Personal wellbeing, mental welfare and lifestyle choices – where you live, commute time, and work schedule – have never been more important. It is likely that the expectation of employees coming into the office 9–5, five days a week, will no longer apply. A recent YouGov poll of 4,500 employees, found that 81% of respondents expected to work from home at least one day a week post-lockdown, with 33% expecting to work from home at least three days a week. While even a few days in the workplace will help to maintain a sense of normality for employees, it brings up different issues, and new challenges. These include healthy anxiety surrounding Covid-19 in the office and on their commute, dissatisfaction at office spaces that are ill-equipped for being a healthy environment, and general disruption to working life due to going in and out of lockdown.
In a corporate wellness market worth £500m in the UK, according to IBIS Research, there are companies thriving with new solutions to the current issues surrounding workplace and employee wellbeing. Here is a list of 5 companies making a change:
Headspace is a healthcare, wellness and meditation platform. Through its online portal and mobile app, Headspace provides guided meditation to its users on a freemium basis. Headspace users are encouraged to log on daily to the platform, in order to boost their wellness, sleep health, and mental focus. Visit Headspace
The concept has proved incredibly successful, boasting 11m downloads, 400,000 paying subscribers, and spawning a raft of copycat services. It has caught the eye of large corporations as well, with reports that audit giant PwC has recently bought a 12-month subscription to a mindfulness app for all its 22,000 staff across the UK. Visit Headspace
Companies signing up to Perkbox can provide their staff with discounts to a range of services, from cinema tickets to trips out, to savings on the latest tech. Recently, Perkbox has shifted its focus away from discounts, offers and incentives, towards a more ‘holistic’ approach, targeting companies which are concerned with supporting their employee’s emotional, financial, physical and social wellbeing.
As part of this new approach, Perkbox has teamed up with the wellness startup Aura – dubbed the ‘Spotify for mindfulness’. Following this partnership, Perkbox customers will now gain free access to thousands of meditations, life-coaching programmes and stories that are personalised and constantly tailored according to usage and preferences. Visit Perkbox
Unmind was founded by trained clinical psychologist, Dr Nick Taylor, to offer tools to help people manage and improve their mental health. The Unmind app offers interactive content focused on topics such as how to improve focus and best connect with others.
The London-based startup counts John Lewis Partnership and British Airways among its clients, offering the app to staff as a benefit. So far, 89% of employees using the platform have reported improvements. During the coronavirus period, Unmind has taken the decision to open up the platform for free to all NHS workers, regardless of if they are directly tackling the outbreak or not. Visit Unmind
Billed as being “Your Workplace Wellbeing Partner”, Work Well Being delivers workplace wellbeing programmes and initiatives, designed to enhance employee health and happiness and build enduringly healthy work.
As a result of Covid-19 and lockdowns, the firm is shifting its targeted wellbeing webinars and 1:1 support to a virtual platform, which it claims will “enable people to come together in shared experience, regardless of physical location.” Additionally, all of its other Wellbeing Workshops, Mental Health at Work training and Wellbeing Initiatives can be delivered online. Visit Work Well Being
Pop & Rest, the company I co-founded, is a tech-enabled wellbeing and travel startup based in the Silicon Roundabout in London. We have become known for our locations in London that provide a relaxing space for travellers or workers to chillout, nap, or work distraction-free. These locations are available to book by the hour, or for a full overnight stay.
Additionally, we now offer a custom-built sleep and meditation pod, that can be installed in an office – potentially in an unused space – for a business’s employees to use to nap, meditate or work peacefully whenever appropriate during the workday. Visit Pop & Rest
Yoann Demont is co-founder of Pop & Rest