70 million workdays are lost at a cost of 2.4billion per year in the UK – these are stark statistics and relate solely to mental health.
It’s estimated that a mental health issue affects 1 in 3* people in the workforce and depression, anxiety and stress are the most common reasons for staff not reporting for work. It’s clearly an issue that employers need to tackle, not only for the prosperity of their businesses but particularly for the wellbeing of their employees. Companies and organisations need to develop and implement a health and wellbeing plan that is an integral part of their business strategy.
Here we look at effective wellness solutions, including physical activities and exercises, many of which can be started today, so you and your staff can begin reaping the benefits of good mental health in the workplace, promoting a win-win situation for both employers and employees.
Many activities are simple to set up and can be lots of fun.
- Smoothie bikes
- Step challenges
These are something a bit different and you might say somewhat quirky, but guaranteed to be lots of fun. It’s a stationary bike, which is actually fitted with a smoothie blender with the aim of the game to make a delicious smoothie as you pedal away – it’s an ingenious idea as you get both exercise and your “7 a day”!
Why not create a Smoothie Bike Challenge with 2 staff competing on the static bikes to see who makes the healthy, delicious drink first?
Yoga and Pilates
Yoga and Pilates are relaxing for the mind as well as the body with both creating positive thinking and de-stressing of the mind and body. 1 or 2 hours of Pilates or yoga each week is enough to alleviate pressure and stress in the workplace.
Step Count Challenge
The Step Count Challenge is fun and creative, where teams measure the steps they take every day by way of a pedometer, activity tracker or app. Why not have teams competing against each other with a prize at the end for the team who has completed the most steps?
Don’t worry! Your staff won’t be leaving their desks, never to return! This involves all the available staff going out for a lunchtime walk, which is great for promoting interaction and gives the workforce an opportunity to get to know each other better, whilst exercising at the same time.
This is something that is really in the news these days. Mindfulness courses can be particularly beneficial in the workplace as they can help people to alter the way they think and feel about different experiences, particularly stressful situations. It can be a very effective tool that can be used to manage people’s mental health.
Courses are designed to help staff:
- Remain focused when under pressure
- Improve mental wellbeing
- Improve concentration, memory and attention
- Think more clearly
- Think more creatively
- Improve communication
Other workshop activities include:
- Breathing exercises
- Music therapy
- Sleep therapy
Laughing and Breathing
When we laugh, endorphins released by the brain are increased which produces a relaxed feeling, and so laughing with co-workers could be just the tonic that the doctor ordered. It may seem odd to mention breathing, but practising breathing exercises will help give you a feeling of inner calmness, as in stressful situations, we actually forget to breathe!
By understanding and supporting the mental health issues of your workfce and addressing them with daily regimes and on-going programmes will lead to happier, more motivated and effective employees as well as a workforce that wants to stay. Activities all combine to support the mental, physical and social wellbeing of staff.
A healthy workforce equals a healthy business.
The Daniels Group, from its base in Sussex runs innovative programmes and courses to support and enhance the wellbeing of the workforce. These are aimed at maximising employees’ productivity, increasing morale and reducing sickness days. Individual days or on-going programmes can be fully organised and planned to suit any budget. All results of wellness initiatives can be measured by way of a digital platform, which produces data to show increases in the productivity and happiness of the workforce, fully justifying the investment into a wellbeing strategy.
To discuss how this could work for your company and support the mental wellbeing of your employees, call the Daniels Group on 01580 200048.
Mental health in the workplace
The IoD is committed to raising awareness of mental health issues in the workplace, with a particular focus on opening up the conversation for small and medium-sized businesses. We have created a hub packed full of helpful advice, best practice and useful resources, as well as shared experiences from business leaders.
Visit our mental health in the workplace hub
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