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The Great British Workplace Wellbeing Conference 2023

On the 14th of September 2023 we launched The Great British Workplace Wellbeing Conference, a livestream experience event that enabled HR professionals and other key stakeholders to come together for a day of learning, support, and collaboration, hearing from expert speakers in HR, diversity, equity and inclusion, and workplace wellbeing. Throughout the day 12 sessions took place with an agenda focused on the key areas of Productivity, Leadership, Tech, Female Health, and Addiction, as well as The GBBWA winner interviews hosted by Simon-Scott-Nelson.


Four the Love of Work: Should we all be embracing the four-day week?


The traditional five day, 40-hour work week has been the standard for many decades, but a growing number of organisations are experimenting with shorter work weeks in an effort to increase productivity, improve work-life balance, and reduce employee burnout. 78% of employees want a four-day week, but only 30% say they feel confident their employer could successfully implement it.


During the panel, experts shared their insights and experiences on the benefits and challenges of a four-day work week, and how organisations can effectively implement this alternative schedule. They discussed the latest research on the impacts of reduced hours on employee wellbeing, job satisfaction, and productivity, and the potential benefits and challenges for both employers and employees. Michelle Murphy, Head of Operations and HR, JMK Solicitors expressed, ‘I think it’s important to be flexible about your expectations but with 4 years on we have had no issues with productivity.”


The Perils of Flexwashing - Making Flexible Workplaces Work


The modern worker has evolved beyond the traditional career ladder and is seeking more than just a job title and salary. This panel explored what the modern workers really wants from their career, and how organisations can win the war for talent by offering flexible working arrangements. The majority of the working population (54%) currently work in a part-time or flexible role.


Our panellists discussed the changing needs and expectations of the modern workforce, and what workers really want from their work and career along with the business case for flexible working, including benefits for employee wellbeing, productivity, and overall business success. Karen Hartmann, Moody’s Corporation, stated ‘In general, flexible working has become one of the most attractive ways of working since the pandemic. Flexible working becomes a USP for many big companies’.


Unlocking the Secret to a Happier Workplace: How Can Leaders Nurture Positive Mental Health?


The modern workplace can be a challenging and stressful environment, and employees often face a range of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and burnout. 70% of people said their manager has more impact on their mental health than their therapist or their doctor.


During this panel, our experts shared their insights and experiences on how managers, HR professionals, and wellbeing champions can support employees in maintaining good mental health. They discussed the importance of creating a supportive and inclusive workplace culture, and how to identify and address common stressors and triggers that can impact employee mental health. Tara Birch, Wellbeing, Belonging & Retention Specialist states ‘It’s all about having connection and fostering supportive and inclusive work environments. And as a leader you need to lead by example.”


From Surviving to Thriving: Managing Burnout and Navigating the recovery process in the workplace


Burnout is a complex issue that affects many employees across industries, and can have serious consequences on their wellbeing, productivity, and overall career trajectory. This panel session aimed to equip attendees with the knowledge and tools to identify, manage, and recover from burnout in the workplace. Nearly 3 in 5 employees reported negative impacts of work-related stress.


Our panel of experts shared their insights on the latest research on burnout and its underlying causes, including work-related stressors, job demands, and organisational factors. They also discussed the importance of early detection and intervention in the recovery process, as well as the role of individual and organisational practices in promoting resilience and sustainable performance. Sadie Restorick, Host and Co-founder at Wellity said, ‘Breaking down the stressors’ and what is causing people to be burnout, with those risk assessment guidelines are incredibly helpful. Being burnt out is something we can’t magically remove; it can take a long time to get to that point.”


Navigating the Cost of Living Crisis: Financial Support and benefits for employees in the modern workplace


39% of adults (20.3 million) don’t feel confident managing their money. The cost of living crisis and financial anxiety is a growing concern for not only employees, but also employers. This panel explored how organisations can support their employees by offering financial support and benefits to navigate these challenging times.


The panellists took a deep dive into the current financial landscape and the impact of the cost of living crisis is having on employees, best practices for implementing financial support and benefits programs within organisations, including strategies for addressing potential challenges and ensuring success, the benefits of financial wellness programs for both employees and the company. This includes improved employee wellbeing, engagement, and productivity and examples of successful financial support and benefits within organisations, and how they have benefited both employees and the company. Penny Taylor, HR Director from Compare the Market added ‘It’s important to have trust with your employees when dealing with financial queries and issues.”


Shattering the Stigma: Empowering Women's Health in the Workplace


3 out of 5 (62%) women feel their health condition or disability has impacted their experience in the workplace. Women’s health concerns in the workplace can have a significant impact on their wellbeing and professional productivity. This panel explored the unique challenges that women face with regard to menopause, fertility, and pregnancy loss, and discuss ways to create a supportive workplace culture.


During this panel, our experts shared their insights and experienced on how employers can create a supportive and inclusive workplace culture for women. They discussed the latest research on women’s health, and it’s impacts on women in the workplace, and explored strategies for supporting women during these situations. Hayley Farrell, Arcadis stated, “Changing the narrative or the conversation is everyone’s role within the organisation, from wellbeing to workplace. There are so many elements that need to come together. We’ve got some way to go, we need to broaden the conversation to make everyone understand why.”


Overcoming the Taboo: Empowering the workplace to address addiction head-on


A third of employees admitted to having been to work with a hangover. Addiction is a chronic and often misunderstood disease that can have significant impact on not only the lives of the individuals suffering, but also their workplaces.


This panel explored the implications of addiction in the workplace as well as support options you can implement for employees who may be struggling. The panellists dove into the stigma and misunderstanding surrounded by addiction and the impact it can have on both staff and the organisation as a whole. Susan Laurie from Alcohol Change UK explains “The impacts that it can have are huge not just on the person themselves but the impact on their physical and mental health. But also the ripple effect it has on colleagues as well and the organisation as a whole from days off sick, turning up to work late or under the influence, to impact on the quality of their work, poor concentration, and mistakes.”


Creating Inclusive Recruitment and Management Practices for Neurodivergent Talent


The workplace is a microcosm of diversity. One in five individuals are neurodivergent, which makes it crucial to acknowledge and appreciate differences in how people work and approach tasks, leading to innovation and creativity in the workplace.


This panel delved into the benefits of diversity and how organisations need to proactively create an environment that embraces neurodiversity and supports employees to work in their own way. They shared insights into accommodations that need to be made to meet the needs of diverse thinkers to enable them to thrive in their role, as well as celebrating the strengths that diversity brings while creating supportive and inclusive work cultures to unlock the potential of all employees. Danielle Cudjoe-Michalski, Co-founder & Lead of Neurodiversity Network, GSK said “Don’t wait until you have employees disclosing their diagnosis, start educating everyone. When you get diagnosed you get a report and that’s it, sometimes you don’t even get support. Educating and bringing awareness to your organisation is really important."


The Great British Workplace Wellbeing Awards Winner Interviews


Our very own Simon Scott-Nelson joined us for insightful interviews with some of our 2023 Great British Workplace Wellbeing Award winners. The agenda was packed with organisations who make a true difference to the lives of our nation’s working population, discussing the big topics affecting the modern workplace and the practices they implement within their teams and organisations.


The interviews included:

  • Best wellbeing in the workplace strategy: Large Organisation: Centrica

  • Recognition for Excellence and Outstanding Engagement: SWAST

  • Most Inspiring HR Leader of the Year: Angie Mckenna

  • Breaking the Silence Award Penny Hamilton

To watch the livestream on demand, contact our team at hello@wellityglobal.com










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