Article by Charlotte Turner, Group People Director at Area
It’s no secret that every employer needs healthy and productive employees. It’s what keeps them ticking along and, in the very best workplaces, thriving.
That’s because employees who feel valued and supported are far more likely to deliver the best outcomes. Essentially, they’re the heart and soul of your organisation and can make the difference between the business being efficient and exceptional. Well, our ‘Fourfronters’ are dedicated to ensuring we fall into the latter category. Essentially, they’re what makes Fourfront Group a great place to be, and we’re committed to taking care of them.
Research suggests that’s not the case across the board, though.
Stressed and unable to share: tipping the work-life balance
Mental health charity Mind has carried out significant research into workplace well-being. The most recent report engaged 42,036 employees from 114 organisations across the UK. Although significant progress has been made in the area of workplace well-being, the figures reveal some startling statistics:
- Over half (58%) of the employees experienced poor mental health while working at their current employer
- 50% of the employees surveyed felt anxious on multiple occasions in the last month
- Of those who experienced poor mental health, 35% took time off work because of it
Worryingly, 51% of the employees surveyed would feel uncomfortable or very uncomfortable disclosing poor mental health and 27% of those who took time off told their employer it was for a reason other than their mental health.
These figures tell us there’s still much more that needs to be done to reduce the stigma around mental health in the workplace. At Area, we’re looking to spearhead that change.
Normalising and promoting workplace wellbeing
Area and the wider Fourfront Group are exciting and innovative places to work. But the nature of this business can make day-to-day operations fast-paced and frenetic. It’s what drives our dedicated team forward and inspires them to go above and beyond - but this should never go unnoticed.
That's why we rolled out well-being and work-life balance courses as part of our learning and development series; to set every employee up to be in the best possible frame of mind for the year ahead. With that in mind, we booked the sessions for the start of the year and every member of the team was invited to join.
To ensure everybody felt comfortable participating, groups were kept to manageable sizes of 10-12 people; these consisted of employees from all different workspaces though.
Exercises included asking the groups to identify everyday stress factors and rate their overall emotional health from 1-10. To do this, we used a variation of the wellbeing wheel which looked at factors like:
- Mind - looking at the clarity of our thoughts, efficiency of our decision-making process and our abilities to stay focused
- Community - how connected and involved we feel within your workplace and the wider community
- Body - this focused on physical vitality and health; do we feel comfortable at work?
- Learning - how happy do we feel learning new information and skills?
- Spirit - do you live according to your own values and the ethos at Area?
- Emotions - Do we have a good balance of positive to negative emotions? Thinking about the last time we laughed
“This was a great opportunity for people across the business to get to know each other,” said Sarah Helm, our learning and development expert and the course facilitator.
Strengthening and supporting internal connections is something that’s important to us here. Countless studies support the importance of belonging at work; It’s linked to a 56% increase in job performance, a 50% drop in turnover risk and a 75% reduction in sick days.
But these sessions didn’t just allow our team to bond; they also gave them the vital opportunity to learn coping mechanisms from one another.
“Everyone shared their stories on how they stay focused at work and relaxed at home,” Sarah added.
The good thing is that coming from peers, these tips felt realistic and relatable. They could then be taken away and incorporated into their own personalised action plans going forward.
“Everybody left with something that they could use to help manage both their emotional well-being and their time in the office,” said Sarah.
So vital because, although work’s important to us, it should always stay inside the office. At Area, we believe a balanced work-life’s a better one.
Interested to find out more about career opportunities at Area? Join our team.