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Contributions from Cary Cooper and members of the Good Day at Work™ community

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We all know that being outside is good for us. Exercise keeps us fit and there are plenty of psychological benefits too. Good Day At Work Content Editor, Tori Wastnedge, speaks to Garden Designer, TV Presenter and psychology enthusiast Dr. Juliet Sargeant, about how organisations can catch the gardening bug. 

Between Friday 31st July and Thursday 6th August, Manchester City Centre will be transformed into a sprawling garden party with the annual Dig The City festival. Celebrating the joys of gardening, the festival promises to bring colour, life and learning to the city, not least of all because gardening is fast becoming an increasingly popular way to experience all the benefits of being outside.

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Recently, the Robertson Cooper team took a day out of the office to collect our thoughts, connect the dots across the business and play the drums. Marketing Executive and Good Day At Work Content Editor, Tori Wastnedge, dishes the dirt on what it’s like to work for a wellbeing company.

My first day as Marketing Executive at Robertson Cooper was three months ago, and also happened to fall on “RC Day”. I remember thinking I’d picked a brilliant time to start – it was a whole day dedicated to talking about the company’s mission, new ideas, projects and clients, and communicating what’s going on in our day-to-days. And, because everyone from the company played a part, I got to meet everyone in the same room at the same time which, because our business psychologists are always out delivering and we have a few remote workers, is quite rare.

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The UK has a productivity problem. Currently ranking 21% lower than the average for the other six members in the G7, despite a fast-growing economy, the UK government is scrambling to find a solution to help plug the gap. The focus seems to be on new technologies as a way of improving productivity, but this strategy isn’t working.

The problem is that, thanks to the downsizing that took place during the recession, there has been an increase in pressure on people working in both the public and private sectors. Those employees who survived the cuts were left feeling less secure in their jobs and having to pick up the slack.

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Right now, one in six of your colleagues will be experiencing depression, anxiety or problems relating to mental health.

Mental health can be a serious issue for businesses and our economy. All too often, employers first become aware that there’s a problem when an employee takes time off work. And by then it could be too late, as the absence may be impacting the business financially and putting pressure on the remaining employees.

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Over the last half a century or so Bhutan, often cited as one of the happiest nations in the world, has undergone some serious structural changes politically. These changes started back in 1952 when the country started to break with the traditional, benevolent monarchy that has governed for centuries, and move towards a modern democracy. The citizens of Bhutan cast the deciding vote in a referendum and the country's first parliamentary elections were held in 2008.

But that doesn't mean it's been easy. Bhutan’s citizens may have voted for democracy, but initially it was difficult for them to evaluate whether they truly liked the changes that brought. In short, they were (understandably) institutionalised to living in a benevolent autocracy – so they had no benchmark of democracy against which to compare their new situation. They only knew rulers who held absolute power – how should they now relate to political leaders who were accountable to them personally at the ballot box? Quite a mind-set shift for anyone to make! 

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Cary CooperGood Day at Work™

The new wellbeing resources hub founded by @profcarycooper and Roberston Cooper. Join for FREE and access blogs, videos, downloads, podcasts and more.

Ben MossBen on Twitter

MD of Cary Cooper's business psychology firm, Robertson Cooper - for all things wellbeing, engagement and resilience at work.

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Professor Cary Cooper, Director and Founder of Robertson Cooper Ltd, Distinguished Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at Lancaster University.

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Robertson Cooper Ltd
Williams House
Manchester Science Park
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Tel: +44 (0) 161 232 4910