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Rob Hingston

by Rob Hingston / Managing Director

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5th Feb 2019

The most popular new year’s resolutions Bristol business owners set usually follow a pattern; to get healthier, to make more money, and to be happier. In 2019, we are seeing a shift from personal resolutions to those that support employees to meet their goals.

One of the top risks facing business owners in 2019, according to research published in December by consulting firm Protiviti, is attracting and retaining staff. This was classified as a higher risk than it has been to business stability in 2018.

Here are my top business resolutions business owners should set to benefit not only the company but the teams that help run it.

1) It’s all about ‘work joy’

The Scandinavians have a wonderful word that translates as ‘happiness at work’, or ‘work joy’ – ‘arbejdsglæde’. Establishing a healthy work-life balance is critical in Scandinavian culture, and it’s a concept every UK business should aspire to cultivate.

Encourage your employees to prioritise their work/life balance by making arbejdsglæde a feature of your organisational ethos in 2019.

Look for workspace that has 24/7 opening hours so that if staff are working outside of regular office hours they have enough security in place to feel safe. If you are a small business, consider taking an office in a co-working space so employees are guaranteed company if they are an early riser or like to get work done at the weekend.

2) Develop a wellness culture

As well us raising endorphin levels and keeping us happier, regular exercise promotes productivity, so make it easy for your employees to make wellness a part of their weekly routine.

As well as an in-house gym, and a studio where yoga classes are held, we also offer free Workout + Network sessions which draw 10-20 participants per session and are open to non- members. Simple additions like the provision of secure bike racks, a drying room for wet kit and showers encourage our members to incorporate exercise into their commute, and support our core ethos that exercise is fundamental to staying productive at work.

3) Take mental health seriously

Invest in training a member of your team to be a mental health first aider to ensure you know as a business how to identify, understand and help someone who might be experiencing a mental health issue. Encourage your team to bring their whole self to work to promote a collaborative workspace.

4) Support employees to make great choices

Try to balance team get togethers so they aren’t always focused around alcohol or food. Group challenges such as Locked in A Room, Tough Mudder or a local charity run can be fun as well as confidence and team building.

We enter Origin Workspace teams for fun local events like the Simply Health Bristol 10k, the Colour Run and the annual CHSW Santa Run. It’s a great way to support health, and allows us to bring colleagues and family members together, building a community environment.

5) Invest in space that boosts productivity

We spend a lot of time at work so your ‘ideal world’ checklist if you are seeking out an office should include providing employees with natural light, access to outside space and avoidance of air conditioning.

Origin Workspace offers ergonomically-designed work stations and the building is flooded with natural light. We have also invested in natural ventilation. With two roof terraces and Brandon Hill five minutes away there is plenty of outside space.

6) Provide opportunities for employees to collaborate

Encourage your team to attend training courses and network. It will boost their confidence, skill set and may even bring more business your way.

Our ever-evolving events programme welcomes experienced speakers to inspire business thinking, and networking opportunities to encourage collaboration. Our “How I did it” and “Business basics” talks are led by business leaders. We also play host to respected third party support organisations, like LinkedIn Local, Enterprise Nation and a range of relevant meetup groups. Our events are open to members and non-members.

7) Profit with purpose

Businesses need to make a profit in order to sustain themselves, but it doesn’t have to be their only reason for being. There is value in incorporating social good into your business plans, engaging both employees and customers in your mission.

Origin Startup alumni, Kings Grooming is a good example of a purpose-driven business. It is an ethical aftershave and grooming brand with a mission to empower men to live healthier and happier lives. They also fund men’s mental health projects.

Lower absenteeism and staff turnover means lower recruitment costs and a more engaged and productive team. This, in turn, can lead to greater profitability and therefore more money to invest in salaries and the stability of the company as a whole.

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