Why would Huffington give up the top job at the Pulitzer prize-winning news site with over 100 million monthly users, that she notoriously worked 18-hour days to build, to start a new business that encourages people to get eight hours sleep?
In 2005 when Arianna co-founded The Huffington Post, the term “wellness” meant something along the lines of popping the occasional multi vitamin, eating Sainsbury’s “Be Good to Yourself” range, discussing work-life balance over a cocktail and hitting the treadmill at 5am
These days, corporate wellness is big business – £8bn in 2018, as predicted by Thrive. With mindfulness training, nutrition advice and flexible working hours emanating from the world’s top offices, big corporations are happy to adopt wellness plans to help attract and retain top talent with a different set of values to their peers before them.
Huffington is no stranger to “wellness”, having written two books around the subject, “Thrive” and “The Sleep Revolution”, as well as using her celebrity to promote consumer and corporate wellness at high profile events. Her efforts have no doubt contributed to the widespread rethinking of our understanding of mental and physical health in the last few years, and its impact on our attitudes to office work.
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As outlined in Thrive’s Global Investor Deck, in the UK stress alone results in 105 million lost work days a year; work days that in future might be redeemable through “wellness”.
This figure goes someway to explaining Huffington’s decision to turn her well rested attention to Thrive, the “corporate and consumer well-being and productivity platform” that hopes to rectify this problem, tackling some of the challenges that commonly face employees, such as stress, burnout, depression, and other chronic health issues that are brought on by work.
Thrive’s corporate offerings include workshops and seminars, e-learning courses, weekend retreats, apps, workplace solutions, mindfulness training, nutrition and sleep advice, as well as team communication design that are “all within an educational framework that encourages healthy choices”.
Costs for companies to reap the benefits of Thrive’s “wellness” are not included in its initial investor deck, but if early indications are anything to go by, Huffington’s corporate health plan will come at a price. She did leave Huff Po for it after all.
For startups or SMEs used to cutting costs, there is unlikely to be budget leftover for Thrive Global’s “wellness” plan, and I’m sure there would be a few groans if it meant cutting the bar tab at the workplace summer party.
Read on the next page for the ten free (or cheap!) ways that companies, whatever size, can promote office wellness without splashing out on Thrive, and potentiality reap the benefits of a happier and healthier workforce.
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