Care Quarterly – July 2019

JW Seagon’s quarterly magazine for our loyal client base.

After the success of our last newsletter which was centred around health and wellbeing in the workplace, we’re now focusing on work-life balance. We all talk about it, but how many of us are putting it into practice? If you are one of those that needs a helping hand, this edition of CQ is for you!

As always, we hope you enjoy the content within CQ and if you have any feedback or ideas, we’d be delighted to hear from you.

David Seagon

Finding the right balance

The concept of work-life balance has been doing the rounds for many years now and you’re probably very familiar with the benefits of taking a well-earned break. But in an age of smartphones, laptops and social media, it isn’t always easy to switch off from work. So, to help you create a healthy environment and stay in good working order, we’ve put together a few suggestions.

Be flexible

The first thing to remember about being healthy and happy at work is that it isn’t just about having appropriate exercise, downtime and a sensible diet – it’s about making sure everyone has the help and support they need to stay stress-free throughout the day.

One of the key ingredients is flexibility. As an employer, this might mean giving people the time they need to pick kids up from school or as an employee it might mean adjusting your working hours to accommodate busier times of year. Obviously, there has to be a little give and take, but when you get the balance right, it’s a win-win situation.

Communication is important too. When employers and employees are in a position to talk openly about their work and personal commitments, there’s a much better chance of finding the right balance.

Be flexible

Lighten the load

Even in today’s progressive working environments, there are all kinds of unwritten rules about how employees should and shouldn’t act – many of which are misguided. One of the most common misconceptions is that it’s wrong to ask for help. Unfortunately, too many people suffer in silence when they are having to deal with heavy workloads, health concerns and difficulties at home.

As an employer, manager or colleague, there’s plenty you can do to help. Regular catch-ups, one-to-ones and even lunchtime chats can make a big difference. And if you notice that stress levels are high, you can step in early before problems get out of hand.

Lighten the load

Practice what you preach

When you’re in a position of responsibility, it’s all very well letting your team know that you care about their health and wellbeing. But be mindful that actions speak louder than words. If you really want other people to rest, recuperate and recharge their batteries, you need to lead by example.

Realistically, it doesn’t matter how many times you tell your team to take a break and work sensible hours, if they see you burning the midnight oil, there’s a good chance they’ll do the same. In most working environments, the code of conduct is dictated by newer employees copying the behaviour of senior members of staff. So, try to be a good role model.

Practice what you preach

Work as a team

Last but not least; it’s worth remembering just how important working relationships are at work. Considering the amount of time people spend together, it’s surprising how little they often know about each other. Simple things like hobbies, interests and family situations aren’t always common knowledge… despite being the key to keeping people happy, healthy and motivated.

The odd team night out is a great way to strengthen relationships and boost team morale. Or if you fancy something a little healthier, try introducing an office five-a-side team or a lunchtime running club. As well as helping colleagues to connect on a personal level, it’s a great way to encourage some much-needed downtime away from the stresses and strains of the office.

Work as a team

Work-life balance at JW Seagon

When it comes to the work-life balance of our own employees and clients, we like to think we play a positive part. Here’s a couple of our recent initiatives which show there’s more to life than just work!

JWS visits Ol Pejeta

For many years we have worked with Ol Pejeta Conservancy to play our part in helping to protect and nurture wildlife in Africa. We recently sent a few members of the JWS team over to Ol Pejeta for a day they’ll never forget.

The JWS team started the day by going to Powys Dispensary where they had a jiggers clean up session for the infected feet of children from surrounding Ol Pejeta communities. Over 100 children were attended to. The JWS team also raised awareness for the eradication of jiggers.

Later in the day, we went to the Weruini Community where Ol Pejeta has an Energy saving jiko (a container made of metal or clay that burns charcoal or small pieces of wood used for cooking or to give heat) project on the go. The team gained first-hand experience on how to build these jikos.

Malaria breakfast seminar

On the 23rd May, we were delighted to co-host a World Malaria Day breakfast seminar. Clients and employees of JW Seagon were invited to this popular event to hear the latest developments in Malaria from our expert speakers (Dr Mauro Saio and Dr Eric Munene) and to ensure the fight against Malaria is never forgotten. It meant time away from the office for all attendees, and that for a positive cause – so all in all it was a win-win scenario!

JWS Worldwide Health Plan – so much more than Health Insurance

Many of you will have now seen our latest international health insurance product – JWS Worldwide Health Plan (WHP). As you would expect from a quality medical plan, JWS WHP comes with a comprehensive range of benefit levels. But what you might not have known is that JWS WHP can also improve your work-life balance, with two of its added value features:

JWS WHP comes with a Cigna mobile app which not only gives you access to all the essentials of your plan at the click of a button, it also allows you to complete an on-line health assessment. This then gives feedback on where someone stands in relation to sleep, nutrition, exercise and stress – plus suggestions on what action they can take to improve their overall wellbeing.

Health and wellbeing support (including online health assessments, a Wellbeing app, chronic condition management and, for companies, an international employee assistance programme) to help you lead a healthy, happy and well-balanced life and reduce absenteeism.

5 tips to keep you firing on all cylinders

It’s very easy to get sidetracked by the pressures of work. But in order to stay healthy and productive, it’s important to find the right balance between dedication and overloading yourself. Here are five tips to help you navigate the mayhem of modern living.

Work-life balance in numbers

According to Harvard Business Review, the psychological and physical problems of burned-out employees cost an estimated $125 billion to $190 billion a year in healthcare spending in the United States.

An article from UK based The Independent claimed that in an ideal world, employees said they would prefer to see adults dedicating just 30 per cent of their lives to work and the other 70 to life. Just one third believe they have already struck their perfect work-life balance.

RescueTime carried out an extensive piece of research in the US on work-life balance (where they studied 185 million hours of working time). The key findings were:

  • 28% of workers start their day before 8:30 AM (and 5% start before 7 AM)
  • 40% of people use their computers after 10 PM
  • 26% of work is done outside of normal working hours
  • We check email and IM, on average, every 6 minutes
  • 40% of our day is spent multitasking with communication tools

The JWS work-life balance quiz – how do you fare?

Please answer YES or NO to the following 14 questions and click ‘calculate’ to receive your score – best of luck!

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