It’s Wellness Month at Carat – here’s why it’s important to staff and clients
February is Wellness Month at Carat – with staff taking part in weird and wonderful activities including reflexology, yoga, Pilates, meditation, running, table tennis, rave-ercise, trapeze lessons, pole dancing, floristry lessons and much more. But what are the real benefits for staff and clients? Joanne Hurley, Innovation Manager at Carat, explains all – and we hear from a couple of members of the team about their experiences…
Wellness Month at Carat began with a few fitness activities, evolved into Wellness Week, and then just kept on growing. “This is definitely our biggest yet,” says Jo. “We’ve got such a variety of different activities, mostly focused on balance; a lot of the focus this time has been on the mind, things like meditation and mindfulness.”
So far one of the big hits has been the Sleep Pod, encouraging people to get more sleep, starting by taking 20 minutes in the pod; there’s also been an emphasis on enabling staff to take time away from their busy day.
“It’s slowly progressing, more and more people feel the importance of it,” says Jo. “People really want to take that time out during the day, whether it’s half an hour for a walk or a yoga class to try and reconnect with themselves.
“The last event we did in September we ran a fitness challenge, encouraging everyone to get outside and walk and monitor their steps. The feedback from that was really good – a lot of people taking part said they were really glad they were now walking instead of getting the tube or getting out at lunchtimes.”
Crucially, Wellness Month has been embraced by management too – with MD Matthew Hook particularly keen on the table-tennis tournament, meditation and taking part in the #SleepPlusChallenge.
The Carat management believe wellness is essential to allow their talented staff to fully realise their potential, while making sure they look after themselves.
“For me, it’s really important and I love that Carat recognises it and does something about it, especially the leadership; they’re really involved in it too, which encourages others,” says Jo.
“You might not think it was okay to take an hour out of your day if your manager wasn’t doing it too, but they’ve really encouraged everyone. It’s not something we do for fun – it’s something we’re really passionate about.”
Because all this relaxation isn’t just good for staff – it benefits clients too.
“I know if I take half an hour and go and run round the park, how that clears my mind and how productive I am during the afternoon,” says Jo. “We’re also promoting the #reclaimyourlunchbreak (Stylist mag) – we’ve made a map which includes a long list of different things you can do with an hour at lunch.
“Clients want people to be on form and you’re not going to be if you don’t take breaks throughout the day. With an event like this, people feel that they can do that. If it’s promoted and encouraged then it will continue to trickle down through the year. I think it has an incredible impact.”
So what do our staff make of it? Josephine Marchandise, Network Manager, dips a toe into the world of reflexology:
Happy hump day to me, with a nice little treat before the start of my day in the office.
I have to admit, I was pretty surprised how relaxing it was from the very first minute.
You would never have realised how tight your feet are until you actually have a professional person massaging your feet. And that is insane!
What I would take away from this session is that taking care of your feet is definitely taking care of your entire body!
I obviously highly recommend this session; it was very pleasant and unusual as a Wellness experience!
Thea Marriner, Comms Planning Assistant, chills out with a meditation session:
Walking into a meeting room with scented candles, therapeutic music and a lovely calm atmosphere, I immediately felt relaxed.
The lovely Carly started off the session by asking us to stand up; we were told to shake off all of the worries and stress we may have acquired through-out the working day and wash it all away.
We then took a seat and Carly started to take us through her guided meditation. I quickly forgot about the hustle and bustle of the work going on outside.
Surprisingly a whole hour passed and I think it is safe to say along with everyone else who attended the meditation, I felt completely worry-free and I would definitely recommend attending a session!