Over the last year or so we have had many conversations with business leaders and teams about what wellbeing means to them.

Wellbeing at work is so important. Workplace absence costs the UK economy £18bn a year, according to recent statistics – and absences due to mental health issues are leading to costs of £8bn, according to the Centre for Mental Health. So this is not just a humane issue, it’s a vital business decision to address the issue of health wellbeing at work – both physical and mental.

On a positive note, it has been pleasing to know how well informed most of the people we have met are on the subject.

However, it’s disappointing to hear accounts of many leaders struggling to focus on their own health and wellbeing. This is across all size businesses and the three most common reasons, appear to be:

Too much time spent on emails:

“I am copied into emails, not because I need to know, but because some else wants me to know. They are often sent late in the evenings or on weekends.”

What is the solution? Leadership comes from above. Take control! Your middle management team need to be CC’d on their departmental issues, with a summary given to you as and when needed.

Too much time travelling:

“As a business leader I have to be seen everywhere and be seen by everyone, therefore vast amounts of my working week are spent travelling.”

What is the solution? Embrace technology, business leaders! There are so many meeting tools to explore. Some travel is unavoidable – but look into to try and avoid the long distance travel wherever possible.

It’s not a work thing:

“It is my job to ensure that the business is running smoothly. Not to spend time on my own health.”

What is the solution? The answer to this is very simple – IT IS A WORK THING. Without your good health, your business will not run smoothly – and without your example, your employees are less likely to prioritise their own wellbeing. Time to change your culture and make wellbeing a part of your business.

You will all reap the rewards.