WM Reply has recently launched its first ‘Wellness Week’ to promote employee health and wellbeing in the workplace.
WM Reply, which specialises in building world-class intranets and business systems using Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365, used the ‘Wellness Week’ to encourage each of their employees to live healthily and focus on feeling good.
The dedicated healthy week involved a range of activities and initiatives, from team push-ups at 2pm to internal contests on who can accumulate the most steps across the five days, as well as encouraging staff to explore mindfulness and meditation in their working day. Winners of the light-hearted competitions won from a selection of fitness and wellbeing products, such as running trainers and fitness trackers. As part of the initiative WM Reply also supplied ‘gift drops’ to all employees in both their Chester and London offices, including sports water bottles and fruit baskets.
Richard Acreman, partner at WM Reply, thinks the week is a positive step for his company and one that could be recreated in other businesses seeking to improve their own workplace environments.
Richard said, “The WM Reply Wellness Week is not just about eating healthy food and getting exercise; it’s also about engaging and investing in our employees and enhancing our workplace culture."
While the week was designed to be a positive move, WM Reply were also keen to ensure they did not impose any lifestyle changes on their employees, or become ‘preachy’ about health and wellbeing. This thinking was behind limiting the duration of the initiative.
While officially it only lasted a week, the company collected feedback from each of their employees over what they enjoyed and found most valuable. With an employee average of just under 35,000 steps and over 80% of staff happily taking part in the push-up challenge, it is likely some of the ideas and ethos will been kept on a longer-term, employee-led basis, and may well become a key part of the company culture.
Richard said: “Our vision was always that many of the ideas introduced will continue to be used long after the Wellness Week is over, but only if it is really what our team wants. We hope this week might also inspire other businesses to take similar steps and improve the wellbeing of the sector on a wider scale.”
The business benefits of promoting employee wellbeing are relatively well known, and include increased productivity, fewer sick days taken and a lower staff turnover as individuals feel valued and cared for. With the World Health Organisation identifying inactivity as the fourth biggest killer on the planet, there are also clear health benefits for individuals who traditionally would spend the majority of the day sitting in front of a computer screen.
More importantly for Richard, his staff will be healthier and happier, something he says you cannot put a price on.
He said: “There is a reason this isn’t ‘Get Fit Week’ or something similar. For us it’s not about losing weight or simply exercising more. We want to create a work culture where everyone who works at WM Reply feels valued, appreciated and looks forward to coming to work every day.”