With millions of workers suffering from stress, we explore the pandemic boom in wellness help

The wellness industry is a trillion-dollar business, and the pandemic has turbo-charged it. One of the biggest trends has been the rise in employers buying their staff access to meditation and fitness apps. But does this ‘quick fix’ approach work? And are there better ways to boost wellbeing?

Isabel talks to Lorna Borenstein, chief executive of Grokker, a corporate wellness app about the reasons why she set up the platform and how clients and her own staff use it. It’s all part of a culture of taking care of employees — a topic Lorna has explored more deeply in her book It’s Personal, offering advice to other managers on how to help staff feel better [tl;dr: talk less, listen more]. We also speak to FT colleague Emma Jacobs, about the corporate care culture. She is a little more sceptical.

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Mentioned in the podcast and other interesting reading:

-Emma Jacobs’ prophetic pre-pandemic guide to workplace wellness by app: https://www.ft.com/content/d1d58aae-437c-11ea-abea-0c7a29cd66fe  

-FT series, Burnout: https://www.ft.com/burnout

- Deloitte report [2020] on employee mental health showing £5 benefit for every £1 spent https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/consulting/articles/mental-health-and-employers-refreshing-the-case-for-investment.html

-Video: Emma Jacobs on how to detox from your smartphone: https://www-ft-com.newman.richmond.edu/video/b4115321-b915-3a42-9814-ad0be4c0e7f5?playlist-name=section-0b83bc44-4a55-4958-882e-73ba6b2b0aa6&playlist-offset=206

Presented by Isabel Berwick. Editorial direction from Renée Kaplan. Assistant producer is Persis Love. Sound design is by Breen Turner, with original music from Metaphor Music. Produced by Novel.

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