Making wellbeing our business

It’s well documented that improved wellbeing at work makes a positive impact on staff and on business. But in today’s 24/7, relentlessly ‘switched on’ world, making time to take care of ourselves can feel like just another demand on the to-do list.

At Incite we’ve always tried to look after the team with our sabbatical programme, regular social get-togethers, yoga and almost weekly celebrations of birthdays and other life events. But we recognised we could still do more: with the right initiatives, we could help each other take a little more care of ourselves.

The new hours were launched at our Wellbeing Week in April in which we combined nudges and incentives to focus everyone’s attention on the little things they could do to improve their mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. Of course not everyone is motivated by the same thing, so we had a wide range of activities going on.

“I tried meditation for the first time. I assumed it would be hippy nonsense but actually found it really invigorating!”

We actively promoted walking up and down the three flights of stairs to the office and encouraged walking meetings instead of being stuck in meeting rooms. It’s so much easier to make a good decision when strolling round Soho Square. We ran ‘Pilates at your Desk’ training and seated massage sessions to prove how easy it is to make a big difference with just a small activity.

We convened Mindfulness and Sleep workshops, alongside our regular yoga sessions aimed to calm the mind and reduce the relentless chatter in our brains. And of course our new hours mean people have more freedom to work at the time that suits their personal body clock whether we are early birds or night owls.

“It has helped me re-prioritise how much sleep I am getting.”

We tapped into our creative side with drawing classes and have set up a book club. We are also planning to run creative writing workshops again – something we have done in the past and have rediscovered our appetite for.

And of course we are also feeding our minds and bodies better than before. Our often-visited snack cupboard is now stocked with more healthy products and fewer sugary treats. Who knew there were so many kinds of rice cake! And we have increased our fresh fruit order to five days a week.

“It is so much better when someone else takes control and takes away the temptation. I don’t think I even missed the chocolate: dried mango and nuts is just fine!”

We still have goodies for birthdays and our regular Friday team drinks, though. As we all realised, there’s more than one way to be good to yourself and it’s the healthy balance we need help with.

“The week did encourage me to finally go and get my Vitality health check that I’d been putting off for ages. It just focused my attention.”

So when Wellbeing Week was over, we decided to keep up the momentum with a weekly Wellbeing Challenge. Each week we promote a different activity, from drinking more water to having lunch with colleagues away from our desks.

The aim is to continue to keep our individual and team wellbeing front of mind, so we are happier, healthier and more effective at work. So far, the impact has been hugely positive and proves finding a better balance only creates a more positive workplace.

“I have made a point to be more focused on what I want to get done each day to make sure I have proper downtime at the end of the day.”