This is a guest post from Hubber Sinead Mac Manus. Sinead is founder of 8fold, a digital well-being company that helps busy people work better. She writes about mindful 21st century working at her blog From Apps to Zen. She is the author of From Apps to Zen: 26+ Ideas for Building a Business with Balance and a Fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs.
I think it’s fair to say we spend a good proportion of our day at work.
For many workers more than half of their waking hours are spent either working or commuting to work. For those of us lucky enough to work for ourselves, the picture is usually not any better. In fact most entrepreneurs I know work even longer hours than they did when they were employed.
So with all this time at work, it’s vital that we consider our well-being at work. However, work related stress in the UK is increasing and the Health and Safety Executive has found that 1 in 5 people say that they find their work either very or extremely stressful and over half a million people in the UK say that work-related stress has actually made them ill. A study by the University of Sussex in 2008 found that stress related illness is now the leading source of work absenteeism.
In the UK, employers have a duty of care to protect their employees from harm at work which includes stress. But more than this, research, and common sense, illustrates that happy and resilient employees are more productive and take less sick days – good for the employee and great for the bottom line.
The concept of workplace well-being has been mainstream in countries like The Netherlands for quite some time. During an EU funded learning exchange to The Hub Amsterdam, I saw first hand the more relaxed working culture and the emphasis on ‘wellness’ – the Dutch equivalent of well-being.
In the US, Google is a company leading the way in terms of employee well-being. Their ‘Jolly Good Fellow’, Chade-Meng Tan leads an 8 week course for employees on emotional resilience. Here in the UK, energy company Centrica have just announced that they are developing the UK’s first certified course on workplace wellbeing.
Well-being is a concept that UK employers are slowly getting to grips with as levels of work-based stress in their employees rocket due to longer working hours, increased workloads and our ‘always-on’ 24/7 connected culture of Blackberrys and iPhones.
Through my work at 8fold, I work with individuals and teams to help them work better in this digital and connected age. Combining this with my background as a yogi and my research and practice into mindfulness has led to the development of an innovative programme for employees and entrepreneurs called Mindful @ Work. I am privileged to be working with experts on stress, yoga and meditation on this programme which will help participants be happier and healthier at work.
The programme will launch at my next event for women at The Hub Islington on Tuesday 10 May. Well-being at Work Women will be a fantastic evening of networking, talks and workshops on how to improve your well-being at work.
Here is some of the wonderful things in store:
-Life coach and corporate communication trainer, Sarah Dawrant, will be doing a short and interactive workshop where you will learn easy and practical tools to increase your assertiveness in any situation. Read more about the full-length workshop at www.forwardbound.co.uk/assertivecommunication.
-Brand strategist, coach and yogi Claire Lowson fresh from a three month trip in India on Happiness at Work (http://www.clairelowson.co.uk/).
-Sandhya Kaffo from FoodDots on how to harness the power of raw foods to have more energy at work (http://fooddots.com/).
-Laura North from Speaking Out (http://speakingoutevents.com/) and Hannah Clements from the University of the Arts on Creative Communication: better speaking and networking skills for women.
-Tracy Karkut-Law from Limehouse Homeopathy with a practical workshop on Homeopathy for Stress (http://www.limehousehomeopathy.co.uk/).
-Travel expert Jaillan Yehia of SavoirThere.com talks about how to tap into that refreshed and productive feeling you have when you’ve just returned from holiday (without leaving your own postcode!) http://www.savoirthere.com/
-Debra Carter, life coach and stress management coach with a session on Learning to Relax about Work (http://www.lifeisforlivingcoaching.co.uk/).
-Frances Booth from Here Are Some Words with a fun workshop called ‘Cut the C*%p: how to write powerful messages that don’t waste time’ (http://www.herearesomewords.com)
-Lisa Tully, business woman and keen meditator will take participants through a simple meditation technique so they can experience the benefits of a rested and calm mind first hand (http://spiritualbackpackersindia.com).
Do come join me for this free evening event on the 10 May.
Tickets can be reserved here.