You’ve done the research and realised there’s a whole lot more to a corporate wellness events than a mere jolly, a fun day-off away from everyday responsibilities. The best work wellness days involve engagement, education, inspiration and free resources, and your company will reap the benefits in all sorts of ways, everything from reduced absence and less employee churn to happier people who work harder because they feel genuinely cared for.
Creating a culture of mental and physical wellness, a positive culture that’s fully supported by a caring employer, comes with all sorts of long term business advantages. In a world where engagement and performance are inextricably linked what, exactly, will you do next time you hold a wellness day? Here are five bright ideas to help you make the most of the opportunity.
Getting your people on their feet
It’s a fact. A lack of physical activity is just as bad for you as being obese. In fact one study reveals that not getting enough exercise kills more European males than being overweight does. The trouble with work is that, these days, a lot of it takes place in an office and involves sitting at a desk for hours on end. Can you dream up an enjoyable, inspiring physical activity that your employees can carry on after the wellness day itself, working it into their everyday 9-5 lives so it actually has an ongoing positive effect, not just a fun thing to do on the day?
An office exercise day can inspire your people to do more, and do it with their colleagues so everyone stays motivated. It’s fun, and every type of exercise comes with a built-in feel-good factor. Because not everyone is good at sport, and not everyone enjoys competing, you might want to arrange non-competitive exercise as well as competitive events. In the longer term you could even look at providing standing desks, better for your health than constantly sitting down and surprisingly comfortable.
Being consciously grateful
A positive outlook is incredibly powerful in every area of life. You can be in the exact same situation two days running but hate day one and love day two. The only difference is your state of mind. It’s exciting to realise that the way you feel, your attitude to and enjoyment of your role, are so profoundly affected by the way you think about them. In fact simply being consciously grateful every day reduces depression, cuts your appetite, and helps you sleep better.
It needn’t be complicated. All you need to do is create a document for everyone to share, where your employees jot down one thing to be grateful for every day. Keep at it for three weeks then set up another session to find out how people feel. You can bet your bottom dollar they’ll feel brighter, which should have a noticeable positive effect on their work. Alternatively hold a workplace meditation event with a focus on positive thinking – it’s also incredibly effective.
Bringing furry friends into the workplace
Regular contact with our fellow creatures is good for us, great for our mental and physical health. That’s why so many care homes and hospices bring pets in to meet patients and residents. Interacting with animals decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol, lowers blood pressure, reduces feelings of loneliness, increases feelings of social support, and boosts your mood. It’s easy to see how it has a beneficial effect in a work landscape. So let your furry friends in for the day and see how it changes the entire working dynamic for the better.
Holding a yoga day
Yoga is an excellent all-rounder, something most people can do. It also has a great many beneficial effects, everything from lessened back pain, a serious productivity killer in the workplace, to arthritis, headaches and even carpal tunnel syndrome. It increases physical flexibility, can lower blood pressure and even cut insomnia. It’s something people can take home and do in their own time as well as something employees can do during the working day, given the space and time.
Making your business a place where it’s safe to talk
The physical side of work can leave people in constant pain unless it’s addressed. The same goes for mental distress, which can be particularly tricky to handle at work because we’re expected to leave our feelings and problems at home. Talking about our feelings at work, or even admitting to having them, isn’t always comfortable, and sometimes you might feel it’s actually unacceptable. We’re often expected to be calm and rational at all times, and unhappiness at work can be seen as a weakness.
How about opening things up to encourage people to feel safe, to lay their feelings bare? There are all manner of excellent, innovative team building and confidence building activities to try, designed to encourage collaboration, drive better emotional intelligence, improve communication, help people feel happier and more motivated. ‘Guess The Emotion’ is a nice one, a game that helps people become more aware of their feelings. People are split into two teams, and the teams take turns to act out emotions, for example affection or anxiety. The group as a whole tries to guess the emotion. Give it half an hour then see which team has guessed the emotions correctly the most often.
Interestingly, many of the wellness initiatives that businesses harness for their staff actually involve being more human and less businesslike. It might not feel particularly corporate to bring your dog to work, spend time talking about your emotions with colleagues, or do yoga next to your desk. But they all help you work better, simply because you feel better.
Interested in learning more about our wellness event packages? Contact our London event planners on 0207 148 1665 or use the form on our website.