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- Nap for success this World Wellbeing Week!
After a nap Do you feel you are not as productive as you could be during the day? Do you struggle to focus and complete tasks efficiently? Do you feel your breaks are not as energising as you would like them to be? If so, it might be time to consider taking a nap. Yes, you read that right - a nap The future of work includes napping Despite the stigma surrounding napping, research has shown that taking a quick snooze can have numerous benefits for both mental and physical health. In the United Kingdom, napping has gained popularity in recent years, with many individuals recognising its value in improving productivity and reducing stress. According to a study conducted, 80% of millennials admitted to taking naps at work and reported they felt more alert and focused afterwards. A study by the University of London has found that the brains of people who nap often were 5 cubic centimetres larger. This is the equivalent to delaying ageing in the brain by around three to six years! So why do so many people still view napping as a sign of laziness or unproductivity? One reason could be the cultural emphasis on constant productivity and overworking. Many individuals feel guilty about taking a break during the workday, even if it means they will be more productive and in a better mood afterwards. Naps are great for our wellbeing Naps are great for our mental wellbeing, they also improve our mood, and physical health. They boost energy, speed up decision-making processes, and lessen daytime fatigue. They ease tension and aid in mood regulation, lowering anxiety and depressive symptoms while promoting relaxation. They improve abilities to solve problems, work efficiently, innovatively, and a multitude of other cognitive functions. At Rest Space, we empathise with those who have come to realise that pushing through the day is not the path to success. The problem is that 88% of people have told us they have nowhere to rest at work. Rest is not just a personal necessity but a fundamental component of success. Creating a space to rest at work A private and comfortable environment is needed for individuals to take a nap or engage in mindfulness practises during the workday. By offering a physical space for rest and rejuvenation, Rest Space is working to combat the mental barriers that prevent people from prioritising their health and well-being. Creating a culture of rest at work Alongside this, we help organisations embrace a new paradigm—one that prioritises well-being and nurtures productivity through our engagement program. Providing resources and guidance on the importance of sleep and rest. Helping educate individuals on the benefits of napping and helping them prioritise rest in their daily routines, Rest Space is working to create a culture that values not only productivity but also self-care and mental health. So the next time you find yourself feeling tired and unproductive, don't hesitate to take a nap in a rest space. Your body and mind will thank you for it. And if you want your teams to have an extra tool to take care of their wellbeing, get in touch.
- The Well-being Chronicles: Integrating Well-being into the Way We Work
In today's fast-paced and demanding work environments, the importance of employee well-being cannot be overstated. Recognising this, companies are increasingly understanding that well-being should be an integral part of their organisational culture and performance. In our recent event on supporting the well-being pillars - Mental, physical, social, and financial—our guest speakers, Caitlin Rozario, co-founder of Interlude, and Will Turner, CEO and co-founder of GOJOE, shed light on the significance of integrating well-being into the way we work. They shared their observations, experiences, and insights, revealing the transformative power of prioritising well-being for both individuals and organisations. The Tangled Web of Well-Being: Caitlin and Will delved into the challenges faced by many companies when attempting to promote well-being initiatives. They noted that despite investing in various programmes, organisations often struggle with low engagement and participation. It became clear that scattered resources and poor communication played a significant role in hindering the success of these initiatives. Companies introduced some great initiatives, but employees didn’t know about them or weren’t in a position to make the most of them. “I worked at another company where we had a golden time. It was like 10% of your time should be used doing personal upskilling, but then it was an agency and there was so much work and they just kept bringing more clients in, that everyone was like, "Golden time”. And it became a net negative because everyone was like, "Oh, we have a golden time”.” ..Caitlin Rozario One of the crucial points Caitlin and Will stressed was the need for companies to recognise the interconnected nature of well-being and overall performance. Well-being should not be seen as a separate entity but rather as an integral part of employees' work lives. By neglecting well-being, organisations risk undermining productivity, motivation, and employee satisfaction. A Tale of Two Approaches: Let me share a short story about two contrasting organisations to highlight the impact of their well-being practices. Company X, lacking a holistic approach, offered a few well-being programmes scattered across different departments, these inititives didn't have a dedicated lead. While the intention was noble, employees found it challenging to navigate and engage with these resources due to poor communication. Feedback about the inititives wasn't actioned because there was no capacity to improve them. As a result less than 5% of the organisation accesses the offering. In contrast, Company Y took a different path. They recognised the need for easy access to well-being resources, and created a dedicated well-being team and portal, bringing leadership on board to be the advocates and early adopters. The portal became the heart of the organisation's well-being activity. Maintained by dedicated full time wellbeing leads, supported by leadership and internal comms. They were able to support the different business needs and help evolve the offering to one that really made a difference to peoples lives. The result? Higher engagement, happier people, and a more positive work culture! How can you unlock the secrets to successfully integrating well-being into your workplace culture? “Everyone knows you're in a bit of a rut, and then you go to the gym, for a run, or do whatever you want to do for a week or two, you suddenly feel great, it's just how do you sustain it?” ...Will Turner Leadership support and role modeling Firstly, cultivate leadership support. Leaders must champion well-being initiatives and emphasise their importance to create a culture that prioritises employee well-being from top to bottom. Communication is vital Secondly, remember, communication is key. Transparent and effective communication is vital for engaging employees in well-being activities. Clear messaging, regular updates, and encouraging participation can foster a sense of connection and motivation. Easy to access In addition, establishing an easy to access well-being portal, like Company B, can streamline access to resources, making it easier for employees to explore and engage with well-being programmes. Taking away the difficulty of discovery and access. Consider a seasonal approach Lastly, consider a seasonal approach. Recognise that your employees go through different experiences based on the seasons and business cycles. At the end and beginning of the year, things are spinning up, and people are overwhelmed with the amount of work going on. Caitlyn and Will highlighted how having flexible offerings that cater to seasonal and business cycles can help employees tap into what they need when they need it. What types of things might you include in your well-being offering? Now you have some ideas on how to make your well-being offering successful. What might be part of your offering? Therapy Therapy is one of the best things a company can offer for employees to use how and when they want to. ‘Therapy is one of the best things a company can offer - it can have such a positive impact’ Breaks Encourage employees to take regular breaks to support their mental and physical well-being. Through interlude, Caitlyn has seen how breaks transform team connection and wellbeing. Breaks suited to your mood and what you might need that day are powerful. This could be workouts, yoga, stretching, mindfulness, meditation, breath work, affirmations, writing, art, and cooking. Social physical challenges Team based activity challenges can motivate employees to be more active. Through GOJOE, Will has seen people improve their consistency and be able to push themselves more than compared to similar activities on their own. The social element is very fundamental to who we are as humans. Calm spaces Spaces that help employees reduce stress, recharge and reflect are needed in the working environment. Spaces that offer privacy within the workplace that are designed for relaxation and rejuvenation where employees can retreat and recharge. This will be welcomed by all employees but can transform the day for neurodiverse employees or anyone experiencing increased pressures at work or at home. Promote a culture of well-being that values mental health by integrating rest sessions. The narrative shared by Caitlin and Will underscores the transformative power of integrating well-being into the way we work. Take care of your employees well-being, and they will take care of your company. By recognising the impact of well-being on employee performance and creating an environment that supports holistic well-being, organisations empower their employees to bring their best to work. Effective communication strategies and easy-to-access resources are needed for employees to make the most of what's on offer. We should all be working towards a happier, healthier workforce.
- How to Measure Workplace Wellbeing and Use Data for Positive Change
‘What is measured gets done!’ - Peter Drucker Workplace well-being has become an increasingly important aspect of creating a healthy and productive work environment. At our recent meet-up one audience member, Alex, shared their experience that improving employees' well-being can also improve their performance. Keep reading to see what we discussed on how to measure workplace wellbeing for positive change! "Helping people improve their well-being helps them perform better. Helping improve their performance improves their well-being" A growing body of research suggests that employee well-being is linked to productivity, engagement, and job satisfaction.This is vital to helping companies better understand the needs of their workforce and design interventions that support their well-being. We welcomed Ivor Colson co-founder of OMNIFIA, of Omifia and Dr Sridevi Kalidindi clinical psychiatrist and founder of Klip at our Measuring Workplace Well-being event. Both speakers shared a common belief that 'what gets tracked gets cracked,' implying that by measuring and monitoring workplace well-being, organisations are better equipped to take action and improve the health and productivity of their workforce. Ivor expressed that it would be great to shift well-being from being the individual's responsibility and ambition to one shared with organisation and supported by policy. It’s in everyone's interest to have healthier and happier people. "Work is intertwined with well-being." - Ivor Colson Why is it important to measure workplace wellbeing? Measuring workplace well-being is important for several reasons: It helps organisations understand the needs of their workforce: By measuring employee well-being, organisations can identify areas where their employees may be struggling and design interventions that can support them. If an employee is experiencing high levels of stress at work, the organisation can implement interventions to help them. It can improve productivity: Research shows that when employees are happy and healthy, they are more productive. Measuring employee well-being can help organisations identify areas where they can support their employees and improve their productivity. It can improve employee retention: When employees feel valued and supported, they are more likely to stay with an organisation. By measuring employee well-being and designing interventions to support their well-being, organisations can improve employee retention. Wellbeing is cited as a top priority for Gen Z employees, with 83 per cent saying it’s on a par with salary. What type of measures can you collect? There are several measures that organisations can collect to assess employee well-being. Measures that most of us get can start with today include Absenteeism: How often employees are absent from work due to illness or other reasons. Turnover: The rate at which employees leave the organisation. Presenteeism: The extent to which employees are present at work but not fully productive. Job satisfaction: How satisfied employees are with their job and the organisation. Measures that will take more time to implement and understand are Ivor mentioned that using surveys to measure workplace well-being has its challenges, one being that it only captures that one moment in time. A survey response in the morning could differ drastically to how they would answer in the afternoon. The key risk to surveys are that those who are most disengaged are often the ones who do not respond, leading to an unreliable picture. Burnout is a complex phenomenon that can be difficult to measure and diagnose, as it involves a combination of emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation, and reduced personal accomplishment. Many of the measures used to assess burnout rely on self-reported data, which may not always be reliable or accurate. Work-life balance is influenced by a range of factors, including workload, job demands, and personal circumstances. It can be difficult to get an accurate picture of an individual's work-life balance through surveys or other quantitative measures alone, as individuals may be reluctant to share personal information or may not be aware of their own work-life balance. Social connectedness involves subjective experiences such as feelings of belonging, social support, and social integration. It can be difficult to get an accurate and reliable picture of an individual's social connectedness through surveys or other quantitative measures alone, as individuals may not be aware of their own social connectedness or may not be willing to share personal information. Physical health also involves collecting physical health data that requires specialised equipment or expertise to collect and understand. It is often met with hesitation from the individual to volunteer this data to their organisations. Tips on how to use these measures for positive change and how to avoid negative actions It's important for organisations to use employee well-being measures in a positive way that benefits their employees and the organisation as a whole. Here are some tips on how to do this: Use data analysis for improvement: Analysing employee well-being data can identify areas of struggle and support interventions. Focus on finding the root cause rather than patching symptoms. Involve employees in the process: It's important to involve employees in the design and implementation of well-being interventions. This can help to ensure that the interventions are effective and well-received. Communicate the purpose of the data: It's important to communicate to employees why the organisation is collecting well-being data and how it will be used. This can help to build trust and encourage employees to be honest in their responses. Protect employee privacy: It's important to ensure that employee data is anonymised and protected to avoid negative actions such as discrimination or retaliation. Avoid one size fits all: Keep in mind that not all employees will respond to the same interventions. Use the data to identify which interventions would be most effective given context. People's experiences that contributed to the data pool will all be different. Use the data to create a positive work environment: By using employee well-being data to design interventions that support their well-being, organisations can create a positive work environment that benefits both employees and the organisation. Track progress: Continue to collect data and track progress over time. Whatever you measure it is the trend of the data that matters more than the actual numbers. Are you improving? Measuring employee well-being is an important step towards creating a healthy and productive work environment. By collecting and using well-being data in a positive way, organisations can support their employees and improve their productivity, engagement, and job satisfaction. What is the overall goal? "Wouldn’t it be great if work was a place you came to get healthier?" - Dr Sridevi Kalidindi Most importantly, is the data there to help us achieve our goals? What are your organisation's goals? How are you getting there? As summed up by Dr. Sridevi Kalidindi, - We want to achieve a point where, for staff, organisations and society, we get to a point where the evidence and practice are good enough so we are protecting our people and keeping them well. Join us at our next event and explore how you can improve workplace well-being in your organisation!
- Thankful and Thriving: The Health Benefits of Practicing Gratitude
Gratitude is like a superpower for your mental health, and everyone has access to it. Practicing gratitude is a simple yet powerful tool to improve overall well-being and all it involves is focusing on the positive aspects of life and celebrating every big and small accomplishment. Here are some of the benefits of practicing gratitude and how it can positively impact your mental health. Improved Mood According to research, a single thought of gratitude can produce an immediate 10% increase in happiness and 35% decrease in depressive symptoms. By focusing on the good in your life, you will boost your mood and increase positive emotions which can improve our overall outlook and increase feelings of contentment. Reduced Stress When you focus on the things you appreciate in life, it naturally shifts your attention away from troubling thoughts and problems, creating a calm state of mind. A study found that feeling gratitude can reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol which can help you handle overall stress in a more positive way and improve your physical health. Better Relationships Practicing gratitude can also improve your relationships with others. When we express gratitude towards others, it can deepen and strengthen your relationships. By focusing on the positive qualities and expressing gratitude towards others, you can deepen your connection and create more meaningful relations with people around you. Increased Resilience Research from a study found that participants who showed gratitude were more resilient to emotional setbacks. Increasing your sense of positivity and optimism can help you better cope and ‘bounce back’ from difficult situations. Improved Sleep All of the above benefits come together to promote quality sleep, and we all know how important sleep is for our daily lives. With less stress and a better mood, you can help yourself receive a better night’s rest and keep up the everyday cycle of feeling mentally healthy. So, how do you start practicing gratitude? Start by taking a moment to appreciate the things you like to do in your free time. Think about the people around you that support and value you and consider the positive impact they have had on your life. Recognize your hard work, dedication, and successes. Sometimes, it’s the simple pleasures that bring you the most joy like reading a good book, watching the sunset, or a warm cup of coffee. Whatever it is that brings you joy and a sense of appreciation for the life you're living, be sure to prioritize it as often as you need to. By creating a positive emotional environment for yourself, you can give your mental and overall health the best chance of feeling good. So take a few moments each day to express gratitude. Celebrate the small things. It’s worth it. Want to learn more ways to improve your well-being? Read more of our blogs here.
- CAN YOU EAT YOUR WAY TO A BETTER MOOD?
Have you ever resorted to sugary foods when feeling down, anxious or tired? Based on previous research, we've found that eating sugary foods is the alternative that most people resort to when taking a nap is not a possibility. But, why is it that some foods make us feel much better instantly while some don't? The reason for this is that foods have molecules that affect our brain and therefore affect how we feel. It is important to identify what these chemicals cause and in what foods they can be found so we can smartly “eat our way to a better mood” when needed. I’ll start by explaining one of the most relevant food molecules: serotonin. This chemical is mostly responsible for a person’s mood and happiness levels. It is no coincidence that when we eat chocolate we tend to feel happy given that one of the foods that makes our brain release serotonin is chocolate. So next time you are feeling down or unmotivated, try eating a piece of chocolate, preferably dark as its lower in processed sugars, and see if it lifts your mood up. Moderation is key, avoid having too much chocolate because it might lead to feelings of guilt or a stomach ache. Very similar to serotonin, dopamine also plays a key role in making us ‘feel good’. Many fruits and vegetables make the brain release dopamine, bananas being one of them. According to research conducted by the University of Wollongong Australia, bananas not only make you happy because of their high levels of tryptophan, but they also help with concentration and brain function during exam or stressful times. Lastly, Coffee. Caffeine also stimulates the release of dopamine and serves as an energy booster. However, just like too much chocolate, too much caffeine can also have negative effects such as anxiety and stress so try cutting down caffeine intake after lunch when possible. Here is is a quick- recipe for a smoothie that combines these 3 ingredients to lift up your mood and satisfy your sweet tooth without unnecessary unrefined sugars: Ingredients ½ cup cold brewed coffee 8 ounces sliced frozen bananas 1 ½ cup milk of choice 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder Instructions Place all ingredients in a blender Process until smooth and creamy Want to learn more ways to improve your wellbeing? Read more of our blogs here.
- Quality Sleep is Important: Building a Perfect Sleep Environment for you
What’s better than sleep? Quality sleep. It's often dependent on the sleeping environment itself. A relaxing environment is crucial for rest, whether it’s an energizing nap or a good night’s sleep. A proper resting environment promotes valuable sleep which can be essential for physical and mental health, especially helping you excel at work. Improving your sleep is a great way to decrease your risk of illness such as heart disease as well as your anxiety and stress response. It also helps to improve your cognitive functions, like memory consolidation and learning, which can boost productivity. Feeling well rested can keep you more motivated and perform better with work and everyday tasks. Creating your Comfortable Environment There are a few simple ways to make sure you are maintaining a comfortable environment that promotes the best quality sleep. Some of these important factors to consider include temperature, noise, and light. The ideal temperature for sleep varies from person to person, but in general, a cool room temperature between 15.6-19.4°C (60-67°F) is recommended for optimal sleep. This is because your body temperature naturally drops during sleep, and a cooler room can help facilitate that process. If the room is too warm, it can cause discomfort and make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. Noise can be a major disruptor to sleep, especially if it's loud or sudden. Even small noises can wake you up or prevent you from falling asleep. White noise, such as a fan, can be helpful in masking outside noise and promoting a quieter sleep environment. Some people sleep better with certain sounds like music or ambient noise. Light can have a significant impact on your sleep-wake cycle. Exposure to bright light, especially artificial light from electronic devices, can suppress the production of the sleep hormone melatonin and make it more difficult to fall asleep. Ambient lighting, on the other hand, can help form a calming and relaxing atmosphere. Many people also prefer a dark sleep environment. When napping during the day, it can be hard to find a dark environment in which case blackout curtains or eye masks can be used. . Did You Say I Could Nap at Work? According to a survey by Sky, the average Brit naps three times every work week. This is convenient when working from home. It is often easy for people to alter their home environment to fit their sleeping needs and receive quality sleep. But what about employees in the office that need to re-energize with a quick nap during the day? The challenge is that they don’t have the right environment to do so. Workplaces are starting to recognise this and be more intentional with their workplace design. Imporving rest spaces at work are helping create a more inclusive work environment allowing employees to be their best. Designed especially for the workplace, Rest Space offers sleeping pods focused on things that are going to give you the best opportunity to rest and recharge: temperature control, noise reduction, and calming lights. Quiet fans make sure air is constantly circulated through the space, creating a cool environment. Outside noise level is kept at a minimum through the use of multiple absorbing and blocking layers. Additionally, there is a bluetooth speaker that allows you to listen to any soothing sound of your liking. A variety of ambient lights can also be used to create your comforting atmosphere. We have created the perfect environment to fit individual needs of a ‘perfect sleep’ that allows you to feel refreshed with a boost of energy, mood, and performance. To learn more about the features and benefits of our products, visit restspaceldn.com.
- Late to your New Year's resolutions? There's still time to make the best out of 2023!
Our wellbeing, both physical and mental, should be our top priority as human beings. Just like one needs to love oneself first to be able to love others, one must feel recharged and energized to be productive in the workplace. There is no specific recipe to wellbeing and everyone’s journey in trying to achieve it and maintain it differs. This blog seeks to give the reader awareness of the positive impact that taking care of your wellbeing can have on your professional life and provides the reader with 3 ways they can enhance their own wellness with the last one being vital. The main problem when it comes to wellbeing is that we tend to have a misconception of what is essential to promote it. There are infinite ways to enhance one’s wellness and we’ll discuss two of those ways below. However, there is an essential component that serves as the foundation of it all: Sleep. If we don’t manage to take control of our sleep, all the other things will still help but will never be enough. According to the Mental Health UK Organization, almost 1 in 5 people in the UK aren’t getting enough sleep and 37% of adults in the UK cite work as reducing the amount of control they feel they have over their sleep. These are both concerning statistics that can be changed by creating consciousness on the importance of sleep in both individuals and companies. 1. Move Your Body According to research, moving your body for as little as 15 minutes can have a positive impact on your day. Some benefits include, but are not limited to, a boost of energy, a better mood, sharper memory and thinking, and better sleep which can all help in your personal and professional life. One study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%. With busy schedules, there isn’t always time to hit the gym or go on long runs/walks as desired but try squeezing in a short walk, a yoga practice, a jump rope session, or whatever gets your body moving and see the benefits yourself! 2. Do Something that Makes YOU Feel Good As mentioned in the introduction, there is no specific recipe for wellbeing and everyone’s journey is different. Take the time to truly ask yourself: What makes ME feel good and energized? What do I want to do for MYSELF today? This can range from reading a light novel, to baking cookies, to drawing, to calling a loved one or simply doing nothing. Yes, doing nothing is completely acceptable! According to Dr. Russell Thackeray, a licensed clinical psychologist who consults on the topic of productivity, people that practice self-care have better cognitive ability, better focus and better concentration. Try to do at least one thing for yourself each day and you’ll see many benefits! 3. Prioritize Sleep Last, and most importantly: sleep. Getting control of your sleep is the basis for wellbeing. If you don’t master this, chances are you won’t succeed. Research conducted by the University of Michigan shows how chronic exposure to poor sleep quality is associated with depression, anxiety, and other conditions. A good night's sleep can improve your memory, performance, emotional and social intelligence which can all contribute to your performance at work. The key takeaway is that sleep is the basis, and once you manage to achieve it, you can then move on to find other ways to improve your wellness like the two mentioned above. Studies also show how you are more likely to be promoted at work if you regularly practice napping, so the next time you feel that fatigue kick in mid day, take a power nap and see how your mind and body feel recharged! How can RestSpace Help? Going back to the beginning of the article, 37% of adults in the UK cite work as reducing the amount of control they feel they have over their sleep. This comes as no surprise. Being in the office from 9 to 5 and getting home to kids to take care of, laundry to get done, or even more work to do, it is hard to keep a healthy sleeping schedule. RestSpace is proud to offer those companies searching to improve their employees’ wellbeing the perfect solution. Check out the Restspace Everest on our website linked below, along with our blogs that can help you enhance your wellbeing in infinite ways you’ve never thought possible! RestSpace Website: https://www.restspaceldn.com/team-3 Other Sources: https://mentalhealth-uk.org/help-and-information/sleep/ https://sph.umich.edu/pursuit/2020posts/why-sleep-is-so-important-to-your-health.html#:~:text=Sleep%20is%20essential%20to%20every,touches%20every%20aspect%20of%20health. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325353#social-and-emotional-intelligence https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/2021/04/moving-your-body-can-help-protect-your-mental-health/#:~:text=Getting%20moving%20for%20just%20a,spare%20every%20day%20of%20week%3F https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnhall/2020/01/05/self-care-isnt-just-good-for-you-its-also-good-for-your-productivity/?sh=5fef47a719ff
- Well-being at Work: Strategies to Boost Your Organization's Performance
Workplace well-being is a key component of any organization's success. As a well-being leader, it is essential to help your organization prioritize employee well-being by helping your colleagues understand how it can positively impact productivity, staff retention, and general job happiness. In this post, we'll follow up on some of the takeaways from our workplace well-being panel this month. Looking at some implementation tips, and key takeaways from one of our speakers on workplace well-being strategies for 2023. 1. The Challenges Of Employee Well-being As a Leader “Never assume what works for one always works for others - "Empathy" is one of the leadership skills required in a diverse, multicultural workplace. As people define well-being and priorities differently, leaders are required to flex their communication styles and approaches to first better understand people's motivations and own challenges. Without understanding that, it will be more difficult to come up with effective strategies that could work with the majority/in the short term - than address the minority/long-term challenges in the way you believe is sustainable. Building a healthy and well-performing team is not a one-day job, but as a leader, it is important to come in open-minded and enjoy the process.” — Kana Maniwa (C.O.O, Bloomberg, London). 2. Key Element/Approach of a Good Strategy. The following essential components can help shape your well-being strategy for the workplace: Creating a Culture of Well-Being: By incorporating well-being into the organization's values and mission, leaders should work to foster a culture of well-being. Employee involvement in well-being projects should be encouraged through regular communication, feedback, and participation. Resources and Tools: Offering employees access to resources and tools that promote their well-being can include flexible work schedules, opportunities for physical activity, and access to mental health support. Measurements and Evaluation: Setting metrics and gauging the success of well-being projects can assist leaders in pinpointing areas that need improvement and guiding their decisions with data. Kana Maniwa wrote ”Be pragmatic when creating a strategy - use the most recent dataset both quantitative and qualitative (even though quantitative data of employee wellbeing is very difficult to get), have a practical guideline on how to handle certain situations, and make sure to have enough feedback channels during the implementation phase to allow constructive feedback to be sent through. For example, an aspect of employee well-being strategy includes cultural inclusivity at the workplace. Let's say some of your team members are practicing Ramadan leading up to Eid, and informing the rest of the team to "be mindful about eating lunch at your desk" isn't good enough. They need to communicate why and how they should respect and support their employees' cultural practices. Practically, if people aren't suggested to eat lunch at their desks - do we have alternative areas that both parties could utilize (rather than asking them to step out of the office all the time)? 3. Why Employees Struggle to Engage with Workplace Well-being Initiatives "Most workplace wellbeing initiatives aren't always preventive/preemptive in application and communication, meaning employees don't often spend time going through company benefits or HR libraries until they are in the need of support. Even recently, I didn't know what kind of cancer screening support was in place through the Employee Support team at work - I found out because I was speaking with my colleague who used the service recently. The vast amount of information available on such "Employee Benefit & Information Sharing Page" is not often digestible, and people don't spend enough time reviewing it. This also is a wider conversation for companies to have when it comes to being more creative and increasing awareness. - Is there any internal activation event we could do to increase awareness for new guidelines being released? - Are we being considerate enough in communication and arrangement of that - small things we could do like doing something related to their dependents/children's benefits, doing this event first thing in the morning or last thing on the day makes no sense as those most eligible employees might be on duty for school pick-ups. I strongly think many things help eliminate the first struggle around information accessibility - without solving this, we won't make further progress with employee engagement. - Kana Maniwa (C.O.O, Bloomberg, London). Workplace well-being strategy should engage employees and leaders across your organization. This can include helping leaders nurture a well-being culture, engaging employees in well-being initiatives, making accessible the resources and tools that you offer, and assessing the effectiveness of initiatives. Leaders can create a workplace culture that supports employee well-being and ultimately leads to increased productivity and job satisfaction by understanding the challenges of employee well-being, implementing key elements of a good strategy, and addressing reasons why employees struggle to engage. Join us at our next meetup, a workshop to help put together a view of what your strategy might look like.
- Creating a Workplace that Works for Women: Tips for Leaders
We don’t need another business case on why workplaces should be made more inclusive for women. I believe we are all on board with this. The challenge many of us face is we don’t know exactly how they can be more inclusive, or for the areas that are glaringly obvious where to start. Workplaces are not always inclusive for women because of a variety of factors, including implicit bias, discrimination, lack of mentorship and sponsorship, and a lack of flexible working arrangements. Additionally, the lack of representation of women in leadership roles can make it difficult for women to envision themselves in such positions and create a culture that is not welcoming to women. Stereotypes and societal expectations can also play a role in creating an environment that is not inclusive for women. Some studies found that women are often seen as less competent, less committed or less suitable for promotions, and even if they do get promotions they face more negative stereotypes. Gender pay gap also exists in many workplaces and can make it difficult for women to progress in their careers. Actions you take to improve your workplace are not just for the benefit of women, but also for the overall success and productivity of your organisation. Providing a supportive and inclusive environment for women can attract and retain talented employees, as well as promote creativity and diversity of ideas. Here are some tips to creating more inclusive work environments "Don't think about making women fit the world — think about making the world fit women” Gloria Steinem Offering Flexible Working Hours Flexible working hours are a highly praised perk that everyone enjoys. It is especially impactful for women who are pregnant or have young children. This can include options such as flexible hours, remote working, and job-sharing. Flexible working hours can increase productivity and job satisfaction while also decreasing the likelihood that women will have to leave the workforce. Create a more inclusive work environments Often not enough thought goes into the physical space we occupy at work, yet this has a big impact on how we work. Having spaces to rest at work benefits all staff and your overall productivity, but it is especially beneficial for women going through maternity, menopause or period pain. This can make a huge difference in their work experience. Feeling like the only way to manage menopause, maternity or period pain symptoms is to work from home when you want to be in the office is frustrating. Having rest spaces allows them to take the time they need to rest and manage their symptoms without having to sacrifice their career or their health. According to the National Women's Law Center, approximately 18% of women in the workforce are pregnant at any given time, and many more are experiencing menopause or period pain. Menopause research is finding exclusive work environments are making it hard for women to manage their symptoms, resulting in a large number of talented women leaving the workforce, which can negatively impact on the economy and society as a whole. Design your working practices and policies to be inclusive Clearly setting the standard and expectation that you are a workplace that promotes inclusive culture is important. There are a number of ways you can do this such as reviewing your compensation policies and ensuring they are fair and based on qualifications, performance and experience. Another way is encouraging and supporting employee-led groups to promote diversity and inclusion. You can also try actively increasing the representation of women in leadership: Organisations should strive to have a more diverse workforce, including women in leadership roles. Having women in leadership positions can help to change the culture of the organisation to be more inclusive. Often our hiring practices and job descriptions get the same results because we keep doing the same thing. There isn’t a lack of capable women to lead. Organisations should look at what they can do to attract them. A good starting place is to question your job descriptions with scrutiny. Are you unknowingly excluding amazing candidates? Do you really need 10 years experience in a particular domain for that leadership role, or is someone with experience leading people more valuable? Does the role really need to be full time? What can they bring to the organisation if they come from a completely different industry? This list is not exhaustive, but it can serve as a starting point for making your workplace more inclusive. Keep in mind that inclusion is an ongoing process, and it's important to continuously assess and improve the policies and practices you have.
- 2022: That's a Wrap!
This year has been an exciting year for Rest Space. We launched our new product, the Rest Space Everest with a stacking option. It was exciting to share this and have some key and vital transport and healthcare professionals test it out. We are glad to announce that in May 2022 we delivered four Rest Spaces to Transport for London for their bus driver safety and wellness initiative. It is great to see the bus drivers utilising the Rest Spaces ensuring that you have a safe and enjoyable journey. In September 2022, Platinum Business Magazine invited our founders, Kate and Supa to talk about Rest Space’s journey, you can read it here on their website. In November 2021, GEN UK our COO and co-founder Supa was invited to talk in a panel session on Effective Allyship in Business. And our CEO and co-founder Kate was interviewed by the BBC World Services mini documentary series looking at Napping on the job. Finally to close off our 2022, we recently delivered a Rest Space to King’s College Hospital Doctor Mess. We hope the healthcare workers are able to rest during these busy times. Next year we look forward to helping more of our key workers improve health, safety and wellbeing by providing adequate rest facilities and education to improve sleep. We will be looking for professional service companies to work with to improve well-being as more staff return to the office. Special Announcement! Coming next year, we will be starting an in-person workplace wellbeing community here in London, click here to stay updated! From everyone at Rest Space, we’d like to say thank you for your continued loyalty and faith in us. Put your feet up, take some naps and have a well-deserved rest this festive period and let every day of the holiday season be filled with joy. Best wishes for 2023, Kate, Supa and the Rest Space team
- How to Shift Your Company’s Culture Towards Employee Well-being
In the past few years, especially following Covid-19, a significant surge of companies focusing on employee health and well-being has occurred. For many, the pandemic negatively impacted people, placing their well-being in the workforce in jeopardy. With this in mind, employers are trying to find ways to support their employees as best as possible. The impact of ignoring employee well-being goes beyond just productivity, and “to build a more resilient workforce and rebuild the economy [...], employers should prioritize well-being, which is the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy”. Discard the Blame the Worker Approach Before this shift, most companies approached issues with employees through the blame-the-worker approach or trying to identify quick fixes for big problems. It is much easier for companies to place the entire responsibility of finding a solution on the employee. But, this mindset is outdated. There are no quick fixes to mental health that result in lasting change and personal growth for employers. The progression of an individual's mental health is not linear, and treating the process as such will not nurture employee well-being. Research suggests that employers should approach lessening emotional and mental health issues amongst employees in the same manner a business typically addresses physical safety hazards. To properly support one's colleagues, getting to the root or cause of the problem is crucial when looking for long-term solutions. Now more than ever, employee well-being impacts the entire organisation, and change begins at the top. Managers and team leaders can play a significant role in their employees' rest and stress habits by addressing and reinventing a company's culture to focus on well-being. Supportive behaviours should begin with the top leadership as they can eliminate workplace conditions that negatively contribute to workplace well-being. If these poor practices can get replaced with safer ones, companies can begin to redesign the work environment to prioritise health, safety, and well-being. Ways to Promote Employee Well-Being So what factors play a significant role in employee well-being? #1. Decreasing the demands of work #2. Increasing employee control over where, how, and when they work #3. Improving social support Work demands can look different within each company or department. But, as a general caution, creating reasonable time, mental, and emotional requests for employees is crucial. Rather than getting more work done, long work hours and intensive time pressures result in employees becoming burnt-out or less productive as the day progresses. With the new option of working at home, implementing a hybrid workweek represents another strategy to increase productivity and well-being. Many companies aim to get everyone back in the office, but this presents more of a challenge than expected. Developing a flexible work schedule that benefits the employee and the company can significantly change overall productivity and well-being in the workplace. Allowing employees more leniency to generate their work schedule allows employees to feel more freedom and less time pressure when completing tasks. Lastly, social support is crucial. Solely implementing and promoting employee well-being is not enough. Acting on well-being initiatives is necessary. Creating a healthier work environment only goes so far if no one practices it. For example, supporting better sleep for employees and sending late-night emails do not add up. By talking positively about sleep and mentioning napping, managers can also work to make hours more flexible and introduce places to rest into the workplace to really promote the new healthy living initiative. How Does This Shift Help? By implementing these objectives, company culture can change dramatically. The addition of development and training programs into a business can improve people’s ability to communicate, problem solve, present, and resolve conflict. By discussing well-being openly and positively, along with taking action to do so, the culture that places work above personal needs disappears. This mentality empowers people in the workplace to take care of themselves, allowing them to be at their best for others. If employees feel appreciated and cared for and experience less absenteeism, productivity can skyrocket, and overall performance increases. Why Rest Space? So how does Rest Space fit into all of this? Our goal is to destigmatise napping in the workplace by altering the language used to reflect more positively. Rest Space wants to demonstrate that napping and getting good sleep can benefit everyone through education and awareness, which starts in the office. A Rest Space sleep pods can contribute to this shift in company culture by granting employees easy access to a location to rest and recharge. Go to our website restspaceldn.com to read more about the benefits of napping and how our nap pods can fit into your workspace.
- Napping in the office: How companies are changing corporate sleep culture
There has recently been a shift in the way corporate leaders have begun to look at the idea of nap breaks in the office. Back-to-office mandates are now ensuring that employees show up for workdays in the office, but many people are dreading the long hours at the desk. With the emergence of stay-at-home work, many employees were able to put a greater focus on well-being and sleep, but this shift back to in-person work causes worries about how sleep will be prioritized. The culture of tirelessly working through the day and constantly running to the coffee machine has been the norm amongst corporate offices for years, but recently companies have begun to reassess this idea. Many of the most successful business leaders now realize the benefits of nap breaks, and as a result sleep prioritization is becoming widely accepted in corporate cultures. A National Sleep Foundation survey found that the average adult is only getting 6 hours and 49 minutes of sleep a night. This is simply not enough sleep for the normal worker to be continually productive during the day. It was estimated in 1942 that the average adult was sleeping around 8 hours a night. There has been quite a change in the way our society values sleep. With the rise of “nose to the grindstone” corporate cultures and the fast-paced environments that many of us live in, there is a real sleep deprivation problem that has created great health risks. This problem is not only affecting people at an individual health level but is also causing economic shifts on a global scale. The impact that lack of sleep has on a developed nation equates to a loss of 2% in GDP. While this number may seem small, the value of a 2% drop in GDP in the UK would equate to roughly £40 billion. This is a large financial loss, and recently many company leaders have found that investing in employee well-being and productivity can lead to greater economic growth. To fix this sleep deprivation issue, many companies have begun implementing tactics to encourage employees to prioritize sleep and well-being at work. Here are some examples of companies who have recently taken steps towards fixing the sleep problem: Nike Nike has invested a great amount of money in sleeping rooms at their headquarters in Portland, Oregon. They have also asked employees to fill out a schedule regarding when they typically feel the need for naps throughout the day. The company has realized that not everyone runs on the same schedule, and even allowed employees to set their hours based on whether they feel more productive in the morning versus the night. When asked about these new corporate practices, Nike CEO Mike Parker stated, “Most of us are out of balance, and that’s OK, but you need to keep your eye on overall equilibrium to be successful.” This focus on sleep balance has been instrumental in Nike’s continued success and they are beginning to communicate more with athletes on the benefits of sleep. Hootsuite The tech company that has become one of the biggest social media marketing agencies is now putting a great focus on the idea of sleep wellness in its offices. At the company’s Vancouver headquarters they have “sleep cabins” which promote the idea of quick 10-30 minute naps during the day. With the competitiveness of the tech industry, many employees are often working late hours, which eats into the amount of time they dedicate toward sleep. The CEO of Hootsuite, Ryan Holmes, realized this theme and is now very vocal about the change that needs to happen in what he calls a “workaholic” culture in the tech industry. He stated on Linkedin, “In your job, from time to time, you can sprint, but long-term success depends on maintaining a marathoner’s steady gait.” This idea of long-term success through sleep was something that pushed Holmes to ensure sleep areas were available to all his employees. As a result, Hootsuite has seen a great number of employees respond positively to this idea and has pushed a wave of other tech companies to follow suit. Google Google has also created spaces for an employee to relax or take naps during the workday, and almost all of their offices integrate state-of-the-art sleep pods. Many different senior executives have pushed their teams to use well-being apps that promote keeping track of sleep schedules, and this heightened awareness of sleep importance has moved Google to take on their own projects focused on curing sleep deprivation. Google has invested in sleep-tracking software and hopes this will change the way society values sleep. The issue lies in how consumers react to these products. Google found that 38% of consumers don’t use a sleep tracking app because they forget to use it or the wearable features are uncomfortable. The hope is that in the future the products will be effortless, and the stigma surrounding sleep importance will be diminished as more companies like Google put sleep at the forefront. While those are just a few examples of companies that are innovating sleep culture, there are still many that struggle to break the workday napping stigma. A Harvard study found that 51% of the workforce claimed they felt sleepiness on the job interfered with the volume and quality of work they could achieve in a workday. Yet, as a National Library of Medicine study found, a quick nap not only improves productivity but also creative power and mood throughout the day. It also has tremendous health benefits, as that same study found that taking a midday nap an average of 3 times a week created an inverse correlation in coronary mortality risk. A New Corporate Sleep Culture If individual companies implement these napping practices, it will create more excitement amongst employees in returning to the office, and those employees will feel they can better contribute to different projects. When employee morale is low during the day, encouraging a quick rest through sleep pod implementation can boost the mood of the office, and in the end, work more towards achieving company goals. Hopefully, with this new emergence of sleep acceptance in the corporate sphere, there will be more companies that pursue sleep prioritization. As many companies have already seen, breaking the stigma surrounding naps during the workday, and implementing a space to catch up on sleep can be the key to increasing overall productivity. Rest Space offers a unique solution to this corporate sleep deprivation problem. For inquiries about Rest Space’s high-quality sleep pod products, please follow this link.