According to Mind charity, one in every four people are battling a mental health issue and while there are many causes, workplace stress can often be a trigger. Sometimes, it’s a case of adding pressure to a pre-existing issue, but for others, it can be the root cause of their problem. Either way, as an employer you have a legal responsibility to support them.
Especially with the effects of COVID-19, your employees are going to need more support than ever as we return to the workplace. So if you're looking for the right time to implement #wellnesswednesdays, it's now.
Sometimes, half the battle is recognising that poor mental health is an issue within your workplace. Common signs can include increased absenteeism, poor concentration or low morale across the workforce. There are a number of actions that you can put in place to help your employees as they return to work post-coronavirus, one of which is #wellnesswednesdays. You may have heard of the concept before on social media platforms, but what started as a campaign to keep yourselves healthy and happy is now a global phenomenon, encouraging people to put their health first.
#wellnesswednesdays are a great opportunity for employers to get on board with tackling mental health issues, putting forward positive initiatives that emphasise the importance of giving employees time to focus on themselves when at work, wherever 'work' may be. We all know how important it is to have some ‘me time’, a chance to step away from stressful situations and regroup your thoughts, which is arguably more essential than ever when working in a pressured environment.
With this in mind, we ask the question: should #wellnesswednesdays be compulsory?
Research shows that providing your employees with a workplace wellness programme positively impacts your business in more ways than one. From a more productive working ethic to reduced absenteeism and improved employees mental health.
UnitedHealthcare’s 2018 survey investigated the effects of workplace wellness and found that:
- 89% of employees said that mindfulness has a positive impact on health and wellbeing
- 53% of employees with a wellness programme at work noticed an improvement in health
- 56% of employees with a wellness programme took fewer sick days
Change doesn’t have to be drastic.
We suggest setting just one day a week aside where you directly encourage your employees to focus on their mental health – and Wellness Wednesday has a great ring to it. Here are just a few of our favourite #wellnesswednesday ideas to get you started:
- Encourage a healthy lifestyle. Many healthcare providers offer solutions that encourage living a healthier lifestyle. Whether it be supporting employees with healthier eating or physical activities to get the body moving, it all starts with education. Breeze is a digital platform that helps you monitor your employees' health and wellbeing. Employees have their own 'safe space' to improve their wellbeing and access informative content by industry professionals.
- Introduce flexi-time to help with your employees’ schedules and encourage a better work-life balance. Those with children and other commitments outside of work will really benefit from being able to start and finish at an earlier or later time.
Whilst we can't be sure when social distancing measures will be lifted, we can be sure that one day they will be. When that day comes, why not try one of the following...
- Bring in a massage therapist or beauty technician to offer massages and other treatments. A pamper session during the day will provide a morale boost and time to de-stress away from desks.
- Host alternative meetings, whether you opt for walking meetings to help stretch the legs after sitting at a desk all day, offer outdoor meetings for a change of scenery or even go offsite to a local pub or cafe to help refresh and revitalise - you’ll see happier employees and more productive meetings.
Want to find out how much you actually know about mental health? Take our quiz.