Increase productivity, reduce stress and sickness with Thrive, our wellness at work programme.
"The UK faces a significant mental health challenge at work."
In 2017, the Prime Minister asked for an independent review
of mental health at work. The resulting Stevenson/Farmer review reported that, "Our work has revealed that the UK is facing a mental health challenge at work that is much larger than we had thought. Employers are losing billions of pounds because employees are less productive, less effective, or off sick."
Well people are productive people
This year, an astonishing 12.5 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression and anxiety, costing UK businesses £40 billion. It needn't be this way. Our wellness programme, Thrive, reduces sick days and increases the productivity of staff whilst they're at work.
Wellness works. UK businesses see a 420% return on investment in wellbeing programmes like ours. Amongst other things, in as little as one month, businesses can reasonably expect their employees to report increased attention and concentration, less mind wandering and rumination, increased motivation and productivity, as well as up to a 40% reduction in stress levels and a 58% reduction in anxiety levels.
About Wellness 2.0
By using the science of wellness and the latest biofeedback technology, we help your employees to thrive.
Thrive is delivered either via our online course or in-person and does only two things; maximises the wellness and productivity of your staff. The outcome is an increased contribution to the business, reduced stress levels and fewer sick days.
Since every company is different, we tailor our wellness programme to the needs of your particular organisation. Depending upon the number of your employees and the size of your budget, we tailor our programme to help your employees to thrive. We offer group presentations, individual coaching, online coaching and access to our online course. You might want to begin with our online course, to see whether you like what you see, then ask us to present to your board, department or company in person.
Next: Reduce Stress
View online course
So, let's break it down. Firstly, what is stress? In our evolutionary past, stress was temporary, like when encountering a predator. However, in our modern lives, stressors are mostly psychological, not biological. These include things such as a heavy workload, handling conflict or public speaking. A part of our brain, called the prefrontal cortex, allows us to worry about the future and ruminate about the past, so psychological stress can become extended. Not only does this prolong the stress but the body’s biological reaction to it. Ultimately, this makes us sick, ages us and even causes us to die younger.
As evidence of how prolonged stress affects us, take the example of brain scans of people who work long hours for long periods. They reveal enlarged amygdalae, the radar for fear, as well as weak connections between it and the part of our brain which quietens this radar during disturbing moments. When these stressed out workers were asked to reduce their emotional reaction to upsetting pictures, they were unable to do so. Now imagine these brain scans belong to your staff. It's highly likely that they would be unable to cope when under increased pressure at work.
During our programme, we'll help you and your staff to cope with stress and to thrive in stressful situations. It is here that we once again delve into our insights from neuroscience, which reveal what your thoughts and feelings represent and how you can better relate to them in times of stress.
Next: Increase Resilience
There are times when stress at work can't be avoided and for times like these we need to develop resilience. We define resilience as the rapidity with which you recover from stress.
Our brains have plasticity, so can be moulded, and we utilise this trait by teaching methods which quieten the fear radar and strengthen the connections between it and the thinking part of your brain. In doing so, we teach people how to improve their response to stressful situations and environments. As well as demonstrating these methods, which can be practiced anywhere, at any time, we'll show you what to look out for as early warning signs of stress, so that it doesn't become prolonged and dangerous.
What if there was a way to measure somebody's resilience, so you could identify how stress was impacting them? We can and we'll show you how. Using our biofeedback technology, we'll demonstrate how you can measure the body's resilience to stress. You'll learn how resilience varies over time and with our knowledge and tools, you'll know when to push yourself and your staff and when to take your foot off the accelerator.
Our insights will teach you when your body is depleted, needs replenishing and the different ways in which you can regain homeostasis, your body's state of equilibrium. As a result of our methods, you can expect to reduce sick days for you and your staff.
Next: Increase Productivity
When an athlete is 'in the zone', they are in a state of flow. Similarly, it is when your staff achieve this state of flow that they are most productive. Our wellness at work programme helps them to achieve it, maximising their contribution to the business.
For people to enter into a state of flow, particular internal and external conditions need to be met. We teach the seven internal conditions which people need to achieve in order for them to thrive at work. The foundation for flow is a mind which can concentrate upon the task in hand. On average, we are now able to hold our attention for eight seconds, that's a second less than a goldfish. The problem originates from the fact that we have trained our minds to wander, through the use of digital devices.
Our mind training reverses this trait, so that when your staff are at work, they're really at work. When our training was used by university students, their exam grades improved by 35%. If you can't concentrate, you can't learn.
For staff to enter flow, they need to understand their purpose at work, which is determined by how well they understand the vision of the company and to what degree they feel that their job contributes to that vision. This is one of the external conditions we mentioned earlier. We'll work with you and your team to synchronise the objectives of the company with the performance and wellbeing of your staff.
Our programme isn't rigid, we mould and bend it to ensure that it fits with what you and your company needs. That begins with a conversation. If you'd like to have one, contact us.
Our wellness programme
Matt designed Thrive, our Wellness at Work programme, to help transform businesses and the health of their people. He has developed his expertise in the science of wellness through his studies of Neuroscience from Harvard University, Psychology and Mental Health from The University of Liverpool and is a certified HRV coach.
Wellbeing is a subject that is very close to Matt's heart. For three decades, he has supported his father through chronic depression and now he utilises his experience to help others. Before co-founding Pencil, Matt's professional experience included working in advertising for large corporations and central government, followed by starting, growing and selling an online retail business.
Pauline brings with her over 25 years of experience working in elite sport. Although she doesn't look old enough, Pauline has delivered large scale projects for leading companies during 11 Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, Rugby World Cup, Premier League, the PanAm Games and the Aegon Tennis Championships.
She is very familiar with the importance of wellbeing at work and at home, having been widowed at an early age. Pauline supported her late husband, Michael, for four years during his battle with leukemia. As well as sharing all of her experience with Pencil's clients, Pauline spends half a day every week volunteering for Maggie's, a charity which offers emotional support for people with cancer.
Indy is a 7 year old Dobermann with a penchant for tennis balls. He's yet to learn how to give them back, preferring to tear off the fluffy outer layer, then chewing the rubber inner until the bits are all over the floor. This causes him absolutely no distress or anxiety whatsoever.
What does get his hackles up, however, is when he's not offered any cheese. Yes, Indy's true love is cheddar. But none of that cheap, mild stuff, he prefers an 18 month old vintage. He camembert it when Matt or Pauline have a toasted cheese sandwich and don't offer him a good, proportionate slice. He just won't let it brie. Indy keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously and ensures that we get at least two good walks a day.
Let us help you to reduce stress & sickness amongst your staff and to increase productivity in your business. Call us now.
The Wellness at Work programme is designed and delivered by Pencil. We transform lives at home and at work through our bespoke business and personal programmes, which reside at the intersection of neuroscience, psychology and mindfulness.
100 New Bond St
49 Jamaica St
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