Agora Wellness Series: Step-Inside 2018

Thank you to Charlotte Wiseman, Founder of Step Inside, our guest blogger for this month!


Happy New Year! As the New Year rolls in and we ask ourselves “can it really be 2018?” there is a flood of hope and inspiration about the year ahead (usually blended with a healthy dose of apprehension). As a business owner the year ahead offers you the chance to build the life you want to lead, the environment you want to work in and the community you want to live in. That is an honour and responsibility. Every day you have the power to make a positive impact on the world around you, and your wellbeing is what enables you to do that. I am writing to inspire you to make 2018 a year of optimal wellbeing for you, your team, your community and your business.

1 – Start Meditating and spread mindfulness

INSEAD and Harvard Business School have highlighted meditation as one of the two most effective business tools for twenty-first century executives. Mindfulness practices have been shown to support leaders in “making better business decisions”, improving strategy, conflict resolution and communication, not to mention the fact that it strengthens the immune system, reduce stress and improves productivity. If you try just one new thing in 2018, try this, I can assure you that with commitment it will change your business for the better and you will not regret it.

(If you are skeptical or just interested then you may be interested in joining a free introductory session to learn more and keep an eye open for future Agora events.)


2 – Make movement part of your brand culture

We can spend a lot of time focusing on keeping up our gym or exercise routine but it has been shown that even with regular exercise we cannot counteract the negative effects of prolonged periods of sitting (or standing!). The effects of the modern desk-bound lifestyle are not limited to the compression of joints, tight muscles, reduced mobility and loss of strength but it can also affect digestion, circulation, metabolism and can impair brain function. And the surprise is that the same goes for prolonged standing without moving. The alternative option for 2018 is to consider how you and your team can move regularly throughout the day in ways that will enable you to do your work better (rather than getting in the way of your work). Try scheduling a ‘walking meeting’, go speak to someone in person rather than send an email or try standing up every time you get a phone call and using it as a reminder to stretch your legs.


3 – Give back

Moving into the New Year we can quickly start to focus on sales targets and winning business, quickly forgetting the festive spirit of generosity and kindness. However, the science of the matter is that by giving generously throughout the year we can improve our physical wellbeing, boost morale and build a healthier bottom line. For individuals, it has been shown that engaging in acts of kindness and giving leads to improved immunity, enhanced productivity and it can prevent the onset of depression and anxiety as well as act as a valuable support for sufferers. In addition to that research has shown that more that 82% of your market wants to hear about your social responsibility and will make a choice based on that knowledge. And by building charity into your corporate values you are more likely to retain staff, your team will be more engaged and the relationships of those in your workplace will be stronger. ‘Giving back’ doesn’t have to be a financial donation and doesn’t require a great amount of organisation. It can be you donating your time as a mentor to a new business owner, it could be using your social media to bring attention to a valuable local cause or could be a change box in the office that goes to a different charity each month. If you want more ideas on this theme then please be in touch and please share yours in the comments below to inspire each other.


For more details on any of the above feel free to contact Charlotte is a positive psychologist and wellbeing consultant. She offers 1 to 1 wellbeing coaching as well as mental wealth, mindfulness, yoga and other wellbeing courses for individuals and organisations.


I am Emma Watkins, the Founder of Agora. My career began at systematic Investment Manager, Winton Capital Management, where I developed and ran the Charity, Sponsorship, Brand and Events Department. After 5 years, I moved on to become Operations Director at Fifty Media, a technology company focused on large scale analysis of social media data to redefine how brands fundamentally understand and engage their customers.