‘What is Health and Wellbeing week? Do I have to leave my desk?’ – Anonymous, Voxbone employee
If you’re thinking about joining Voxbone or just curious about what life here is like, a great introduction is what we learned during our first Health and Wellbeing Week, five days dedicated to getting moving and learning about health and wellbeing.
We are kooky, obsessed with detail and filled with slightly bonkers ideas – it’s who we are, and we’re proud of it. Health and Wellbeing Week also showed us we are competitive (some perhaps a little too much!), eager to learn and care about our wellbeing. Importantly, too, we’re always up for a laugh.
The term ‘health and wellbeing’ is quickly becoming a buzz phrase within most companies, and with good reason. The wellbeing of our employees has a direct effect on our business, both financially and culturally. It also drives staff and has a huge connection with employee engagement, retention and recruitment.
Naturally, us being us, we wanted to go against the norm. Our overall goals were to help our employees better understand their own wellbeing, and to create a safe and comfortable atmosphere for them to take part in activities and workshops, perhaps even making a new friend or two. We didn’t want to ‘tell’, ‘lecture’ or ‘preach’, we wanted to teach, and provide the tools needed to make positive changes in their everyday lives.
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‘My blisters have blisters. I deserve to win’ – Anonymous, Voxbone employee
We worked with experts and sought advice. We held a global steps competition, ran workshops and classes and circulated podcasts to inspire and educate – we collaborated.
With offices all over the world, we wanted to add a sense of unity so we introduced a global steps competition.
The steps competition successfully brought employees together from different teams, offices, and countries. Teams names were creative and showed the uniqueness of each team, including 90’s pop song references, ‘Been there, run that’ and a tribute to the Simpsons. Even our Executive committee competed as ‘Execs looking for six packs’. Members of the teams were also unbelievably innovative in the ways they increased their steps count, from walking around London in the evenings, to and from work and wearing their pedometers during Zumba and dance classes. Some even adopted walking meetings.
We ran workshops on posture, how a healthy well-balanced breakfast can change your day and a list of top 20 tips for nutritional well-being. Employees had the opportunity to ask experts questions and seek advice. These workshops were recorded and circulated for the benefit of those who were unable to attend or working remotely.
In our offices in the UK and Belgium, we held Yoga, Zumba, and HIIT classes. While working out in front of your colleagues can be awkward and is not in everyone’s comfort zone, we found that with the right teacher and music playlist, nothing is impossible. We highly recommend some 90s dance tracks, it really got everyone moving.
For those in our offices in the USA, Ireland and Romania we encouraged teams to attend local classes, paid for by us.
‘Yoga was hard, my legs are not designed to go that way’ – Anonymous, Voxbone employee
While our Execs may not have found their respective six-packs and a few of us now know that Zumba is not for everyone (warning: some coordination is needed), we discovered that our Voxbone employees are active, competitive and eager to learn. We provided the opportunities and they did the hard work, and look damn good doing it.
As with all employee-focused events and initiatives, there are always areas to improve. We requested feedback and boy, did we get it. Next year we will have more classes, bigger teams and better solutions for our offices based outside our European headquarters.
Finally, a big thank you to our partners and suppliers who made our Health and Wellbeing such a success – The DW Fitness First team, Teresa Fernandez-Gil (nutritionist extraordinaire), Anna Zoumpa (yoga instructor) Nicoletta Palikira (Zumba instructor) and Christophe Masson (PT, Elite Fitness).