Microsoft hosts wellbeing week

EXCLUSIVE: Microsoft has hosted its annual wellbeing week for 3,000 staff at its campus in Reading.


Its Living Well 365 event, took place between 22 April and 2 May, supports the four pillars of the technology organisation’s wellbeing programme: physical wellness, emotional wellness, financial wellbeing and social wellbeing.

It held a number of initiatives designed to help raise awareness of health issues and improve employees’ overall wellbeing.

Rachel Olatoke, head of UK compensation and benefits at Microsoft, said: “The wellbeing week is one of the ongoing communications initiatives at Microsoft to help employees understand the benefits we have on offer and it is embodied by our four wellbeing pillars.

“We run programmes within those pillars for employees to engage, help them discover the employee benefits and raise awareness in areas that can reduce stress levels.”

Microsoft’s 3,000 employees at its Reading campus were able to take part, while its remaining 3,200 UK employees were able to participate via Skype and the internal social networking tool Yammer.

The Living Well 365 events included:

  • Early morning and afternoon meditation.
  • Fitness classes and challenges.
  • Sleep clinics with a sleep coach.
  • Pension presentations.
  • Social singing classes and a flashmob.
  • Workshops covering a range of wellbeing topics.
  • Mental health first aid classes.
  • Health fairs.
  • A 5km fun run.
  • A financial wellbeing clinic, called Money Fight Club, with authors Anne Caborn and Lindsay Cook.

Claire Hallmey, wellbeing manager at Microsoft, said: “Our main challenge was to get employees to come away from their desks and try out the different wellbeing events.

“Going forward, we will be a bit more selective with what is on offer because we had a broad range of events running.

“We will look at the trends in terms of what was popular and where the enthusiasm was as our future learnings.”

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Lindsay Cook, author of financial wellbeing book Money Fight Club, added: “You can tell the Microsoft wellbeing programme is highly regarded by employees.

“We fielded a wide range of financial questions from a large number of people working at the Reading campus, and then online. We had a number of different people turn up wanting to speak with us about a range of financial problems.”