Happy people form productive, profitable teams. That's why we have made wellbeing a big part of our business strategy.
Stress in the workplace is becoming a real issue for businesses of all sizes. An average of 11.7 million working days are lost each year due to stress-related absence, costing the British economy £6.5 billion in 2015/2016. Employee wellbeing is no longer a nice-to-have but should be an essential part of all business strategies.
It’s time for a shift in the workplace paradigm.
Working in a people industry, we’re switched on to the human side of business. We hire based on values and personality, placing them as equal to, and sometimes even more important than hard skills. This helps all new team members seamlessly fit into the Bozboz culture and ensures we’re all on the same page from the offset. Strong team dynamics are created within a supportive and nurturing community, which helps considerably when it starts hailing mega hard ice balls in your personal life.
So how exactly does a company built on the reverberating foundations of deep, dirty bass switch the focus to sunset salutations and jacket potato lunch stations?
Get that brain firing on all cylinders. This is especially important when you need to be creative, original, inspiring, innovative and disruptive at the drop of a client email - not too much to ask of the noggin, then!
To help everyone get into a good mindset and to encourage regular breaks from the glare of the computer screen, we hold weekly mindfulness and meditation classes and regularly host lunchtime learning sessions, aided by a healthy spread. We encourage everyone at Bozboz to give their suggestions for what they’d like to learn - it can be anything from the intricacies of Agile to the power of laughing yoga.
Stress can be triggered when you feel like you’re navigating life’s hailstorms alone and without an umbrella. As well as creating a culture of approachability and compassion, we have a subsidised wellbeing scheme, which gives us access to free counselling and therapy sessions.
Our scheme is through Westfield and also gives us money back on a variety of health services, including the dentist. Thus removing the stress of spending hard earned cash on inconsequential things like your teeth.
So it turns out, working in an office is legitimately bad for your health. According to a report from Business Insider, “...sitting all day could shave years off your life.” That’s no fun at all, so to combat the plight of the desk dweller, we encourage our teams to take regular breaks, have walking 121s (the glory of the beach on those days) and stretch every half an hour using a plugin called Workrave.
We also have yoga classes in our gallery space once a week and organise a variety of ‘culture club’ activities that encourage teams to bond while exercising. Particularly successful outings include laser tag, sports days and mini golf.
We can’t be good all the time. Letting off steam as a team in the pub is also good for stress management, and we try to do so at least once a week (usually on a Friday because...productivity!). We have a handy 20% discount at The Richmond for all Bozboz employees on all drinks every day of the week...there’s no way that’s going to end badly... so we often end our weeks over a beer and a laugh together.
And from the bottle to the heart - it’s important to encourage acceptance amongst team members and promote a culture of inclusivity. Part of the spirit of Bozboz is that we do things together. Be that big company decisions or beer runs, we shoulder the responsibility and encourage honest feedback, which managers actually listen and respond to.
Each week we have an end of week meeting where pairs from different teams come together to present a topic that means something to them. It doesn't have to relate to digital and is a great opportunity for us to get to know more about one another and to team up with people we may never have worked with before.
Work doesn’t have to be a chore and it certainly shouldn’t ever be something that destroys your health and wellbeing. This doesn’t mean businesses need to spend big on wellness incentives. In fact, businesses that prioritise employee wellbeing get far a higher return on investment.
The time has come to look beyond the beanbag and create company cultures that celebrate and support your people. Make employee wellbeing a central part of your business growth strategy and turn your teams into your biggest brand advocates.
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