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How innovative employees can improve their own wellbeing

By Shetal Edwards, Head of Innovation Partnerships | Posted June 14, 2018

The average person spends around a third of their life at work – please don’t despair at that thought!

Our increasingly busy work environments can have a significant impact on our mental and physical wellbeing. At EDF Energy, health and wellbeing isn’t just about reams of intranet resources. With more than 13,000 employees, creating a healthy work environment not only increases productivity but helps our people be the best they can, and a force for good in their day-to-day roles.

Asking our own teams to come up with clever and fresh ideas to deliver against an active commitment, that’s the tricky part. New into the role, CEO Simone Rossi, asked our staff for their suggestions, and tasked Blue Lab with injecting energy into the challenge.

Asking the people who know best

Innovation can be the smallest of things and providing it brings positive change to our organisation, we’ll test the concept.

We received more than 200 brilliant ideas for the challenge from right across the organisation.

Every part of the company was represented with ideas from staff at all levels. To whittle this down to a shortlist of six (yes, six!) we went back to the people who know best – our employees - and asked them to help us select the ideas that resonated most strongly with them. 6000 votes later, and incredibly excited by the positive responses, we had six concepts to pitch to our esteemed judging panel.

No walk in the park

It’s not easy to pitch to a room of peers, so we made it harder. We invited the six finalists to present their ideas to our EDF Energy CEO and his Executive Team – and they did themselves proud!

Here are the six ideas that made it to the final:

  • Moments to Move
    An app which regularly ‘nudges’ people to move throughout the day to boost their energy levels, avoid prolonged periods of sitting and reduce the risk of aches, pains and eye strain associated with spending too long at a desk working with a screen.
  • Culture of Work
    An approach to protect time both at, and away from, work. By introducing an email code of conduct and stopping back-to-back meetings, the aim is to give all employees a clean break from work overnight, to spend doing the things they love, with the people they love.
  • Nutritional values on food
    Highlighting the nutritional information of the food on offer in our canteens, a concept widely adopted by the fast-food industry and supermarkets, in a bid to make us all aware of what we are consuming.
  • Life-saving skills
    Raise awareness of some key skills that could save a life by rolling out a basic training programme through existing team meetings. Very few of us are confident that we would have the right first aid skills to save a life in an emergency. This training could make the difference.
  • Car sharepoint
    A plan to join the UK’s largest car-sharing community to reduce commuter stress and lower costs, congestion and pollution. Win, win for both your pocket and your carbon footprint.
  • Wellbeing vending machine
    A virtual online vending machine that gives staff access to a range of option to improve the health and wellbeing

And the winner is…

After putting the pressure on us, we turned the tables and asked the judges to whittle down the six finalists to just one winner.

Movements to Move has opened their pitch with a hard-hitting line: 'Sitting down is killing us'. Their presentation clearly resonated with our CEO and his team, who are pictured here joining in with a nudge to move.

The judges felt their innovative idea would make a real difference and prove popular across the organisation. 

But we loved all the finalists’ ideas and we’ll be sponsoring and developing each of them further with a view to trialling or implementing them across EDF Energy in the not too distant future. 

What is Blue Lab?

Challenges such as this are an important area of work for Blue Lab. We work on growing and nurturing business ideas with start-ups, our colleagues, students and innovators who are passionate about their concepts. This challenge was a real celebration of innovation, giving people an opportunity to put forward ideas that will improve their own health and wellbeing, then supporting them to see the best ideas brought to life.

Our Blue Lab innovation platform encourages collaboration, acceleration and disruption. Innovation can be external or it can be internal. Any idea can flourish with the right support and we are really looking forward to seeing these ideas come to life.