“For 10 years I have been playing futsal on Friday nights and only now saw how much heavy exercise affects my sleep. Otherwise, my sleep quality is better than average, but after an evening workout, my sleep points drop from 95 to 20. This came as a surprise.” – Pietu Purhonen, Regional Director
“(Firstbeat Life is) a really simple way to track your own well-being. The measurement has highlighted our own challenges, i.e. recovery both at night and after exercise, for example.” – Sanna Perttilä, HR Consultant
“Data can help a company develop their workday and community. For example, how to add restorative and alert moments. This is definitely a win-win opportunity: alertness is important for the daily lives of individuals and, in addition, for the company’s operations. ” – Henrik Rantala, Business Area Director
A number of Barona employees and members of the management team at the personnel services company had previously monitored their own well-being with the help of the Firstbeat Lifestyle Assessment. More recently, they were offered the opportunity to switch to the new Firstbeat Life service.
Using Firstbeat Life meant they had access to personal measuring devices that could take measurements whenever they wanted. Pietu Purhonen, who is the regional director in Vaasa, was happy to seize the opportunity. He has been monitoring his well-being with Firstbeat Life about once a month, varying in length from 1 to 5 days.
“Because of coronavirus, the year has been exceptionally tough. Once the employer offered me this opportunity, I wanted to monitor regularly to see in which direction my own resources are going at any time,” says Pietu.
And here’s where Firstbeat Life has really had an impact. In the summer, Pietu’s overall well-being score was 88, but in the early fall, that dropped to 53. Since then, he managed to raise the score to over 90 – and it didn’t require any miracles.
“I have focused on changing quite small but important things: in the evening I switched from watching a screen to reading a book, tried to add micro-breaks to working hours, and reduced tough workouts.”
Good personal wellness has a knock on effect on the company
According to Pietu, the greatest value of the Firstbeat Life service at the individual level is that it helps to see concrete – even relatively simple – things that can be improved in people’s daily lives. He works daily on improving his personal wellness but also sees the benefits at the organization level.
“Firstbeat Life is really valuable at the team level, for example, where we can set common goals and discuss results with each other. A lot is about how the data is used and how it is derived. If there is a 5% improvement at a team or organizational level, it is already having an impact and can be identified.”
The benefits for the individual will certainly affect the organization’s operations, too. That’s the view of Henrik Rantala, too, Barona’s Director of IT and International Businesses.
“An employee who has good wellness can generate huge added value from the company’s point of view as well. There are a lot of things that can be influenced in your daily life which are then reflected in the working day and the work done,” says Henrik. “By no means do we have to be top athletes: even small improvements in well-being are reflected in better resilience at work.”
However, Henrik himself is excited to make even bigger changes and has started training more purposefully. He’s now following his training with the help of Firstbeat Life.
“I monitor load and recovery after both harder and lighter training sessions. This allows me to manage the balance and see things that promote or undermine recovery.”
Data helps you take stock and make more informed decisions
According to Henrik, one of the biggest benefits of Firstbeat Life is how the data illustrates actual life.
“Data makes you pay attention to things in a completely different way. It helps you not to drift and to make more informed decisions. Yes, you often feel that you have slept well or badly, but when you really see how little recovery there is during the night, for example, it makes you think.”
Of course, seeing concretely how different things in your daily life affect your body doesn’t mean that changes happen at the click of a finger. Wellness is always the sum of many factors, which has been noticed by Barona’s HR consultant Sanna Perttilä.
Sanna has been struggling with very low blood iron values for a long time, and this has affected her well-being and endurance as a whole: sleep has been poor, fitness has decreased and weight has increased.
“I tried to change things, and introduce calm evenings, but the results would not change initially, which of course was frustrating. In the last measurement, however, there was already restorative green in the night’s sleep,” says Sanna.
In the case of Sanna, the priority is, of course, to raise iron values and thereby improve health. At the same time, it’s good to remember that moderation is an asset: change doesn’t happen in an instant. Sanna explains how, among other things, she has started cycling on her business trips and increased her outdoor activities. Both of these have certainly improved her recovery over time.
“Yes, there has been a lot more exercise, and maybe the coronavirus pandemicc has also made everyday life smoother in its own way. Data has helped to stop and think about things that could be done differently,” Sanna adds.
Do you want to help your employees find a better balance between stress and recovery and lead well-being at work with knowledge?
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