the Globe is being organised by the IASP, as part of World Suicide Prevention Day, to raise awareness of the risks of suicide and to raise money for suicide prevention activities. The aim is to collectively cycle around the globe (40,075 km), between the 1st and 17th September, and to raise vital funds for the IASP while doing so. The cycling can be done by anyone and in any place – more information on the challenge and to register can be found here. This is a challenge that could be made office-wide and could be undertaken by colleagues together – in terms of racking up the km on the bike, raising funds, and generally spreading awareness of the cause around the organisation.

Mental Health First Aid in the Workplace

Mental health first aid is the help offered to a person who is developing mental health difficulties until appropriate professional treatment is received. Both individuals and organisations can receive Mental Health First Aid training – the workplace training teaches managers, supervisors, and individuals how to assist a co-worker who may be experiencing mental health difficulties. Engaging in such training in conjunction with World Suicide Prevention Day will contribute to an organisation’s wellness culture, will help staff to feel valued and supported, and will contribute to improved relationships between managers and employees. More information can be found here.

Other Fundraising and Supporting Options

Small steps can make a big difference, especially in the workplace. Why not organise a bake sale, a book sale, a coffee morning, a talent show, or a silent auction, and donate any funds raised to charities working towards suicide prevention. A list of organisations working on suicide reduction in your local area can be found on the Samaritans website – for example, a list of the organisations in Ireland can be found here.

Other activities which can be done in the workplace to support this cause include: holding workshops and seminars in suicide and depression awareness; organising a memorial service or event to remember those who have died by suicide; amending organisational policies to ensure that adequate mental health support is provided to colleagues; or providing workplace education emphasising the factors which contribute to good mental health, such as physical activity, a healthy diet, and sufficient sleep. A comprehensive list of activities provided by the IASP which can be undertaken to support World Suicide Prevention Day can be found here.

Sources

http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/suicide/wspd/en/

https://www.iasp.info/wspd/pdf/2018/2018_wspd_suggested_activities.pdf

https://iasp.info/wspd2018/cycle-around-the-globe/

https://www.mhfaireland.ie/workplace

 

Guest Author: Dr Jennifer Fennel, Counselling Psychologist

 

Friendships at Work

As the old adage goes, a problem shared is a problem halved. It stands to reason then that making friends at work is beneficial to not only an individuals career, but their life as a whole.

Friendships are important in day to day life, from talking through worries and problems, to sharing accomplishments and life events. Having strong friendships and connections can combat negative impacts of loneliness and isolation, with research showing that those with positive friendships have a lesser risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and that they generally live longer and healthier lives.

In the workplace friendships are also important, however research shows that loneliness for employees is on the rise. This workplace loneliness can result in reduced job performance and increased costs for the employer as well as having a negative impact on employee well-being. Friendships, as healthy connections can help to relieve stress, combat feelings of loneliness and help employees feel happier, healthier both in work and in their personal lives. Below are some helpful tips on how work friendships can be encouraged and nurtured in order to relieve feelings of tension, isolation or stress among employees

  1. Show appreciation: no matter what position you are in your organisation, it is important to let your colleagues or supervisres know that they have done a good job by noticing their hard work, and by showing your appreciation for this work.
  2. Encourage and organise social gatherings: think outside of the odd lunch, or work drinks – organising a big event that encourages teamwork and co-operation, or that gives back to the community through volunteering, can foster friendships and connections. Examples include company picnics and hikes, or helping a local charity for a few hours.
  3. Monitor employee inclusion and belonging: It’s important that everyone feels like they are valued and  belong in the organisation. Inclusion programmes ensure that everyone feels involved. Check-in regularly to ensure programmes are well communicated and participated, through an anonymous survey, or by asking every member on a team for project status updates, feedback, thoughts, etc.
  4. Update and introduce policies: feelings of loneliness can be exacerbated by stress and overwork. It would therefore be helpful to ensure that the organisation promotes a culture of health and well-being, which encourages a work-life balance. This could involve reviewing current policies regarding annual leave, sick leave, and outside-of-hours work, as well as perhaps introducing new policies which encourage employees to look after their physical and mental health in the workplace, such as providing ergonomic assessments, or free or subsidised healthy foods.

Positive relationships have a profound and lasting impact on our health and happiness. Fostering a culture of inclusion and friendship will result in greater satisfaction, productivity and brand reputation now and in the future.

Author: Dr. Jennifer Fennel, Counselling Psychologist

REFERENCES
https://consumer.healthday.com/encyclopedia/emotional-health-17/psychology-and-mental-health-news-566/health-benefits-of-friendship-648397.html

Workplace Loneliness Is Sad for People and Bad for Business


https://www.monster.ca/career-advice/article/work-loneliness

The psychology of workplace recognition

Research has found that recognition in the workplace has a huge impact on employee engagement, retention, motivation, and satisfaction, as well as on feelings of trust and belonging in the workplace. It also effects how employees view their role and their work, with those who have experienced recognition and reward feeling more appreciated and happier in the workplace, feeling prouder of their work, having stronger employee relationships, and having more favourable attitudes towards their company. It’s quite clear that workplace appreciation and gratitude can have a host of beneficial impacts for the workplace – so what are the psychological mechanisms that are in play when it comes to the positive impacts of employee recognition? And what can companies do to ensure that their workforce feels valued and recognised?

The impact of gratitude

One of the most important factors involved in the beneficial impacts of workplace recognition is gratitude, and the psychological effects that gratitude has on us. When we are shown appreciation and gratitude, the hypothalamus area of the brain is activated, and the neurotransmitter dopamine is released – this neurotransmitter is often known as the “reward” neurotransmitter, as it feels good, and it results in us repeating the actions that result in its release. Therefore, when we are shown gratitude, in engages our brain in a virtuous cycle, that makes us re-engage in those behaviours which elicit gratitude and release dopamine.

These dopamine boosts not only feel good, but they also improve sleep habits, increase metabolism, and reduce stress. Therefore, workplace recognition is going to have a beneficial impact on employee well-being and health, which will in turn have positive knock-on effects in terms of employee engagement and motivation.

Furthermore, showing recognition and appreciation to colleagues encourages more social and prosocial interaction. So when employees are shown gratitude in the workplace, they are more likely to spread their positive feelings with their peers, through altruistic and helpful acts – and as acts of kindness in the workplace have been shown to increase work performance and productivity, this is another example of the potential positive impact of implementing a culture of recognition and appreciation in an organisation.

Increasing workplace recognition

Despite the well-established positive effects of workplace recognition, the American Psychological Association (APA) found that only 51% of working Americans felt valued by their employers, while 36% reported receiving no form of recognition in the past 12 months. So it would appear that many employers are not taking advantage of the benefits that workplace recognition and reward can deliver – but there are some simple steps that can be taken, in order to improve employee recognition, and to make it a priority in the workplace:

  • Make it personal: there are many different ways in which a employee can be rewarded for their hard work, but the most important thing is that the employee is shown gratitude for their individual contribution – there is a big difference between a company-wide email of appreciation sent to everyone involved in a project, compared to an individually-tailored card, email, note, or meeting, outlining the specific role that an individual has played in achieving a positive outcome for the organisation.
  • Facilitate peer-to-peer recognition: acknowledgements from colleagues can be just as valued, if not more valued, than recognition from management. Peer-to-peer recognition programmes can be introduced, which encourage co-workers to demonstrate gratitude and appreciation towards one another – perhaps through one-on-one meetings, group sessions, or feedback forms.
  • Do some research and investigation: not all of your workforce will value the same types of recognition. You can learn about what the individual preferences of your employees are through surveys and meetings, and you can therefore find out what types of incentives might motivate the different individuals in the organisation.
  • Build recognition skills: familiarise yourself with the characteristics of effective recognition and how to apply them, by talking to HR experts, CEOs, or organisational psychologists – get to know the different types of effective rewards, and how best to implement them in the workplace.
  • Make it fun: aside from the more standard incentives and rewards, such as gift cards and bonuses, employees will also appreciate more creative and fun methods of recognition, which don’t have to involve much expense. A rotating trophy or plaque for the best team-player, a fun day out for a whole team, or the renting of a karaoke machine/chocolate fountain are some fun examples, which will demonstrate to employees that time and consideration has gone into making sure that they are acknowledged and shown appreciation.

 

Guest Author: Counseling Psychologist, Dr. Jennifer Fennel

 

Sources:

https://www.slideshare.net/globoforce/the-psychology-of-recognition-at-work

https://www.emergenetics.com/blog/workplace-appreciation-gratitude/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/prefrontal-nudity/201211/the-grateful-brain

https://chiefexecutive.net/psychology-employee-recognition/

http://www.hrmonline.com.au/section/strategic-hr/10-ways-improve-employee-recognition/

Sitting Disease

Modern life, work, and technological advances mean that many of us spend a large amount of time being sedentary every day – in fact, it is thought that the average person spends up to 12 hours a day sitting down. However, the human body is designed to move, not to be sedentary, and such physical inactivity can have very real consequences for us, such as sitting disease.

What is sitting disease?

Sitting disease is a term used to describe the ill-effects of an overly-sedentary lifestyle. Excessive sitting has been linked to a host of health conditions, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, and cholesterol, as well as to a greater risk of death, compared to those who do not spend that long sitting down.

The link between exercise and sitting disease

Unfortunately for most of us, it is thought that exercise does not compensate for excessive sitting. This means that, even if we get the recommended amount of physical activity, we can still suffer from sitting-related health issues, if we spend too much time being sedentary. This therefore presents employers and organisations with a difficult challenge, in terms of addressing this issue.

The workplace

Sitting disease has real implications for organisations – it is in the best interests of employers to target physical inactivity in the workplace, as the ill health effects of employees’ excessive sitting can lead to reduced productivity and huge financial costs.

What can be done?

There are a lot of individual choices that people can make, to increase the amount of time they spend standing or moving – such as exercising when watching TV or when talking on the phone. There are also steps that organisations can take, in order to encourage people to get moving more in the workplace:

Providing education: this could include educating employees to recognise the warning signs of sitting disease (such as slouching, back pain, weight gain, and lack of energy and focus), as well as educating them on the health risks associated with excessive sitting and the potential benefits associated with more activity throughout the workday (such as weight loss and increased productivity)

Encourage physical activity in the workplace: this can be done by facilitating walking meetings, lunchtime walks or exercise classes, and, most importantly, regular movement throughout the day – employees can be encouraged to utilise calendar reminders and phone apps to stimulate them to move around for one to three minutes every half hour. Gentle exercises, such as leg raises, glute squeezes, and wall sits, can also be incorporated into the workday

Invest in products: organisations can provide products to encourage less sitting in the workplace, such as standing desks, stability balls, and pedometers

Make it fun: inactivity can be tackled in creative and fun ways, which will make employees more likely to engage. Examples include prizes for those who have taken the most steps that week/month or organising special or unusual exercise classes every few weeks.

 

Guest Author, Jennifer Fennell, Counseling Psychologist

Sources

http://www.juststand.org/the-facts/

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/sitting-disease-is-killing-us-and-exercise-doesnt-help/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/much-sitting-linked-heart-disease-diabetes-premature-death-201501227618

https://updesk.com/blogs/news/4-subtle-signs-you-may-have-sitting-disease

The Importance of soft skills

In the workplace, soft skills are just as important as hard skills. Hard skills are the job-specific skills, knowledge, and abilities that one needs to perform a job, such as computer programming or machine operation. Soft skills are more intangible and harder to define or measure than hard skills. So what exactly are soft skills, and why are they so important in the workplace? And what can an organisation do to nurture and develop its workforce’s soft skills?

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are generally the interpersonal or people skills that help employees successfully interact with others in the workplace. Soft skills are less specialised and less rooted in specific vocations, and are more aligned with the general personality of the individual, than hard skills. It is thought that many of the core competencies for soft skills have a foundation in emotional intelligence, which is the learned ability to identify, experience, understand, and express human emotions in healthy and productive ways.

Some of the soft skills that are considered important and valuable in the workplace include:

  • A positive attitude: not only is it pleasant to be around someone who has a positive attitude, research has shown that negative attitudes in the workplace may lead to workplace accidents and stress-related diseases, which in turn can incur huge financial costs
  • Communication skills: this is vital for almost any role, and includes articulating oneself well, being a good listener, and using appropriate body language
  • Teamwork: being a team player means not only being co-operative, but also displaying strong leadership skills when required
  • Adaptability: it is incredibly important to be able to be flexible when problems arise, and to be able to adapt to situations that don’t go as planned
  • Problem-solving: being able to take action and think on your feet when faced with a problem or crisis situation is incredibly important in the workplace
  • Self-motivation: a self-motivated employee demonstrates reliability, dependability, and commitment, and does not require constant oversight or supervision
  • Conflict resolution: an employee who is able to resolve issues with co-workers effectively is someone who is going to be able to maintain positive relationships with peers and management alike

Why do soft skills matter?

Soft skills enable employees to successfully interact and communicate with everyone that they may encounter as part of their role – this includes colleagues, management, supervisees, and customers. And unlike some hard skills, soft skills are transferable skills that can be used regardless of what role a person is in.

How can employers develop the soft skills of their employees?

Emotional intelligence skills form the base of core competencies that all soft skills are built upon, and because emotional intelligence is a learned ability, soft skills can be developed and nurtured.

  • Employers can educate their workforce on the importance of soft skills, by highlighting the transferable nature of such skills, as well as the relational and interpersonal benefits of being able to interact and deal with other people effectively
  • Employers can focus on nurturing positive attitudes among their workforce, as a positive attitude is thought to be one of the most important soft skills. Positive attitudes can be cultivated, once some basic social and emotional competencies, as well as some specific attitude competencies, are learned and developed. The core emotional intelligence competencies include empathy, self-esteem, self-control, self-improvement, self-management, and interpersonal awareness. Once these skills are honed, the specific positive attitude competencies can be learned and nurtured, and these include keeping one’s focus, doing one’s best, responding to guidance, controlling one’s emotions, and being flexible
  • Workshops, talks, or seminars on soft skills and emotional intelligence can be provided to employees to encourage the development of some of the soft skills that have been mentioned above, as well as some of the other core characteristics and behaviours of emotionally intelligent people – these include: not giving in to negative self-talk; having genuine curiosity about other people; being appropriately assertive when handling conflict; and having a robust emotional vocabulary

Guest Author: Jennifer Fennell, Counseling Psychologist

Sources

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/what-are-soft-skills-2060852

https://www.wikijob.co.uk/content/interview-advice/competencies/soft-skills

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/top-soft-skills-2063721

http://www.nationalsoftskills.org/soft-skills-and-emotional-intelligence/

https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/soft-skills-you-need

http://www.careerizma.com/blog/positive-attitude/

Employee engagement – where do I start!?

The term “employee engagement” appears in leadership and HR literature the world over. It is a topic which comes up in every one of our client conversations, however the term seems to hold a very different meaning from one organisation to the next.

A Google search for employee engagement will yield a myriad of definitions, for example UK voluntary movement Engage for Success, defines employee engagement as “a workplace approach resulting in the right conditions for all members of an organisation to give of their best each day, committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, with an enhanced sense of their own well-being.” While other definitions might vary from this, the overarching theme is an emotional connection between an employee and their employer organisation.

When addressing employee engagement, an organisation should aim to strategically implement sustainable programmes, initiatives and tools which will result in an employee having a sense of purpose and belonging. Something which will challenge the success of even the most holistic engagement strategy, is a lack of definition around company values and purpose. Engagement is intrinsically connected to the values of an organisation, so when considering engagement, the first place an organisation should start is with their own values.: the glue which will keep people invested (long-term) in the overall business mission.

With clear values and purpose, tools such as an employee survey can be leveraged to gain insights into the culture and mindset of a workforce. The eNPS (employee net promoter score) will provide a very basic understanding of engagement; how likely your workforce is to recommend your organisation as a place to work. Detailed survey questions assessing; workplace inclusion, wellbeing, communication, recognition and career development will provide a greater understanding of an organisation’s needs.

For organisations of all sizes and industries effectively administered surveys will help guide better business decisions. Utilising the feedback, an organisation can determine clear engagement objectives and a strategic approach to boost employee satisfaction. While the prospect of an employee engagement strategy might be daunting at first, with the right building blocks in place the planning process becomes easier and more systematic.

At Wrkit we specialise in the creation of better, healthier working environments using our online suite of data driven employee engagement and retention tools – Surveys, Recognition, Wellbeing (POWR), Learning and Lifestyle Savings. Headquartered in Dublin (Ireland), with offices in London and Boston, we serve local and multi-national companies around the globe. Let our experience guide your next steps, get in touch today info@wrkit.com.

 

Author: Sara Glynn, Marketing Manager, Wrkit

The Secret to Successful Collaboration

Collaborative workspaces have their merits; they encourage team work, reduce needless e-communication and foster a culture of inclusion. However different people like to work in different ways and a collaborative environment isn’t always the most suitable. Depending on their role, personality, current mood or task, the most suitable environment for an individual will change.

In an open plan office which promotes collaborative working it is important to find ways to allow for quiet time and privacy, facilitating your team to work at their best. Here are our top tips to create quiet:

Encourage the use of signals: Encourage your staff to use headphones, earplugs, desk signs and even body language to clearly signal that they do not want to be disturbed. The system of signalling needs to be respected by the team and managers to work.

Establish protocol: In a truly open plan office where quite zones cannot be separate spaces, rules or protocol such as quite times or no email times can be implemented – limiting distraction from within the team. Any protocol such as this needs to be well communicated with rational.

Designate a quiet zone: If the office layout allows for it, a designated quite room with hot desks can add real value for the whole team. Like a library, a quite zone in a workplace needs to adhere to strict silence, once the rule is abused the value of the room is gone.

Allow for flexible working hours: When suitable allow people to choose hours that provide the best environment for their needs. If the office is quiet in the early morning or late in the evening and this arrangement can work for an employee allow them to choose their own hours.

Make remote working part of the culture: Allowing for flexibility in working environments can boost engagement and productivity. When it is suitable allow for remote work be that at home or the café down the road. A change in surrounds can have a high impact on productivity.

Add outdoor spaces: While they might be weather dependant, outdoor spaces can provide great alternative workspace and solitude for those seeking silence. Claim whatever out door space you have available and make everyone aware that this is an option.

Intelligent furniture: Re-evaluate some of your furniture choices. Where possible replace some standard desks with privacy pods. While these can help provide seclusion for an individual, they don’t go against the concept of an open plan collaborative environment.

For a collaborative environment to be effective, flexibility in the working environment must be an option. Try new things until you find what works for the majority and for the business.

At Wrkit we specialise in the creation of better, healthier working environments using our online suite of data driven employee engagement and retention tools – Surveys, Recognition, Wellbeing (POWR), Learning and Lifestyle Savings. Headquartered in Dublin (Ireland), with offices in London and Boston, we serve local and multi-national companies around the globe.

Let our experience guide your next steps, get in touch today info@wrkit.com.

Author: Sara Glynn, Marketing Manager, Wrkit

Alternative Ideas for National Workplace Wellbeing Day

How we work has changed dramatically over the last decade. The average worker now spends over 90,000 hours at work, doing jobs which are more sedentary than ever. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults aged 18 years and older were overweight. Of these, over 650 million adults were obese. Furthermore, the WHO estimates that globally over 300 million people are affected by depression, predicting that by 2021 occupational stress will be the leading cause of absenteeism and presenteeism at work.

Initiatives like the National Workplace Wellbeing Day, which takes place on Friday 13th of April 2018 are fundamental in raising awareness of these health challenges. Now in its fourth year running the Irish initiative is becoming increasingly well supported, promoting healthy workplaces and employee wellbeing in organisations of all sizes. Whether an organisation has a formal wellbeing strategy in place or not, this day should be a pillar event in the calendar.

Getting involved.

The core event which is driven by the organisers is the Lunchtime Mile – walk, run or cycle. This event has potential to become a regular fixture in every organisation, it is inclusive for people of all abilities and is aimed towards developing sustainable healthy behaviours and contribute to recommended daily exercise. While an organisation might offer other activities on the day, the Lunchtime Mile should be a standard inclusion for every business.

If you are looking for something outside the box here’s a few Wrkit tried and tested ideas.

  1. 11am desk work out: a five-minute fixture which accommodates everyone. Pick five exercises which take minimal space and use only body weight – desk triceps dips; desk push-ups; star jumps; lunges; squats; wall-sits; calf raises; knee lifts; punching etc. At 11am encourage everyone in the organisation to complete each exercise for a minute (allowing people to chose variations to suit their own abilities). It’s important to identify “leaders” to drive participation and give exercise examples.
  2. On the hour exercise challenge: studies have shown that sitting for extended periods of time can have a negative impact on over-all health, contributing to obesity and related disease. The Start Active, Stay Active report published by the British Department of Health, Physical Activity, Health Improvement and Protection, suggests breaking up long periods of sitting with short bouts of activity for just one or two minutes. Get the team moving with wall sits, planks, sit-ups or an exercise of their choice for 1 minute every hour.
  3. Health food bake off: when it comes to weight loss, diet accounts for 75% while exercise 25%. Have a healthy bake off on April 13th and use it is an opportunity to educate people about food. Request participants to share details of ingredients, why they are healthy and provide recipes to share with everyone. Consider a prize for the best and healthiest dish to encourage more people to get involved.

There are hundreds of things an organisation can do, you’ll find other suggestions here on the official website where you can also register your organisation to participate.

Get involved and get on twitter using the official hashtag #workwell18. Share your outside the box ideas with us @WrkitTweets