Wellbeing workshop for Worcestershire businesses at bi-annual event

Worcestershire Works Well, who have recently celebrated 10 years supporting businesses, held their first in-person event in 2 years. Over 50 business professionals from across Worcestershire attended the Three Counties Showground on Tuesday 14 September for the Worcestershire Works Well bi-annual event titled The New World of Work. The event covered topics around post-pandemic workplaces and the impact on both physical and mental health.

The event started with a physical activity for attendees to participate in to reflect the importance of physical wellbeing in the new world of work. Lorea Sarobe, Active Herefordshire and Worcestershire held a virtual warm up, all the way from Span, for a busy day of wellbeing discussion and showed how a simple physical activity, that can be done whilst working from home, can keep workers active and benefit productivity.

The day also saw a number of speakers discussing a range of informative topics around the new world of work. Sally Morris, Partner and Head of Employment at mfg Solicitors, discussed the legal obligations of homeworking that businesses may need to be aware of. Attendees were then given an update on the generational differences in the workplace by Lucy Barkas, Director and Principal Coach at 3WH.

One of the biggest issues over the past 18 months for businesses and employees has been tackling mental health whilst employees have been away from the office. Mel Whistance, Public Health Practitioner at Worcestershire County Council, joined the event virtually to advise attendees on the best practises in managing and recognising loneliness. Mark Billau, Associate Public Health Practitioner and Louise McEvoy, Advanced Public Health Practitioner covered the important topic of suicide prevention in the workplace.

A huge resource for businesses tackling mental health within the workplace has been the Time for Change team. Amanda Wright, Development Manager Health and Wellbeing Development Manager at Community First, shared information on the Time to Change initiative in Worcestershire and how this can help tackle the stigma surrounding mental health.

Overall a useful and informative event that equipped attendees with a new perspective on how to manage this new way of working that we are currently finding ourselves in. Resources relating to wellbeing of workers has never been more important and schemes like Worcestershire Works Well have continued to support employers during this difficult time.

Dawn Hardman, Director of HR at the Chamber of Commerce, who lead the project, said: “We were delighted to be able to hold our bi-annual event this week at the Three Counties Showground. Our theme was ‘the new world of work’ and our event was delivered in ‘hybrid form’ with two of our speakers delivering their presentations virtually, one of them from Northern Spain!

“Our thanks go to our speakers on the day for delivering such informative and valuable information and raising awareness of important health topics such as loneliness and suicide prevention. We now look forward to planning our next event which will take place during 2022.”

The event finished with a celebration, with certificates presented to recently accredited level 1 businesses, Wilcox Matthews and Jacobs, the latter also being recognised as winners of the Southco Outstanding Achievement Award, presented by Sue Fitzmaurice, Compensation and Benefits Manager at Southco.

Worcestershire Works Well is a free accreditation scheme designed to support businesses to improve the health and wellbeing of their employees. Improved employee health and wellbeing has been shown repeatedly to improve profitability and productivity of businesses.

Business can obtain further information on the scheme here www.worcestershire.gov.uk/worcestershireworkswell.

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