Wellbeing in the workplace should be a top priority for businesses and it’s really important that companies create wellbeing strategies that reflect the basic health and happiness needs of their staff.

Petra O'Shea

Head of Sales

27th Sep 2016

It’s very easy to get carried away with focusing on the creation of a ‘cool’ office environment, rather than addressing the actual issues at hand. At Morgan Lovell, we encourage our clients to incorporate wellbeing into their office design, but more and more we are practising what we preach closer to home.

In our recent survey on office relocation, the results showed that the top three requirements for a ‘great office environment’ included ‘company culture’, ‘the latest technology’, and lastly, ‘good coffee or free fruit’. This just goes to show that sometimes it’s the simpler changes which can mean the most to staff. A slide might be great in theory, but in practice, will it actually make a difference to your employees’ day to day work life?

Recently, two of our staff members were diagnosed with minor heart complaints. This spurred the team to look at how we can better promote healthier lifestyles for all. Regular exercise has been proven to prevent heart disease, so we looked at the importance of movement and how we could better encourage this within our working environment.

A number of public bodies across the globe recommend walking 10,000 steps per day, or 5 miles. As a result, in an effort to encourage physical activity, we recently implemented a simple initiative at Morgan Lovell’s southern office giving out FitBit fitness trackers to our employees. It’s a wireless-enabled activity tracker that can monitor the number of steps walked, heart rate, quality of sleep, steps climbed, as well as a number of other personal metrics. This works alongside a FitBit app, where everyone’s data is uploaded so that they can keep on top of their individual fitness levels.

It wasn't long before this became somewhat of a competition, with each member of staff monitoring their progress. By introducing something that everyone could easily get involved in and monitor on their work smartphones, we have been able to discreetly shift the overall attitude towards a healthier and less sedentary lifestyle.

Since December 2015, the Morgan Lovell southern team has walked 15,495 miles. This is equivalent to walking the length of England’s coastline three times or walking to John O’Groats on Britain’s north-eastern tip from Land’s End in Cornwall, and back, nine times. As a team, we have burned almost 1,000,000 calories by moving more and supporting each other to do so.

It’s been a great success and it’s also created a really positive work environment. The competitive element not only makes for a bit of fun around the office, but it boosts movement and overall awareness of health and fitness. Now, in our kitchen, there is almost always a queue at lunchtime for the office Nutribullet. Not only is this great for Morgan Lovell, but it’s something we can share with our clients.

Finding a way to encourage movement isn't necessarily ground breaking and everyone knows that exercise is beneficial for all. However, by giving our employees the tools to be a bit more physically active, without introducing a major change, we've updated our wellbeing strategy to be even more efficient. It’s worked for us and there’s no reason why we can’t share that information to support our clients’ needs as well. Sometimes a well-thought-out, yet smaller, change can make the biggest impact.