Thrive week 2017

Written on Tuesday 14th November 2017

In November 2016 we held our first Wellness Week for our UK employees. With support from our fantastic culture champions the week was a great success with employees enthusiastically engaging with the concept. Building on this success, we wanted to expand the idea into a permanent programme with a mission statement.

  • Ensure consistent messaging on, and access to wellbeing resources across the whole group
  • Empower and equip employees to take responsibility for their wellbeing
  • Bring wellbeing into the mind-set of our business

Thrive is an ongoing programme providing the support and tools needed for our employees to be resilient, productive and happy at work and in their lives. Thrive brings together and promotes initiatives and resources from across the OPEN Health group including; Company benefits, Learning and development initiatives and resources, Policies and practices that support wellbeing, and Socialising and networking opportunities.

Thrive Week was our opportunity to launch this new programme whilst reminding employees of the resources already available to them, and introducing some new initiatives designed to help them be happy people not just happy employees. The week centred around core sessions focusing on topics central to our employees' wellbeing as well as local events in each of our offices. These core topics are: Lifelong learning, Resilience and Managers and colleagues.


This year's thrive week launched on 30th October 2017, taking place in all our offices around the world in 6 different locations. From Marlow to Dubai, thrive spirits were high as numerous activities took place across the board.

The Dubai team started Thrive week a day earlier than most, beginning with a Sunday team breakfast. As they are such a multicultural team, they thought it a great way to explore everyone's native foods. They share a spread of Indian samosas, Filipino adobo rolls, Middle Eastern manakeesh, and scones.The following day, the team donned their aprons and picked up their paintbrushes to begin the team artwork - a favourite amongst the office, as it allowed everyone to take a therapeutic break from their desks. On Tuesday, the team congregated for a sunset yoga class on the grass - a perfect way to wind down at the end of a busy day. As part of the Dubai team's daily thrive week routine, employees were encouraged to take part in a 5-minute 'office workout' to prevent long periods of sitting and repetitive strain injuries associated with desk and computer work. The office workout was followed by smoothies made in-house at the 'smoothie bar'. As a lovely end to thrive week, the team gathered for some team drinks at the local bar just next door!

Our team in Newcastle fully embraced thrive week, putting their creativity to good use when coming up with exciting activities for the week. They invented OPEN Health's very first ‘Thrive Hive’; a place where employees could step away from their desks to relax and rewind, surrounded by relaxing music, yoga mats and incense sticks. Other popular events included trips to the Dog and Scone Café, and the annual trip to Ouseburn farm. These animal based activities were highly popular with the team, and there is even research to suggest that petting or playing with animals can actually increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease the production of the stress hormone cortisol!

Thrive week was a huge hit in our Marlow offices, with plenty of enthusiasm exhibited by all! The week was started right with a healthy breakfast club, featuring an exciting fruit roulette game for employees to play. This was followed by a Halloween themed day - popular amongst many! A Halloween bake off, office dress up and assortment of Halloween office games were just some of the highlights. One of the most popular events of the week was the visit to OPEN Health’s allotment. Led by pH Associates, employees head down to the allotment where they revitalised this space so that it was thriving again! Whilst down there, Halloween themed activities were also held such as pumpkin carving and pumpkin soup tasting - Congratulations to Harriet who's pumpkin was voted for 'Best looking pumpkin! A Rowathon also took place in the Liston Office whereby volunteers would have to work together to reach a 100k target. This activity raised money for ‘Strive for Five’, a charity who increase awareness for Beating bowel cancer. We also had visits from OPEN Health benefit providers, chiropractors, masseuses and gym representatives all to talk about the services and benefits they have to offer our employees. The gym's reps from ‘Wild Training Gym’ got people on their feet by organising competitions within the office, with freebies and discounts up for grabs - Congratulations to Zohaib and Philipa who were our winners of the day! As a final wind down to thrive week, a lunchtime movie showing was held, showcasing 'Grease' the musical for our employees to enjoy as a short lunch break.

The London office had a busy week ahead of them, as their thrive week timetable was packed with a variety of different activities. One of the most popular events each day was the daily Plank challenge! - Taking place every day at 4pm, the social area was the place to be, as the sound of cheers and motivational pep-talk echoed through the office. Mid-week, a smoothie bar was set up, which attracted quite a crowd and forced people to queue for a taste of these nutritious drinks. On top of this, there were also life-drawing sessions, Halloween themed activities, and meditation sessions to name a few - A very busy, but successful thrive week!

Thrive week was the perfect opportunity for the Chicago team to inaugurate their first monthly breakfast club. Many events took place during the week, including a mini gym facility tour and yoga session, daily desk stretches, treats and costumes for Halloween, lunch time walks, a TED talk, and a meditation session at the end of the day - Some even took the time to go on a lunchtime walk to Millennium Park for lunch! The week ended with a celebratory drink and appetizers at a local bar/restaurant. Overall, the team really enjoyed thrive week, particularly the healthy snacks that were brought in as treats and for breakfast club. They also enjoyed the 15 minute meditation session at the end of the day.

Our team in Runcorn had a fantastic Thrive week which consisted of a Healthy Breakfast on the Tuesday morning and a fun quiz overseen by Matt on the Wednesday morning. They finished the week off nicely with a group lunch. The Wii was also available to all staff throughout the week and some epic battles were fought!

Throughout all the fun, healthy eating and exercise, there were also daily email updates full of useful tips and resources to help our employees thrive! These emails encouraged small changes, which would in turn make a big impact on OPEN Health employee’s personal and professional lives. These covered anything from how to create a good line management system in the workplace, to taking action outside of work to do something fun or new to help improve one’s employee wellbeing

Everything that took place over the week was designed to bring value to all of the people who make OPEN Health and emulate the OPEN Health thrive pillars physicalmentalprofessional, and social. The week was a great success and many engaged with the activities; the involvement was displayed on social media accounts using the #thrive hashtag.

If you’d like to work for a company which helps support personal and professional well-being with a holistic approach, please get in touch with Sarah Longmuir, HR Business Partner, OPEN Health on or +44 16 2848 1112 or visit our careers page on our website.