Jo Thorburn: How does social activity link to wellbeing?


At Equifax, wellbeing is fundamental to our #AtYourBest people strategy, and we recognise the important role that social activities play. When people are healthy and happy, they bring their whole selves to work and perform better.

We also know that people have different things going on at different times in their lives, so we have created a broad range of initiatives, benefits and support systems in order to have as wide an impact as possible, whatever the situation.

Our approach is varied and diverse, with some serious parts and some that are more light-hearted, and our staff have been fantastic at adopting the #AtYourBest strategy by supporting and taking part in the activities on offer.

Focusing on mental wellbeing has been key, and 15 employees are now mental health first aiders. This comes off the back of our organisation-wide Time to Talk initiative earlier in the year, which encouraged staff to take a break from work to chat with their peers.

During Mental Health Awareness Week in May 2019 we not only ran mindfulness sessions, but also heard from Bumble Bees Rugby Union Football Club (RUFC), an international mixed ability sports team, through which people with diverse physical and mental abilities play full-contact rugby together.

Another good example on the sports side is our White Collar Fighter charity event, where a group of employees were put through their paces with professional boxing coaches for eight weeks of training before a fundraising fight night. This proved so popular that, on 29 June 2019, we completed the event for the second year in a row. 

Groups of staff also enjoy getting together to support running events; we regularly have a team entry for the Robin Hood Half Marathon in Nottingham and staff in Leeds recently set up a running club.

Equifax also has a dedicated charity committee comprised of volunteers spread across its offices, focusing on fundraising for charities that are chosen by staff themselves; these volunteers have organised a combination of raffles, auctions, quizzes and bake sales, as well as donning Santa hats to go carol singing.

Our wellbeing journey is well underway; we have just finalised our 2020 strategy and we cannot wait to share it with our teams.

Jo Thorburn is HR business partner at Equifax