Month: December 2020

3 ways to promote wellness at work…

In a turbulent world, at a time where global issues and local problems compound, mental health should be a top priority within businesses. The Royal College of Psychiatrists report that 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace and 12.7% of all sickness absence days are due to mental health related concerns. Clearly there is work to be done across the board, and there are steps that can be taken immediately to somewhat alleviate these problems. 

Develop a healthy work environment

An environment that takes wellness and mental health seriously is important, and fostering opportunities for those conversations to take place is key. This can look like putting regular one-on-one meetings in place and providing clear processes for approaching and dealing with the HR department. Regular workload reviews allow space for concerns to be raised and dealt with for the benefit of everybody. Above all, employees should be made to feel comfortable discussing any issues they are facing.

Meetings and surveys are a good way of gaining insight into the thoughts and needs of employees. Surveys can even be anonymous as an information gathering exercise to determine the positive changes that can be made within the workplace. With many employees now working from home, there are fewer opportunities to pick up on any wellness problems passively, so it’s important to actively address the issue.

Encourage work life balance

People need downtime! Some employees may feel that using their allotted annual leave is an inconvenience for their team and their management, so make it a priority that people use the annual leave that is available to them. Without time away from work, fatigue and burnout is inevitable. The same goes for lunch breaks, and regular short breaks throughout the day, especially if the role involves a lot of screen time. 

An increasing number of organisations have adopted mental health days which allow employees to take paid leave on days when they are struggling with their mental health. The peace of mind of knowing that’s an option can reduce stress levels which negatively impact mental health to begin with. Flexible hours are also a good way of providing people the opportunity to fit their work around their lives, rather than the other way around.

Provide wellness education and training

According to BITC’s (Business in The Community) mental health in the workplace report, only 13% of UK line managers have received mental health training, despite 69% believing that supporting employee wellbeing classifies as a core skill.

Consider seeking out and providing specialised mental health training for those in managerial positions. By being better equipped to recognise and subsequently support mental health and wellness problems of colleagues as they arise, the entire team can benefit from a healthier work environment. On top of those intended benefits, according to the Mental Health Foundation, a side effect of better mental health services within the workplace has the potential to save UK businesses £8 billion a year.

Three industries which could be set for a strong 2021…

Alongside the obvious contenders of online retail giants and pharmaceutical companies, there are plenty of industries who can expect to see opportunities for growth as the world adapts to the challenges of 2020. With digital transformation at the forefront of much of the conversation of growing industries, it can be expected that the industries and companies which are best positioned to adapt to a digital environment will also be expected to thrive.


With the pandemic leading to a surge in companies of all ilks developing their presence in online spaces, businesses who provide services in this arena have lots to look forward to. The haste in action required for companies to accelerate their digitisation plans means that some safety and best practice measures have been at risk of being overlooked. Precautions surrounding customer details and user data are particularly vulnerable and considered profitable assets by would-be cyber criminals.

Cybersecurity budgets have seen steady growth year on year for some time now, and with businesses and individuals alike developing a higher dependence on digital tools, that can be expected to continue. More data to protect means more business for the CyberSecurity sector.

Online Learning

While most nations have prioritised the education of their youth rather than choosing to keep schools closed, there has still been an enormous impact on the world of education. With parents and siblings forced into the role of teacher at a moment’s notice and social distancing high on the agenda, it was only natural for the tools which facilitated these priorities to experience growth. 

Online learning tools are by no means a new invention, but educational institutions have traditionally been slow to adopt new technology. The necessity of their use throughout the pandemic has forced the normalisation of home-schooling and online classrooms, and it will be unlikely for this trend to disappear in a post-Covid world. Online learning doesn’t end at schools, however, a combination of rising unemployment and an increase in time spent at home means that people across generations and circumstances are looking to develop new skills and hobbies. In the US during March 2020 alone, Duolingo, the language-learning app, saw a 148% increase in sign-ups. 

Eco-Friendly Technologies

An increasing awareness of the environmental impact of diesel and petrol cars, along with an urgency to act in the face of climate change, has been looming over the traditional car manufacturing industry for some time. As the pandemic developed and non-essential travel was severely reduced, the travel industry more or less ground to a halt. Oil prices were greatly affected, and satellite imagery released by the European Space Agency showed that air pollution across the world had seen a dramatic reduction compared to the same time of the previous year. 

In November, Boris Johnson announced a new green plan for the UK which included the pledge that from 2030 there would be no new cars or vans sold which are powered wholly by petrol or diesel. The plan also includes investment into off-shore wind, nuclear and hydrogen power as well as aiming for net-zero emission planes and maritime vehicles. 

This spells the opportunity for growth for businesses with a focus on developing eco-friendly technologies. Tesla, the electric car producer, saw its stocks skyrocket by 492% in 2020, with the first quarter of the year being their best performing ever. Audi too are committed to pivoting, with their new ‘Artemis’ department which is focussing on bringing electric cars to market faster than they had originally anticipated. 

Celebrating Christmas under Covid…

It’s safe to say that Christmas 2020 is no usual Christmas. With the latest updates from the Government suggesting that families will be able to meet at Christmas and enjoy the company of up to three households between 23rd and 27th December, there may at least be some level of normality for those who choose to do so. 

Restrictions on church services are due to be lifted, too, so that Christmas Day services may still take place. Boris has stated, however, that Covid-19 is still very much here, and we should remain cautious, avoid travelling and minimise social contact wherever possible. 

With that in mind, this Christmas won’t be quite like any other, and there are more differences you should expect. Work Christmas parties are going to be different: you might have to think outside the box, but you can certainly still find ways to indulge in food and drink with your colleagues online. It’s also smart to put any ideas for a New Years Eve party firmly in the digital realm this time round, but first, let’s look at a few ideas to enjoy the most magical time of year from the comfort and safety of your own home.


A lot of people have turned to baking at some point throughout the lockdowns, and there’s no better time to roll up your sleeves and make something delicious than at Christmas. With the Great British Bake Off coming to an end too, we may be left with a sponge shaped hole in our lives. Look beyond the banana bread and set aside the sourdough. Why not bake your very own showstopper this year?

Video Call with Santa

Here’s hoping that old Saint Nick can find a loophole in the travel bans and still enjoy a glass of sherry or two in your living room this year. Whether his delivery schedule will be impacted or not is one thing, but you certainly won’t be sitting on his knee at any shopping centres. That doesn’t mean the kids have to miss out though, with websites like and offering you the chance to talk to him over the wonders of the internet! Even in December, videoconferencing continues to innovate. 

Indulge yourself in Christmas movies

There’s no reason to go anywhere, or even see anyone, to get in the Christmas spirit. It doesn’t matter if you’re home alone; wrap up warm, make yourself a hot chocolate, marshmallows optional but recommended (‘tis the season!) and put your feet up. Classic christmas movies will be available from all streaming services and broadcasters this year and you’ve earned at least one full day of watching them.