According to a recent survey, over 595,000 workers suffered from work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2017/18, and as a result 15.4 million working days were lost. The total annual economic cost of sickness, absence and worklessness in the UK is estimated to be over £100 billion per annum- a sum greater than the current annual budget for the NHS.
These alarming statistics demonstrate the need for change – which is why more and more organisations are seriously considering implementing strategies to improve wellbeing in the workplace.
At Where Workplace Works, we are enabling our clients to address the wellbeing of their staff, by working in partnership with a wellbeing expert, accredited health practitioner, dietitian/nutritionist, award winning international speaker and author, Celynn Morin.
Celynn has specialised in workplace wellbeing for almost two decades, providing workforces with insightful, inspiring and easy to implement steps to improve and sustain healthier living. In this blog, we ask Celynn about the growing need for workplace wellbeing and the many benefits her services offer…
Q. Why is
there an increasing need for wellbeing in the workplace?
“Mental health issues have become the single biggest cause
of long-term sick leave, and one of the main reasons for this is that there has
been an evident change in our pace of life. This is largely due to the huge
advances in technology and a general shift in our culture, as people are no
longer ‘switching off’.
Most people stay constantly connected, whether it’s through emails
from their clients and colleagues, looking at the news, social media or
messages- so we are forever tuned in. This ‘always on’ culture, means many of
us struggle to manage the impact of stress, our quality of sleep and rest is
impacted, our diet is poorer, and our exercise is reduced, therefore we simply
aren’t performing at our best. Quite frankly, the one- or two-weeks holiday we
allow ourselves to recover each year, just isn’t enough.
Also, earlier this year, the World Heath Organisation declared that burnout is to be classified as a chronic condition, which indicates that there is a great need globally, to address workplace wellbeing and the management of our working lifestyles, so the need continues to grow.”
do your services involve?
“There are four general dimensions of wellbeing: emotional,
physical, mental and spiritual. I begin by focusing on a foundation based
around the physical element- therefore I improve how individuals eat, exercise,
sleep, rest and manage their thoughts and emotions.
The reason for this is that I believe that the physical
element of wellbeing is the foundation for the other three elements.
Reinforcing the physical groundwork makes it easier to manage the emotional,
mental and spiritual aspects of wellbeing. It’s hard to manage mental and
emotional wellbeing if you don’t rest and are sleep deprived, don’t eat well
and feel sluggish, or don’t get exercise- especially given that exercise is one
of the best ways to mange stress and enhance your mental outlook.
“I am also an accredited HeartMath coach- so I am able to teach people how to support heart coherence and a calmer body and mind through practical techniques such as heart focused breathing. This minimises the impact of stress, supports clearer thinking and builds resilience.
“Although there is a lot of science and theory when it comes to wellbeing, my approach is generally very practical. I often reinforce what people may already know, for example- I often repeat the phrase, ‘common knowledge is not common practice’. If we were all able to put what we know into practice we would all be slimmer, healthier, happier and wealthier! A lot of people already know what is required to improve their wellbeing- but the big question is, how can they change their behaviour? How can they create positive habits that stick- not just for a week or two- (any one can do that)- but for years -or better still, the rest of their lives?
“My approach is about making practical steps and encouraging small changes to set individuals up for success rather than failure. I use the current evidence of behavioural science to do this. Rather than going from ‘zero to hero’ in a small amount of time – I encourage individuals to create sustainable changes through techniques and ideas they can practice immediately and with ease as well as some pleasure.”
there a particular sector or size of business you prefer to work with?
“If I’m honest, there are very few if any, sectors that aren’t
affected by stress or a need for improved wellbeing, so I am able to work with
any organisation across most areas. Most recently, I have been working with
senior leaders and managers, as I believe if I can reach one leader who has a
team of 10, or 100 or 1000, we can create huge shifts using the leader’s impact
“The workplace is an environment where many of us spend a third, or more of our lives and is one of the leading causes for stress and mental health issues and is contributing to the rise that we’re seeing in diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. Not nearly enough businesses look at their people as their most important asset and even fewer take their employees’ wellbeing seriously. Many complete a tick-box exercise and say, “Oh yes, we give fruit out on a Friday,” but there’s no integrated wellbeing programme and follow-through, or proper interventions that become embedded as part of the culture. When organisations do take this seriously, and do it well, we see a great return. This can be measured in increased engagement and reduced absenteeism and presenteeism as well as reduced overall healthcare or error costs.
“Businesses are beginning to recognise the fact that wellbeing drives engagement –and if employees are engaged, productivity rises. Wellbeing also helps attract and retain talent!
“In terms of size of business, again there really isn’t a limit I work with, I have worked with small teams of less than 20 as well as large global multinationals. I am hoping to work with more SMEs in the near future as these are the businesses that generally do not have an independent HR team or wellbeing champion in place and are in greater need of outsourcing such services.“
Q. How do
your sessions work
“I usually recommend a group session of a minimum of 90
minutes and then a one-hour session follow up within two months to assess
progress, to see what’s going well, what individuals need to adjust, and where
help is needed. I have several topics including a signature workshop called
“Performance Chemistry” which uses the “Wellculator” framework. This session is
informative, engaging and interactive. It leaves all participants with at least
one immediate action step that they can do differently. However, the way I work
can vary according to each organisation’s needs. One client I have asks me to
create content in their internal newsletter on a monthly basis to remind teams
of their requirements and targets. Another client I provide online
presentations for, so I can communicate with staff to keep them engaged and
involved in the changes they are trying to make no matter where they are placed
“I am also able to create one-year (or longer) programmes, that involve engaging presentations, health screenings, mental health questionnaires, wellbeing mentoring, leadership masterclasses and so on. This is generally done alongside other expert coaches and dieticians and we can measure changes and progress. These provide amazing results and really clearly demonstrate the benefits of wellbeing.”
If you would like
to find out more about Celynn’s wellbeing services, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
+44 (0)20 7117 2646
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