As 2023 draws to a close, Workplace Wellbeing Professional is waving goodbye to another year dedicated to all things wellbeing. While we are looking forward to seeing what 2024 has in store for the corporate landscape, let’s take a look back at some of our highlights throughout the year.
January – March
The top three stories which caught the most attention at the beginning of the year were:
From mental health guidelines to the Cost-of-Living Crisis
In an era where discussions about mental health at work have never been more crucial, it’s no surprise that a story addressing the NICE guidelines takes the lead throughout January – March.
The heightened awareness of mental health in 2023 is undoubtedly a positive highlight of the year. We are seeing companies proactively aiming to foster working cultures that prioritise well-being and recognise the significance of addressing these crucial topics.
Following this is a narrative on the Cost-of-Living Crisis. Throughout the year, employers have been increasingly promoted to recognise the importance of financial wellbeing and appreciate the broader impacts that financial challenges can exert on their workforce, offering support, coaching and advice where possible.
April – June
Evolving work realities, challenges, and the road ahead for UK businesses
Burnout is a topic we have seen over and over again throughout the year. Professionals across the UK have highlighted the implications of prolonged stress and the importance of taking time to make adjustments, destress and recover. What was once perceived as a badge of honour, working excessively long hours is now recognised as an indicator that there is an imbalance that needs to be corrected.
Moreover, in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, the global workforce has witnessed a significant shift from traditional ways of working, establishing flexible work solutions as the prevailing norm. This shift encompasses not only hybrid or fully remote roles, but also reflects increased employer understanding and empathy toward family commitments, caregiving responsibilities, and challenging life events like bereavement.
However, as reflected in story number 3, many would argue UK businesses still have a long way to go!
July – September
The dual role of employee development and manager training
Considerable focus has been directed towards diverse approaches that organisations can employ to enhance the mental wellbeing of their workforce. Notably, learning and development have surfaced as valuable tools, providing employees with a sense of accomplishment through an expanded skill set and avenues for career advancement.
Yet, the responsibility of acquiring new skills to strengthen workforce mental health is not solely placed on employees. Throughout the year, wellbeing experts have advocated for the training of line managers, aiming to equip them with valuable skills that can enhance areas such as employee motivation, morale, and the ability to identify signs when staff members may be facing challenges.
October – December
Menopause, seasonal well-being, and festive caution!
2023 truly has been the year of the menopause! Women’s health experts have been vocal advocates, promoting awareness of both the physical and psychological repercussions of menopause. Although many organisations are still in the early stages of adopting integrated workplace menopause policies, health experts have made significant strides in opening up the conversation and reducing associated stigma.
As we move into the final few weeks of the year, wellbeing experts have brought attention to the challenging reality of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Brought on through lack of natural sunlight, the prevalence of SAD can significantly affect workers, and it’s great to witness efforts addressing this issue. (You can listen to our latest episode discussing Seasonal Affective Disorder here.)
With Christmas around the corner, health and wellbeing experts are seizing the opportunity to caution against excessive alcohol consumption. As some of us may have experienced, waking up after the office Christmas party full of regret is an especially unpleasant experience, so approaching the festivities with caution is advised!
Editor’s Top Stories of 2023
In many respects, it has indeed been another challenging year. As a society, still somewhat reeling from the aftermath of a global pandemic, we then had to contend with the pressures of a financial crisis, compounded by ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Israel.
At the same time, 2023 has proven to be a year of growth. We have seen the rise of lesser-known terms such as imposter syndrome and neurodiversity, each contributing to a better understanding of individual experiences in the realm of work-life.
Throughout the year, one consistent theme that Workplace Wellbeing Professional has found gratifying is the promotion of inclusive workspaces. Wellbeing experts have consistently encouraged organisations across the UK to focus on implementing reasonable adjustments, aligning benefits with the expectations of the entire workforce, and treating all employees with the kindness and respect they rightfully deserve.
For this reason, the Editor’s top stories are:
Greater awareness for neurodiversity and neurodiverse talent, male health and male mental health challenges, and the elimination of discrimination against LGBTQ+ colleagues still has progress to make. Nonetheless, it is heartening to witness the growth of these conversations and we look forward to it continuing into 2024.
The Workplace Wellbeing Professional team would like to take the opportunity to express our thanks to all contributors and users for making this another fantastic year in the realm of wellbeing.
We are delighted to have created a supportive and insightful community dedicated to enhancing workplace wellbeing. We are full of anticipation for 2024 and look forward to continuing a shared promotion of happier and healthier workspaces.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.