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Going it alone doesn’t have to mean being alone

As the country sizzles in temperatures over 30 degrees, it is very clear that the weather is just one of many, many factors that can have a massive impact on our work and how we feel about it. 
 
At the moment we see radio stations trying to find the hottest office (or coldest air conditioned one), we have heard of construction sites being been shut down due to the heat and we, at the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses), have  even identified that businesses with air conditioned premises pay higher business rates. 


 
So, yes, the weather, that great British obsession, isn’t just a massive national  talking point – it is yet another issue that can affect our work-based wellbeing and stress levels.
 
Owning and running a business can be hugely rewarding, however at FSB, we know better than anyone that running a business can also be hard. The demands, responsibilities, and risks faced by small business owners and the self-employed are essential for UK economic success, but can also bring personal pressure.
 
Over the last decade, one of the biggest shifts has been the rise in the number of people who have decided to strike out on their own and move into self-employment. In the South West we have 479,000 self-employed representing 17.4 per cent of the workforce, and contributing over £270 billion to the UK economy.  Many find that working on their own can be truly liberating -  but it can also be isolating and that can lead to mental wellbeing concerns.  

 
There are some pressures that are an inevitable consequence of running a business, but there are steps that all of us – society, business, government and individuals – can take to improve the health and wellbeing of ourselves and those around us.
 
Good wellbeing at work whether for yourself as business owner, or for your employees can support increased productivity, improved staff performance and reduced absenteeism.  The benefits are felt as much by the wider economy, government and society as a whole.

To explore these issues more, the FSB has teamed up with Bath and North East Somerset Council’s public health and business growth teams and local mental health charity Bath Mind, to stage an event to help small business owners manage the stress, health and well-being of their employees – and indeed of themselves. 

Our free morning seminar at Bath Racecourse on Thursday, September 13, is designed to provide a practical, informative session where those who attend will have plenty of opportunity to discuss these important issues with independent experts in the field and learn ideas and tips that will help them create a successful working culture and environment. Business owners can book at https://tinyurl.com/ydal4qpg.

FSB also has its own ‘Health and Wellbeing Hub’  offering members links to all the support available, including finding ways to talk about health and wellbeing, thinking about job design and physical environment and helping people to come up with initiatives that can support a healthy body and mind. It can be found at https://tinyurl.com/y8uto2tl.
 

Bini Ludlow is the Area Lead for FSB in Somerset and is based in Radstock