Life has changed for us all and we have all had to adjust to new ways of living and working. With many of us working from home it has been essential to keep moving for our physical and mental health.

Jo Besant manages the Community Response Team at Colchester Borough Council and has been a strong advocate for encouraging her colleagues to look after their mental health. She does this by ensuring they keep active whilst at home.

Pre-COVID her team often had walking meetings to enable individuals to step away from their desks, get moving and breathe in fresh air. Since the team have been working from home, Jo has been encouraging colleagues to stay active, ensuring they take regular breaks. During virtual team meetings they begin by discussing their weekly activity achievements. By creating this positive and motivated environment Jo makes certain her teams health and wellbeing are at the forefront of their working from home routine.

Colleagues within Jo’s team said: “During these difficult and unprecedented times, Jo has provided support and stability to the team. She is always encouraging us to take regular breaks, go for a run or walk and clear our heads. She has also spent time getting to know her expanded team and what their activity hobbies are and continues to encourage us to not forget about them.”

The Health and Safety Executive recommends leaving your desk every 30 minutes to refocus the mind, reset and stay productive. Making time for breaks during the working day is important in helping manage stress.

As restrictions start to loosen, Jo has set up socially distanced 1-2-1’s where they continue their tradition of walking meetings. Working from home has meant our sedentary levels have increased and Jo is showing how easy it can be to inspire and motivate her colleagues in changing this for their positive wellbeing. Congratulations Jo on receiving our June One in a Million award.