Businesses are finally starting to recognise that the health and wellbeing of their employees matters and it finally seems to be moving away from something they pay lip service to, to something that they recognise is essential.
When we first heard about google, encouraging their staff to take time away from their desk to just hang out together or even take a nap during the day I don’t think I was alone in seeing this as a bit of a gimmick, or maybe more money than sense flitted through my mind!
The reality is somewhat different, they found that some of their best ideas were generated in those breakout sessions, people from different departments who may never have met day to day got chatting and sharing ideas in a relaxed atmosphere.
I have some experience of this on a small level, the K2 Building where I work offers serviced offices and apartments and is a hive of activity throughout the day. Most days I don’t get a minute to myself let alone to think, yet some mornings when Lucy, the centre manager and I are in early, the coffees been brewed and the dishwashers emptied we sit and chat for 20 minutes about the day ahead. I can honestly say that I treasure that time because I always come away from that session feeling motivated, with a clear plan for the day ahead.
People are our greatest asset and taking care of them should be a serious business, why would I want a stressed employee who probably spends half their time feeling frustrated, harassed and will ultimately make themselves ill or leave to go work for someone who cares.
We need to nurture our people, after all we probably spend more time with the people we work with than our families and friends. It’s also about attracting the best candidates, word of mouth is a powerful tool and to have a reputation as a poor employer will not help when it comes to growing your business. Remember people choose you, it’s not just about you choosing them these days.
I’m lucky enough to work in a multiple purpose building, as well as the serviced offices and apartments there is a fitness centre and Hot Yoga as well as some great break out areas. Perfect for us, as it’s right on our doorstep and good for our employer as we don’t have far to go if we want to pop to a class at lunchtime and they get a more positive and energised employee as a result.
Personally I sometimes don’t practice what I preach enough and haven’t made enough use of the fitness centre, but writing this has made me realise I need to commit to one lunchtime class a week and not let anything get in the way of this as I feel so good after I have been and whilst I am peddling away on that bike I can clear my head ready for the afternoon ahead.
Hot Yoga has been a revelation for me, they had been open for nearly a year before I took the plunge to do a class. It’s not only had an impact on my physical health what has really surprised me is how it is helping me mentally.
So a plea to employers everywhere, you don’t have to do big things to make people feel valued, a weekly breakout session, the odd night out, a free pass to a gym session, a nice environment to work in and most of all letting them know that their health and wellbeing is as important to you as it is to them. Take care of your people and they will take care of your business.