Century Office recently held an office wellbeing event at its offices in Essex, featuring talks from Century Office’s Directors, Steve and Sarah Bays, as well as from some industry experts.
Sarah talked about Century Office’s upcoming trial about the effects of shorter working hours on staff wellbeing and productivity. The idea of the trial came about because Steve and Sarah believe that different employee needs and priorities should be accommodated to ensure harmony and maximise productivity.
Sarah spoke about how she believes that having a shorter working day, employees will be more focused and energetic
because they have more time to pursue whatever they want, e.g. spending more time with their family, attending the gym or pursuing a hobby. It was also mentioned that the University of Essex is working alongside Century Office to help the experiment run smoothly. Results of the trial will be published early/mid-summer.
Steve’s talk was on the importance of ergonomic office furniture and its impact on workplace wellbeing. His speech went on to discuss how office furniture needs to be flexible as it should be tailored to each department, each task, and each individual and that sit/stand desks and ergonomic chairs are just two of the ways ergonomic design can be easily incorporated in the office.
Steve continued his talk by mentioning about how it may also be useful to implement a wellbeing strategy for the workplace. This should be a proactive rather than reactive approach because if you only respond to issues on an ad-hoc basis, then there is a chance that the same issue, or similar, will crop up again (and you may not be prepared on how to solve it efficiently). Sometimes even little things like decluttering or branding the office can help with staff wellbeing as they encourage a loyal and healthy office culture.
The event also attracted in a representative from the mental health charity, Mind. Sue Sullivan, Manager for Mid and North East Essex, contributed useful information about mental health, especially in the workplace. She spoke about how an effective way to manage mental health and wellbeing in the office as a whole is to build an environment where people feel comfortable with speaking up or starting a conversation about how they feel.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can also help employees to manage elements of worry, anxiety and low mood. CBT focusses on helping you to deal with overwhelming problems by breaking up the problem into more manageable chunks. It is also used to help change negative thought patterns into ones that are more positive and reassuring.
To discuss physical wellbeing, Luke Jackman from Dedham Osteopathy also attended Century Office’s wellbeing event to highlight how clear the link between mental wellbeing, stress and physical pain is. Addressing the problem of how to alleviate physical pain is a great place to start with regards to office wellbeing. After all it is a major factor for increased stress levels, symptoms of low mood, and lower energy levels – all of which can have a detrimental effect on your mental wellbeing, especially if it’s a chronic/ongoing problem.
Videos regarding the talks at the event are available to view on Century Office’s YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCM9BbKVjARH8SSaAS8PPAHg/videos