Gloucester insurer employees get physical to keep lockdown blues at bay
By Matt Hall | 12th June 2020
Staff at Gloucester Business Park based Ageas have been pounding the pavements in a bid to stay fit and healthy during the coronavirus lockdown.
The insurance company - which employs more than 680 people in Gloucester - laid on a special series of challenges for its people as part of its commitment to staff wellbeing.
Employees had the choice of three different challenges to complete in May; cycling 267km, running 42km or clocking up 250,000 steps.
Around 200 people took part in the trio of challenges and, of those who completed the feats of fitness, more than 17 million steps were taken, 4,362km run and 14,619km cycled collectively.
Faye Boucher, who works at Ageas' office in Gloucester, literally went the extra mile by clocking up an impressive 334,901 steps in the walking challenge.
Ms Boucher said: "The challenge came just at the right time for me, I had noticed since working from home I was not getting outside and doing as many steps as I would normally. It gave me that push to get back outside and I even I discovered lots of lovely places to me locally."
Lyn Nicholls, HR director at Ageas UK, said: "Our people have really embraced the three challenges and I'm impressed by the number of miles they've clocked up between them. Keeping active is a great way of looking after our mental wellbeing, as well as our physical health, so we're pleased to be able to lay on these challenges for our employees."
Ageas has been supporting its employees during lockdown, with a particular focus on mental wellbeing. Other initiatives have included resources for busy parents, mental health first aiders and wellbeing guides.
The company has not furloughed any staff and has helped around 80 per cent of its employees to work from home, with strict social distancing and safety measures in place for those essential workers who have needed to be in the office.
"Like many businesses across the UK, we're now looking at how our people who have been working from home can return to the office in a safe way, while also reflecting on our experiences over the last few weeks as an opportunity to think about how we want to operate in future." Ms Nicholls added.
"This includes looking at flexibility in working hours, changes to the office layout and using technology to our advantage. It's vital we keep our people safe so they can do what they do best - help our customers during their time of need."
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