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The HR Director - Health, Wellbeing and Beyond

Guest blog by Katharine Moxham

The links between exercise, sleep, physical health, financial health and mental health are well known but the virtuous circle seems ever-elusive for many. Therein lies the challenge – how to inspire everyone to act, not just those who would do it anyway.

I was recently asked for my input on workplace health by a rather direct journalist, who specified that it would need to focus on the latest academic and practical thinking rather than “regurgitating tired messages”. Cheeky, thought I, but it got me focused none-the-less.

Given the current political emphasis on Brexit and international relations, it’s tempting to think that the Government’s plans for achieving a healthy and inclusive workforce will end up on the back burner, but this isn’t the case at all.

The Government’s flagship ambitions for health and wellbeing at work are still forging ahead, as outlined in the Government’s Improving Lives: The Future of Work, Health and Disability roadmap, Good Work: the Taylor review of modern working practices, and Thriving at work: the Stevenson/Farmer review of mental health and employers.

Granted, much will rely on employer good practice rather than a Government stick or carrot, but forward-thinking employers completely get the link between productivity and a healthy, happy workforce in any case and are already working towards creating a “good work” environment and encouraging better health behaviours. (I say “forward thinking” but this link has been acknowledged since philanthropists such as Rowntree, Cadbury and Fry so perhaps “enlightened” is more apt.)

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