Bouncing Back – Easing the transition back to the office

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As the world – and workplaces – start to return to something approaching normal, how can you ensure that your staff are healthy, happy, and buzzing about being back together? How are you easing the transition back to the office?

If one more article begins with some variation of “It’s been quite the year” you’d be forgiven for putting your boot through the computer screen. But, well, here’s the thing: It’s been quite the year.

You can break it all down to buzzwords, really. Lockdown. Zoom. Social distancing. Contact tracing. Home sch**ling (sorry to swear). And now, as life begins to tentatively open up again, some fresh ones: Hybrid working. Flexitime. The new normal. Athleisure…..

Whatever the new normal looks like – smaller offices, hot desking, remote working, flying cars (please let there be flying cars) – it will be new but not entirely normal. For example, the idea of more remote working is great, but will also throw up issues. Working from home can be an isolating experience. It can get in the way of fostering a team spirit. And, most simply of all, it can mean people never leave their houses, which can have a knock-on effect for both physical and mental health.

Which is where a company like buddyboost can help out.

Easing the transition back to the office…

buddyboost is an workplace solution that uses a simple challenge format to help improve wellbeing and build employee engagement. Once a client embarks on a buddyboost challenge, employees can download the app and commit to doing 26 minutes of activity a day. It doesn’t need to be every day, but that’s the target. This makes them physically healthy, but they also register their corresponding mood boost to show the mental benefits too.

And they are encouraged to form groups of up to six ‘buddies’ to help each other and motivate one another. Some intra-organisational competition to finish top of the leader board can also act as an inspiration, not to mention build a sense of togetherness and team spirit.  It really does work.

Spring is in the air – especially at Stagecoach Group

May is a special month at buddyboost. The company ran its first ever public campaign last May, in the early days of the pandemic. We are doing another public challenge again this May, with over 1000 people taking part, to coincide with National Mental Health Awareness Week (this year 10-16 May), and to take advantage of the improving weather. At least, that was the theory, before we were subsumed by an unseasonal Maytime permafrost. 

This month, they are also buddying-up with two major employers whose businesses (and employees) have been very impacted by Covid –  Stagecoach and Heathrow.

Stagecoach employees from every corner of the UK are taking part and there is an undeniable buzz and an amazing team spirit. Carla Stockton-Jones, Managing Director of Stagecoach, commented:

Our social network is buzzing with posts about how well people are doing and importantly it’s also bringing together people that wouldn’t normally work together or have any reason to connect. I’m hearing that our teams have boosted their mental well-being as well as their physical well-being which in times like these is such an important thing, living a better life at work away from the steering wheel and the pc screens.”

Heathrow’s participants include everyone from finance officers to baggage handlers, and already the community feed in the buddyboost app is full of people discussing on how nice it is be connecting socially again (and how rubbish the weather is).

This is all hot on the heels of a hugely successful campaign with the NHS and local councils in Berkshire during April, which saw a 26% mood boost across their thousands of activities. 

Looking ahead, buddyboost has an amazing seven challenges starting in June, including St James Place, Sky Ireland, Biffa and the City of Liverpool.

It’s a trend that looks set to continue growing, as more and more businesses are bouncing back from Covid, and wanting to invest in the wellbeing of their staff, as well as putting a bit of buzz back into the workplace. In fact, we’ve already got 2 more lined up for July and lots more in autumn.  Fortunately, we love doing the buddyboost challenges with our clients – which is just as well really!

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