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Newsletter 47 – Dec 2008/Jan 2009

Welcome to the Christmas and New Year edition of “In Equilibrium“.

Our 2008 conference took place on 20 November, we have a review and photo gallery; we offer a calming stress tip for this hectic time of year; include an invitation for you to participate in a research project; and have some interesting links to various topical surveys and reports.

We hope you will find a spare moment at this busy time of year to read on.

In Equilibrium News

Our 2008 Conference We received excellent feedback from our “Workplace Stress, Resilience and Well-being Conference” which took place in London last month.  In his summing up the Chairman, Dr Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said, “Five or ten years ago it would not have been possible to get together speakers from such wide-ranging organisations all of whom are promoting the benefits of investing in the mental health and well-being of people at work.”

Your opinion counts We are looking to monitor the effect of the current credit crunch on personal well-being and would be very interested to know your views.  All we require is for you to follow the link below and answer the two simple questions posed.  It will take less than a minute and is totally anonymous but the responses received will be valuable to us in gauging public opinion.  (Survey now closed)

Have you viewed our new-look website? For anyone who has yet to have a look at our re-vamped website, the address remains the same www.in-equilibrium.co.uk, so please feel free to have a browse.

Building a Resilient Organisation We have developed 3 complimentary 1-day in-house training courses which will enable people throughout your organisation to stay in control and thrive throughout difficult circumstances.

Stress Management Tip

This month’s tip offers a suggestion to help calm you down and clear your head in preparation for a restful night’s sleep.

New HSE Management Standards now published

The HSE have recently published the new 2008 Management Standards for Workplace Stress.  These have been produced in association with In Equilibriums associate company Health-e-Solutions.

The main benefit of the new standards is that if you are planning a survey to assess the risk of stress in your organisation we can now compare the results with national averages based on real survey data.  This results in more realistic improvement targets and will make it easier to identify stress hot spots and areas of good practice.

Please contact us to review full details of the service provided and examples of the standard reports that will be produced.


We found the following websites interesting:

Find Local Produce – Local Food, Farm Shops, Farmers’ Markets, Vegetable Box Schemes and PYO Farms   With there being so much nutritional and ecological advice about the benefits of using seasonal produce, this site provides a wealth of useful information.  Not only can you search for locations and dates of local farmers markets, veg box schemes and pick your own.  Think you could say it ensures we have no excuse not to boost our nutrition, support our local food suppliers and help cut down on the nations carbon footprint by reducing transportation costs.  Now there is a New Years resolution in the waiting!

Water at Work –  An interesting initiative created by Unison, the Public Service Union.  They and their strategic partners listed on the website appreciate that promoting and enabling good health in the workplace is not as easy as it sounds and have developed resources to help employers and employees understand the benefits of drinking tap water.  In these difficult economic times, they also suggest that mains fed water coolers make sense financially with 19 litres of bottled water costing between 5GBP – 7GBP and the same amount from your main costing around 2p.

Amanda’s Column

Amanda comes to the grim realisation that Christmas is less than a month away and she has yet to start her preparations … an alternative approach may be required!

Stress in the News

Healthy Workers are still your Greatest Asset   Simon Jones, CEO, Investors in People explores why during these difficult economic times it is more important than ever to consider the health and well-being of your most valuable asset, your people.

A call for more action to tackle stress in the workplace   The 2008 TUC biennial survey of Safety Representatives has again found that overwork or stress is by far the most commonly identified hazard, with 3 out of 5 safety reps identifying it as a concern.  The report recommends that there should be more use of enforcement measures by inspectors.  There is also a recommendation that the stress management standards should be incorporated into an Approved Code of Practice.

Developing our Brains from Cradle to Grave   This report follows a 2 year study involving more than 400 international experts in fields ranging from neuroscience to economics.  According to the Governments futures think-tank Foresight, action across society to support the nations mental well-being would reap huge benefits.  3 key areas were identified as learning in the early years, mental well-being at work and the ageing population.

CIPD Report into Leadership & the Management of Conflict at Work   This report details the findings of a survey by the CIPD, in association with business psychology consultancy OPP, into leadership and conflict management in the workplace.  It is based on replies from 660 HR practitioners from organisations employing almost 2.3 million employees. The report covers the impact of conflict, causes of conflict, managing and preventing conflict, and the benefits of investing in managing conflict at work.

Credit Crunch Stopping Workers acting on Health Issues   A major new health report has revealed that the credit crunch is resulting in people being less likely to take time off sick. HSAs Healthy Working Report has found that 21% of the nation feels they will be less inclined to act on lingering or background health issues in tougher economic times.

And finally …

Scientists can now plot the path of the Christmas spirit through your brain.  So beware if your face is smiling through the festivities whilst your heart is not in it, apparently your brain will know the difference and you will not reap the same cognitive rewards. 


Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. Sydney J Harris, Journalist (b.1917  d.1986)

Youth is when you are allowed to stay up late on New Years Eve.  Middle age is when you are forced to. Bill Vaughn, Columnist & Author (b.1915  d.1977)

The team at In Equilibrium would like to wish you a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.  Thank you for reading the In Equilibrium newsletter throughout the year and we look forward to sending you future editions in 2009.

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