Liz Earle talks wellbeing at work

Written by
Liz Earle

14 Sep 2016

14 Sep 2016 • by Liz Earle

What does a typical day look like for you?

I live on a working organic farm, so when I’m home I start the day with an organic boiled egg from one of my hens, with a glass of something green-veggie. I wake up my mind by taking a brisk Nordic walk around the farm fields.

Much of my time is spent researching and recipe testing for my new venture, the seasonal magazine Liz Earle Wellbeing, and for new books. A typical day may involve meetings, wearing a range of different ‘hats’, from editor-inchief to beauty and wellbeing ambassador, TV presenter and ethical jewellery designer, as well as founder of the charity LiveTwice, which tackles social injustice and need.

Whats the most rewarding part of your role?

Making ‘living well’ easier and more accessible, sharing wellbeing wisdom within the Liz Earle Wellbeing magazine and website. I get a genuine buzz from helping readers to look and feel good.
I’ve also found it rewarding to be paving the way for more Fairtrade jewellery in the UK, in partnership with leading British ethical jewellers, Cred. In January, I visited an artisan gold mine in Kenya, seeing, firsthand, the difference sustainable and ethical working practices make to individuals and impoverished mining communities.

My charity, LiveTwice – where the ethos is a hand-up not just a handout – takes me to many places, from East London to East Africa, and it’s satisfying to see the practical help we’ve been able to offer.

What do you see as the key to great leadership?

Walk the talk: be so passionate about your work that this cannot help but inspire and motivate those working with you, as well as a wider audience.

How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

I have screen-free times of the day at home and my work schedule revolves around the school calendar. Sports days, speech days and Christmas concerts are ring-fenced in my diary.

Why is wellbeing at work important?

We’re working harder and longer than ever, so we need sustainability through wellbeing to avoid burnout. It’s vital that workspaces contribute to our wellbeing, rather than sapping energy and building sedentary habits. 

How can busy senior executives maintain energy and stay productive?

Have healthy body- and mindboosting snacks to hand, such as green juices and high-energy nutty snacks, so that you don’t find yourself drifting towards the vending machine. The essential rule is to drink more water: keep a water filter jug or portable water filter on your desk and don’t leave your desk to go home until you’ve drunk it all!

An ergonomic desk set-up is also important, as well as taking time to move and stretch. Rest your eyes, focus on something in the distance rather than a few feet from your face, and take a brisk walk around your working space. Investing in an ergonomic desk chair that both supports and rests the body while working is important too.

How can leaders develop a healthy environment for their staff?

Consider whether their workspace is conducive to wellbeing. At our own Wellbeing Studios, we recently had an expert in ergonomics come in to assess each member of my team’s posture, and help ensure they had their chairs, arm rests and computer monitors at the correct height and settings to prevent repetitive strain.

I encourage my team to work from home some days to reduce their commute. There’s a real sense of fun in our studios – birthday cakes, walks in the park and general camaraderie help create team spirit and increase personal happiness, reduce office politics and make for a more productive, engaged and committed group. Instil a culture of care: if you care for your team they are more likely to care for one another and for the organisation.