Wellbeing is a trend that isn’t going anywhere. More and more businesses are becoming aware of the importance of looking after their staff and implementing different measures to help boost their wellbeing. Here, Harriet from Virgin Limited Edition shares what they’ve been doing to look after their staff…
How we communicate with others in the workplace is at least as important as how we communicate with our customers, and at Virgin Limited Edition in June we went back to basics with a month-long wellness program for the entire office. From the physical to the mental, our team was put through its paces with health checks, a Zumba class, a mindfulness session and a race up the stairs to the top of our 10 storey building amongst others.
While Virgin Limited Edition may be one of the smaller Virgin companies in terms of people, our ambitions and portfolio are known globally. Heard of Necker Island? Well, we’re the company that can make your retreat to paradise a reality! And although we only have 10 properties, our team has grown significantly in the past few years. A growing team can sometimes mean you make less time to talk to people outside your specialism, getting wrapped up in the day-to-day requirements of your own job. The challenge is making the time at work for personal wellness.
While Wellness Month in 2015 focused purely on physical wellness, this year our People team set themselves the task of exploring and incorporating a wider range of issues that surround employee wellbeing to help us as a team become more collaborative and understanding. For each week in June they organised activities, events and literature to focus on different aspects of wellness. Here is a breakdown of how our Wellness Month rolled out:
Week one – Physical wellness
With help from our friends at Virgin Active we organised BMI health checks for all team members, a lunch time Zumba class and lastly a hellish circuits training session. Members of the team also took part in a daily squat challenge and stair climb competition. We now all have thighs of steel!
Week two – Emotional wellness
Being emotionally well is more than just handling stress at work and at home. It also involves being attentive to your thoughts, feelings and behaviours, whether positive or negative. We invited mental health charity MIND to carry out a ‘Lunch and Learn’ session about emotional wellbeing in the workplace. The session outlined the stress triggers and tips to enable us to acknowledge and cope with stress and depression effectively. Our People Development Director Lyn Weimer added her skills to emotional wellness week by carrying out a mindfulness session.
Week three – Financial wellness
The focus for week three was to look at financial wellness aimed to help team members cope with financial pressures. Money Fight Club came in to run a workshop designed to help our team members ‘punch above their weight’ where financial wellness is concerned. Everyone also received little desk piggy banks to kick start their savings.
Week four – Environmental wellness
During our final week the aim was to make us all aware of our natural environment and what impact we can directly have on our planet. Award-winning charity Cool Earth ran an interactive brunch session highlighting all the fantastic work they do with villages in the rainforest affected by deforestation. The session was then followed by a giant team game of ‘eco’ snakes and ladders. We also all took part in an online interdepartmental eco-action game which definitely bought out the competitive nature of some of the members of our team, not mentioning any names...
Having reached the end of Wellness Month, all the team at Virgin Limited Edition’s London office are collectively feeling more connected and content with one another. Spending time away from our desks has given us an opportunity to consider all aspects of our wellbeing, speak to more people outside our immediate team and generally have fun!