Review of The First Workplace Wellness Ireland Meet Up

Review of The First Workplace Wellness Ireland Meet Up

On Tuesday September 4th we held the inaugural meet up of the Workplace Wellness Ireland community at the Bank of Ireland in Grand Canal Square in Dublin. I was blown away by the attendance and by the positive feedback following the event. The atmosphere and energy in the room was something I had hoped for so it was extremely pleasing to see my expectations not only met but exceeded on the night. Thanks to everyone that came along and contributed to the positivity.

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Why Is Wellness So Important?

Why Is Wellness So Important?

An overview of Irish demographics tells us that the average age of Ireland’s population will increase significantly over the next 20 years (by as much as 85%). It is projected to be the fastest increase in Europe. Add to this the projected upturn of 40% in the incidence of chronic disease between 2007 and 2020 (cancer is now categorised as a chronic disease). This will result in increasing healthcare costs and significant impacts not just on the healthcare systems but also for our health in general.

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Workplace Wellness Ireland

Workplace Wellness Ireland

Health promotion in the workplace has come a long way in Ireland in recent years. The vast majority of employers that I work with now appreciate the fact that a yoga class and a lunch and learn here and there does not constitute a wellness programme.

The reason why organisations introduce wellness initiatives is slowly changing too. Historically the end goal was simply to save money; to minimise absenteeism rates and to reduce health insurance premiums. Cost benefit is still a factor for many and a properly executed wellness programme WILL deliver long term savings but I don’t believe this is the main driver any more.

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Workplace Wellbeing Certification - The KeepWell Mark

Workplace Wellbeing Certification - The KeepWell Mark

It’s an exciting time for workplace health promotion in Ireland. Businesses are coming around to the fact that healthy workers are happier and more productive. This trend has not gone unnoticed by a number of organisations. Ibec, the business and employer association, launched a national workplace wellbeing accreditation called the “KeepWell Mark” late in 2017. Later this month the team behind Great Place to Work are launching a new programme called “Healthy Place to Work” and the government body Healthy Ireland are working on a project called the “Healthy Workplace Initiative”. So within a 12 month period it looks likely that we will have gone from no recognised certifications to three separate bodies offering an award for workplaces with a real heath focus in Ireland.

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Radio Interview - Health and Wellness in the Workplace

Radio Interview - Health and Wellness in the Workplace

It was a real pleasure to chat with Mary Mullins from the In Business show on Radio Kerry during the week. We spoke about the role employees and employers have to play in making workplaces healthy places to spend time in, we discussed the recommended physical activity guidelines for healthy adults and we even had time to consider what the office of the future might look like with Fitbit's Dublin offices providing the inspiration for that.

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The 5 Building Blocks for a Healthy Day at Work

The 5 Building Blocks for a Healthy Day at Work

It’s important to lay a solid foundation to give yourself every chance of having a healthy and a productive day at work. There will always be factors that impact our day that are outside of our control. How we deal with these unplanned issues and events is important and the more prepared we are the better chance we have of hurdling them successfully without allowing them to negatively impact our day.

There are 5 areas that are fully within our control that I always try to stay on top of. They are the building blocks of my day and lay the foundations for my most productive days at work.

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4 Alternative Employee Benefit Ideas

4 Alternative Employee Benefit Ideas

Working in an office can be hard work and can be hard on your body. Sitting in front of computer screens for the majority of a 40-hour workweek can cause health problems of many varieties if these problems aren’t in some way mitigated. The good news is there are plenty of things that employees can do for themselves in their offices to head off some of the common health risks, some off their own initiative and some at the suggestion or urging of management. Health insurance benefits on the other hand can be a catch-all for employee health risks at the office, giving employees a way to handle issues as they arise.

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Workplace Wellbeing Day is this Friday

Workplace Wellbeing Day is this Friday

The big day is almost here. Ireland's Workplace Wellbeing Day takes place this Friday, April 13th 2018. The great news is that you can still register totally free of charge. Check out my article here to find out all the details including how to register.

I've been receiving so much feedback and questions on Wellbeing Day this year. It's wonderful to see such an interest in this from Irish businesses. I don't think there can be any doubt that employers are switching on to the fact that supporting the health and wellness of their employees is beneficial for everyone involved.

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Wellness, Built In

Wellness, Built In

In 2001 three groups of the so-called ‘Satanic Mills’ described in Blake’s poem Jerusalem were designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I’m no poet and I don’t claim to understand it fully, but the meaning of the poem is patently multi-layered, and becomes more opaque the deeper one delves.  On a literal level though we can understand, at least intuitively, the scorn which Blake heaped upon these dismal places due in part to the dreadful working conditions. To Blake, these buildings represented the mechanisation of human beings and a cold, unfeeling disregard for our nature, and stood in stark contrast to ‘England’s green and pleasant land’.  He saw this, roughly speaking, as a kind of tyranny and since he was a fairly radical Christian, he associated tyranny with the figure of Satan. Some alternative symbolism could be used here depending on your own worldview, but the essential point remains.

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The Future of Work: Active Meetings

The Future of Work: Active Meetings

Meetings are the backbone of the working day for many professions. I can summarise the majority of the meetings I’ve attended as follows:

  • Short meetings
  • Long meetings
  • Productive meetings
  • Complete waste of my time meetings

What do all the above meetings have in common?

I was sitting on my backside for all of them. That is something I believe is worth changing.

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