Workplace Wellbeing

By George Anderson

George Anderson is a wellbeing coach, presenter and author.  He helps people get more out of their lives through making changes to their lifestyle, creating new habits, and changing their mindset to improve their relationship with themselves and others. For further information about George, visit his website:

George Anderson







Workplace wellbeing has become a corporate buzzword over the past couple of years but it runs the risk of becoming a box ticking exercise.

It’s true that there are links between a fitter and healthier workforce, increased levels of productivity and reduced sickness-related absence. But for it to be a real, meaningful success, the missing link is often a belief that it’s simply the right thing to do.

Many organisations quite rightly value their human resource as their greatest asset. Yet a disproportionately smaller number take the steps that are likely to make a real difference to their lives.

Workplace wellbeing is generally a combination of the big and the small. Large, outsourced programs designed to engage as many people as possible in healthy endeavours, and smaller, more consistent culture-centric strategies.

  • Company-wide discounted gym membership versus healthy options in the canteen
  • Wellbeing presentations versus more water fountains
  • Charity cycle rides versus ergonomic desk assessments

Both sets of strategies are valuable, though depending on the organisation a combination is usually most effective.

Unlike the military or emergency services, mandatory minimum fitness requirements are hard to impose. But positioning personal wellbeing as the smart choice for individual employees requires just two factors to be in place: opportunity and support.

The vast majority of people who struggle with staying in shape lay the blame at the door of time. Not enough time to go to the gym or for a run, plan healthy meals, eat away from the desk, take breaks for walks…

Remove as many of the barriers as possible and you give people the opportunity.

If the healthy options are on the canteen menu, there’s more chance of someone starting to take better care of their diet than if there isn’t.

Install a shower at work and more people might be encouraged to jog or cycle to work.

Provide more bowls of fruit, increase the number of water fountains and gradually add in healthy snacks like bags of nuts to the vending machine.

Provide choice and opportunity and make it easy for people to decide.

Support is where we move away from a box ticking exercise and actually begin to make a difference. Changing culture takes time, and it requires buy in from all levels of the organisation. Saying that you encourage employees to get fit is one thing, introducing a more flexible start or finish time to accommodate gym classes is another.

It’s not necessary to try and convert everybody into a spinach-munching gym bunny, but supporting those who decide to take make consciously healthy choices can accelerate the formation of more positive habits, and the spread throughout the organisation.

When Michael in Accounts is talking to Sheila in Marketing about the weight he has lost and energy he has gained just by making a few small changes to his lifestyle, ‘change’ suddenly becomes a viable proposition.

In summary, organisations can look at wellbeing as an opportunity to demonstrate how much they value their staff.  Investing in outsourced programs such as gym memberships, in-house lunchtime classes or wellbeing workshops can be augmented by more consistent messages of a healthy culture such as water fountains and free fruit.

By providing the opportunity to make healthier choices, and the support for those who choose to make them, an organisation stands a chance of making a real difference to the lives of those in its employ, both in and out of work.

Keep fit in the office

Over the last few years Britons have been rushing to gyms, diving into pools, running down leafy lanes and participating in dozens of other activities in an effort to keep fit. Yet it appears this invigorated surge in healthy workouts is being undone by poor posture and bad working habits the minute they walk into the office.

Only 29%* of UK workers place priority on taking good care of themselves, and hard-to-break habits such as spending too much time sat in one position, slouching over a laptop and being transfixed on technology screens are having a negative effect on workplace performance, productivity and overall wellbeing.

Fellowes 4 Zone Approach

So no matter how much effort we put in to keeping fit outside of the office, it’s imperative we keep fit within it by creating new working practices to break bad habits.

Start working well for life today by visiting

*Loudhouse Research (UK findings) commissioned by Fellowes, 2016

Look after your team, wherever work takes them

Working healthily whilst using communication technology is not just restricted to the office environment. Today, we work wherever work takes us, and find ourselves studying data, searching the internet, presenting proposals and keeping in touch in a wide range of places – from train carriages and airport lounges to coffee shops and hotel receptions.

Work better, feel better

But even though mobile workers are spending just as much time sat at a laptop as those who work at an office desk, only 46%* of them can recall ever having had a workstation risk assessment, whilst a staggering three quarters of all European businesses are unaware of their legal duty to ensure their employees are working healthily outside of the office as well as within it.

Stop the slouching today and start working well for life by visiting

*Arkenford Research 2014 commissioned by Fellowes

Take Fellowes 4 Zone Approach® to healthier working

It’s very easy to slip into bad working habits, but it’s equally easy to change them – and sometimes all it takes are a few small adjustments to ensure you’re working healthily, comfortably and productively.

To help reduce the risk of injury and make it easier for you to choose the right ergonomic solutions for you and the way you work, Fellowes has developed the 4 Zone Approach® to healthier working.

Fellowes 4 Zone Approach

In four simple stages you can identify the most common bad habits, the potential risks and the most effective solutions for workstation-related pain and injuries – wherever working is taking place.

Stop the slouching today and start working well for life by visiting

Working towards a more positive view of self?

By Kevin Tobin

In his work on ‘compassion focused therapy’ Paul Gilbert suggests that we have to train our minds to be less reactive to what the Buddha recognized as an onslaught of ‘primitive and powerful passions desires and emotions’. From these can emerge a pattern of behaviour that sometimes can be positive and sometimes can be about avoiding things and outcomes we feel and believe are negative and sometimes about seeking short term pleasures. He talks about the importance of developing insight using mindfulness which I wrote about in last year’s blogs, and the cultivation of compassion for self and others which can be what he calls a ‘major antidote to suffering…’  In the process of examining our own ability to be ‘working well for life’, the process of cultivation of (self)- compassion is a very important activity.

Kevin Tobin








One of the most important aspects of the survival of the human species has been, and still is, our ability to be ‘in relationship’ with others. It begins in our relationships with our parents/carers and continues at school and work too. However because sometimes we develop negative self-view through this growth process, our behaviours can be unhelpful or even destructive.

If I have a negative basic view of myself as ‘not good enough’. I may in my day to day behaviours act in ways that are detrimental to me in the long run. This could apply to ‘Bad Habit Betty’ or to ‘Laidback Lucas’ It could be that I feel a desperate need to appear in a certain way to others e.g. a need to appear very busy and for it to be noticed. Ultimately it will be connected to my need to be accepted, safe, and valued by others – to survive. However this could be seen by others as selfish, chaotic behavior (Laidback Lucas or Struggling Stella) which makes their lives harder. I may not really understand why others are behaving in ways that are almost the exact opposite of what I want to achieve.

‘Betari’s box’ could demonstrate to Laidback Lucas and others how ‘my attitude affects my behaviour, my behaviour affects your attitude, your attitude affects your behaviour and your behaviour affects my attitude’. So if my attitude to self is negative so will at least some of my behaviour be negative or unhelpful to my ability to ‘work well for life’ and will affect your ability to do the same. Confronting this could really help Laidback Lucas ‘work well for life’ more and to assist others to do the same.

Some of the most important aspects of building resilience are defining goals and taking positive action to move towards them each day, being able to take decisive actions, looking for opportunities for positive self-discovery, and being able to nurture a positive view of yourself. These are also important aspects of learning to work well for life. Becoming resilient needs you to become more aware and less defensive.

Being more self-compassionate helps you to be less defensive in recognising unhelpful or negative thinking patterns and take responsibility for changing them and the unhelpful behaviours that result from them. It will also help you develop more helpful self-care and ‘care of others’ behaviours and to work well for life for everyone involved. Perhaps ‘Healthy Hugo’ has moved a long way to achieving this.

Computer work is a pain. And that’s a fact!

A quarter of all British workers have taken time off work due to aches and pains; but if you’re thinking the problem is mainly restricted to manual workers, think again.

Ailments such as backache, neck ache and tense shoulders are most likely to strike staff who spend the majority of their working day sat in front of a screen. And with sufferers taking up 14 days off work per year, the problems make uncomfortable reading for businesses.

Fellowes 4 Zone Approach

By making a few simple adjustments on and around the workstation and ensuring regular breaks are taken to get a little exercise, employees will soon feel the benefits of working well for a healthier life.

Stop the slouching today and start working well for life by visiting

*Loudhouse Research (UK findings) commissioned by Fellowes, 2016

Who’s on Posture Patrol this morning?

Employees are more likely to raise concerns about their unhealthy working habits with a colleague than they are to report a problem to their boss. More alarmingly, 58% of them are suffering in silence and thereby running the risk of deterioration in their health, increased sick days and lower levels of productivity.

Work better, feel better

Almost three quarters of UK workers believe it would be useful to have wellbeing ambassadors championing good posture and other healthy habits in the workplace. By introducing a corporate posture patrol, employers can encourage and monitor a healthier way of working to keep employees better engaged, more motivated and happier in their work and personal life.

Fellowes, the ergonomic workstation specialists, can help you to introduce a highly effective Wellbeing Programme tailored to the needs of your staff.

Stop the slouching today and start working well for life by visiting

*Loudhouse Research (UK findings) commissioned by Fellowes, 2016

Prevention is better than cure

As the topic of Health & Wellbeing in the workplace gathers momentum, new research commissioned by ergonomic workstation specialists Fellowes reveals that an increasing number of office workers are turning to purpose-built products such as back supports and foot rests to relieve everyday aches and pains and prevent long-term injuries.

According to the research, over half of all desk-based workers in the UK are already using some sort of ergonomic support, with 72% of respondents believing the products are helping to keep them in good shape and thereby preventing workplace absenteeism. *

Work better, feel better

It also appears that workplace wellbeing is here to stay, with 90%* of people favouring long-term health and wellbeing programmes rather than short-term fixes, in order to future-proof an aging workforce.

Stop the slouching today and start working well for life by visiting

*Loudhouse Research (UK findings) commissioned by Fellowes, 2016

Working well for life

By Kevin Tobin

People are fascinating, unique individuals with their own ways of doing things. Reading the research about practices at work that impact on our health, and the character profiles, raises questions about what it is that causes how people differ in taking responsibility for keeping themselves and the whole work environment a place where all can ‘work well for life’.

Kevin Tobin








Our belief systems are powerful drivers of our behaviour. Your belief system contains beliefs about the self, other people, the world and the future. It affects how we feel emotionally and how we behave at work and in life generally. The deeper parts of our belief system – the core beliefs, are not usually in our conscious awareness on a moment to moment basis. We can explore it though and understand it and decide if we wish to change certain behaviours and beliefs, driving them so as to enable us to learn new healthier ways of living and working. This does not mean you have to go for therapy but you could use self- help books about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), self-esteem and positive thinking.

Our belief system and its connections to emotions and behaviours gives us a consistency and continuity and helps us make sense of the world and us in it. It can be generally positive or unhelpfully negative and perhaps the characters in the profiles could look at the aspects of their belief systems that mean they indulge in less healthy practices which undoubtedly mean that they are working under more pressure than they need to they would benefit from understanding why they seem unable or unwilling to ‘work well for life’. Negative self-related beliefs can be about not being ‘good enough’, ‘likeable, ‘worthwhile’ or being a ‘failure’. It could also be about how they see other people (including supervisors and managers) and both Betty, Stella and to an even greater extent Lucas will be behaving in their inconsistent and more chaotic ways for many complex reasons and are behaving in ways which mean they suffer ill-health, lasting injury and negative stress. They may also create chaos and stress for others as they go about hot desking and making mess, even if they are getting the task done. It would also include a need to look at how their belief systems affect how they relate to and communicate with managers and supervisors, and how they feel about asking for help and then using the help effectively to work well for life. They could try changing and adopting healthier approaches to life and to taking responsibility.

Changing to a more positive view of oneself and others means we are more likely to be able to take responsibility for not only the quality of our work but the way we achieve it. Looking after our work station and communicating with our supervisors, managers and colleagues about the support we need will all go some way to help keeping us healthy and ‘working well for life’.

Work life balance


Free guide to developing a Wellbeing Programme

Introducing an effective Wellbeing Programme needn’t be hard work. All it takes is a bit of commitment from a small team that has a thorough understanding of your company, its people, activities and working environment. Then all that’s needed is a touch of creativity for developing and rolling out an engaging programme.

Fellowes Wellbeing at Work Guide is a great place to start. And you can download it for free right here. In addition to helpful background information and enlightening facts, you can discover the ‘five domains of wellbeing’, check out a series of case studies, find out how to undertake employee wellbeing surveys, and follow 8 recommended stages for developing a Wellbeing Programme.
Fellowes work better, feel betterAll you need to ensure your employees are working well for life is here:
Stop the slouching today and start working well for life by visiting