The health and wellbeing of our staff has always been a priority for Forms Plus. For the past 5 years, we have taken part in the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Healthy Workplace Award. We are delighted to announce that we have just been re-awarded our Gold status for the next two years.
At the Awards Ceremony on the 9th March, our team were acknowledged for the extent to which mental and physical wellbeing has been ingrained into our business culture and ethos. The Award recognises that the Forms Plus Directors are committed to looking after their team and consider staff wellbeing a vital part of running a successful business.
Like many of our clients, our day to day work is mostly sedentary. Based behind a computer, taking care of the print and packaging requirements of our customers, it can be easy for the hours to pass by without much in the way of physical activity. Particularly in the dark and stormy winter months, it is all too easy to go without natural light or fresh air. At this time of year, we can also easily fall into the trap of indulging in sweet treats, eating at our desks and making our way through pots of coffee! The activities we have introduced to help us win, and keep, our Healthy Workplace Gold Award have given us the motivation and opportunity to break many of those bad habits.
Some of the highlights of our first year as a Healthy Workplace Gold Award Winner have included fun activities and exercises, training sessions to learn more about workplace health, and awareness campaigns.
“I enjoy the team walks, where you can chat to a colleague from a different area of the business you might not necessarily chat to often. I also enjoy that every month is different – whether it be a team challenge, volunteering or a discussion around a certain topic.” – Sharon
One of the toughest challenges for some of the Forms Plus team was the British Heart Foundation De-Chox challenge. This meant going a whole month without eating any chocolate, quite an achievement for some of the sweet-tooths in the office. One member of our team, Ian, who joined us last July and was the only smoker at Forms Plus, took up an even greater challenge. With support from the whole team, he successfully gave up smoking for Stoptober and now says quitting smoking is the best thing he has done in years – apart from changing jobs!
“The support I received for “Dechox” was great and similarly the support provided to those completing Stoptober was fantastic.’ – Kayley
Other campaigns we have taken part in included the Ask Twice mental health campaign, Sugar Smart and Keep Active. As part of Keep Active, we ran on “On Your Feet!” day. On the hour, every hour, the office was filled with the sound of James Brown singing “Get up offa that thing” and the team took part in two minutes of exercise. Using (safely!) some of our fabulous new warehouse space, we took part in games such as balloon keepy-uppy, Malteser blowing races, target ball throwing and football games.
Making the most of our surroundings in beautiful Cornwall, we also get outside whenever we can. Team Walks, to support both our physical and mental health, are a common lunchtime activity. We also took part in a beach clean at Poldhu Beach.
Perhaps less fun, but just as vital, we have had the opportunity for Health Checks at work, over 40s checks, menopause information sessions and ongoing challenges to keep active and hydrated throughout the day. Small, sustainable behaviour changes, such as making sure we drink enough water by using marked-up water bottles and encouraging each other to get out for a walk at lunchtime can lead to healthier habits that are life-changing. These adjustments are easy to do but have an important, positive impact on our long-term health.
“Outside of work, I try to keep fit as much as I can and also like healthy eating, so I really enjoy continuing these activities at work. Some of my favourites are the sharing healthy lunch days, team activities such as the Cornwall Beach Games and our regular weight checks.”- Evi
Participation in our Healthy Workplace activities is never mandatory, and we do not pressure anyone to take part but most of the time we do find everyone is keen to get involved and finds it valuable. The activities help us bond as a team and get to know each other, beyond the day to day conversations we would normally have as colleagues. This then means we can support each other better, through the natural physical and mental health issues that pop up in all our lives from time to time.
Plans for the next few months, to make sure we live up to our Gold Award, include revisiting sun safety (when it gets warm enough!) and having a look into our sleep patterns. We are also running a company WhatsApp group sharing healthy recipes and giving each other new ideas for weekday dinners. This has led to challenges for “Meat Free Mondays” and colourful fruit and veg meals.
Whilst we are proud of our Award, none of this is about winning prizes or recognition. What matters most is that the ideas generated by taking part in the programme are helping make all of us healthier, inside and outside of work, and hopefully making us happier as a result.
Committing to a Healthy Workplace involves more than just the occasional fun event. It needs to be firmly embedded in team culture and is something we discuss even at the employee interview stage. If you would like to find out more about how we have achieved that, and keep it going, do get in touch. We’d be happy to share our experiences and have a chat about how they might help your organisation.
Read more about the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Healthy Workplace Scheme, and view our Case Study, on their website www.behealthyatwork.org .