Imagine this.

shutterstock_115660729 (1)Your workday starts with dynamic stretching with the editor of Men’s Running Magazine, followed by a 5k run with 20 of your colleagues, including the CEO. It’s a beautiful, bright crisp morning and you get back to the office feeling energised and ready for the day.

After a quick shower, you’re meeting and browsing a community of suppliers and practitioners who have created a buzzing wellbeing marketplace of services in the foyer, where you can sip green smoothies; cycle whilst preparing one if you chose to; have a shoulder massage and all kinds of other activities designed to boost your physical and emotional wellbeing.

And it doesn’t end there. You’re then in the AV theatre listening to life-changing information on how to eat well; sleep well; build your resilience and discover a physical activity that you love and can turn into a regular habit in your life!

After that, you’re learning about mindfulness in the video room whilst waiting for your appointments to have your blood glucose levels tested and get your skin checked for skin cancer which is something you’ve been meaning to do for a while…

Later that morning, you’re pleased to see some roaming masseurs in the office who help relieve the tension in your shoulders…

After lunch, it’s zumba time, then pilates time before having some reflexology, preparing yourself for singing in the Karaoke hour!

Whilst this may sound like a dream workday, this was my my day on Thursday when we ran a wellbeing fair at RBI, the global information company where i am Marketing Director and have been championing a wellbeing agenda to my colleagues since January.

The vision really turned into a reality on Thursday. It was an ambitious plan, but with the right team and focus, we managed to pull it off and create an experience that connected and engaged with many employees within the office as well as overseas who were able to watch the talks through life streaming.

Wellbeing_LegsFor RBI, it’s very much the start of the wellbeing journey and we have lots of other initiatives planned to build on the momentum created by the wellbeing fair.

Workplaces, particularly corporates, can be terribly sick places, full of overworked, overmedicated people who eat sandwiches at their desks; drink coffee and sugary snacks to boost their short-term energy and feel generally depleted by the end of the day, turning to alcohol and other stimulants. I am not saying this to criticise, honestly. I am saying this because I understand how easy it can be to get into negative patterns and cycles that become the norm.

I also understand, through my own journey, that it is possible to change and sustain that change with the right guidance and support. The mountain may seem huge to climb from the ground, so the sooner you start climbing the quicker you’ll reach the top!

Businesses can’t tell their employees how to live their lives; but they can influence and make it easier for employees to form healthy communities and adopt healthy habits.

For instance, providing free fruit for example, makes it easy for people to eat fruit; offering onsite reflexology or Indian head massages makes it easy for people to get some opportunity to stop and relax.

Fortunately today, there are increasing examples of enlightened companies who are providing these types of services helping to halt the chronic sickness trends that dominate our headlines; inspired by more and more data that is confirming finally what we already knew: people who feel good are going to perform better which is going to be good for business!

Finally, I do want to say a big thank you to the team of volunteers and Kamwell who worked with me to create a memorable and impactful wellbeing fair for RBI employees.

Here’s a video memory of the day:

And finally, here are just some of the comments we received from the 1k plus people who attended or engaged in some way:

“It was a fantastic day which really brought the business together in the name of wellbeing!”

“The Wellbeing Fair was absolutely fantastic. I left feeling uplifted and with more confidence about how to improve both my mental and physical health, and had far more energy to do my job!’

“I mostly enjoyed the fact that the company took the time out to show they care about their employees and their well being. I enjoyed every aspect of the day and left work that day feeling well informed about what I should be doing to take care of myself.”

“The whole day was a great success. Everyone enjoyed all activities and the atmosphere around the building was fantastic”

“It was a great day, very well organised and I am so grateful that RBI cares about its people enough to make something like this happen. The company spends so much on alcohol, it’s good to invest in other things and set an example”

“Thank you, what a great Company to work for!”

“There was a real buzz around the building, people talking to strangers in a much more open way than normally.”

”Wonderful how it brought the whole company together, wellbeing is something we can all relate to and there was something for everyone to get involved in which was really good.”

“Something different and positive (and ambitious) taking place at RBI’

‘Fantastic positive atmosphere”

‘That RBI had dedicated a day to the wellbeing of its employees, the fair was run with gusto. I also loved taking part in the Zumba class, and couldn’t believe halfway through it that I was at work!”

“The health check was excellent as it highlighted some health issues I have which I am now doing something about.”

“Offering MOT, health checks, perfect – don’t always have time to go to doctors as not able to get evening appointments! Massage lovely – didn’t know we got discount at Rush Beauty”

“I attended the mindfulness workshop and the talk on sleep – both had practical advice that can easily be followed. It was good to see such a high profile for the day, it looks like this is something that is being taken seriously rather than given lip service.”

”So convenient being able to get quick and easy health advice within the workplace, thank you RBI! More of this please!”

“Learning about the importance of a holistic view of health and seeing lots of people discovering that as well”

“I attended one of the talks about activity in the work place which was really interesting and as a result I have made small changes to my daily routine in line with the advice given.”

“Excellent idea that should carry on”