Workplace Wellbeing Event – ‘The Watercooler’

Workplace Wellbeing Event – ‘The Watercooler’

Today Make A Difference Events and the Evening Standard, London’s most iconic newsbrand, announces that they are partnering to launch a free-to-attend exhibition and conference for workplace wellbeing professionals at London’s Olympia in February 2022. The Watercooler, named in recognition of those crucial moments of connection between employees, sets out to demonstrate that wellbeing IS the future of work. AXA Health and Mercer become the first partners to back this vital initiative.

About The Watercooler:

  • The Watercooler launch partners include: AXA Health and Mercer.
  • Free event includes: 5,000 workplace wellbeing professionals, 150+ best in class suppliers, 120+ speakers, 8 keynote speakers, 120 hours of free learning on physical, mental, social, financial and environmental wellbeing. 20 roundtable discussions, where attendees can choose a topic, join a table hosted by an industry expert, and make valuable connections with wellbeing professionals.
  • Speakers include:
  • Keynote – Professor Dame Carol Black, Chair of the British Library and Centre for Ageing Better
  • Keynote – Professor Sir Cary Cooper, 50th Anniversary Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health, Manchester Business School, Manchester University
  • Leena Nair, Chief HR Officer, Unilever
  • Geoff McDonald, Business Transformation Advisor & Mental Health Campaigner
  • Andy Holmes, Global Head of Wellbeing, Reckitt.

Charles Yardley, CEO, Evening Standard said today: “Employers who invest in wellbeing, retain and increase the productivity of their workforce. This partnership shows that the Evening Standard is backing UK employers at a time when their success has never been more critical”. 

Mark Pigou, founder Make a Difference Events, said today: “Organisations cannot go into the future focused on a individual aspects of wellbeing in a siloed way – we believe that organisational success will be driven by connecting all aspects of wellbeing (mental, physical, social, financial and environment wellbeing), by connecting with best-in-field suppliers and partners, and by connecting across organisations to find out what really works in practice”.

Andy McClure, AXA Health’s Marketing & Proposition Director, said “Our physical and mental wellbeing has a huge impact on our success and happiness at work and at home. We’re excited to be part of this forward-thinking  programme that promises actionable insight for UK employers supporting workplace wellbeing. Together, let’s drive connected wellbeing strategies that support fitter, healthier workforces now and on into the future.”

Claire Farrow, Partner & Global Director of Content of Make A Difference Events, said: “Our ambition is to create the largest, expert-led celebration of workplace wellbeing in the UK – bringing more and more employers to the workplace wellbeing  conversation.”

Louise Aston, Wellbeing Director at Business in the Community, said: “The pandemic has demonstrated that ways of working can change overnight. Working from home and hybrid working have created opportunities for taking a more inclusive and individual approach to designing ‘good jobs’ that enhance wellbeing. Good work is the key to achieving sustainable wellbeing. We need a time and place to share insights and learnings about the future of work, and that’s why The Watercooler is so essential right now.” 

Professor Dame Carol Black,  Chair of the British Library and Centre for Ageing Better

and speaker, commented: “The workplace post-COVID needs to be different. It must, in a joined-up holistic way, meet the mental, physical, financial. social and environmental needs of the workers, as well as the purposes of the organisation. The ‘Watercooler’ is where you can gather, to join things together, make connections, learn from colleagues’ experiences, and find the right solutions for your organisation whatever its size or shape”.

The Watercooler, Event Director Francis Barham said: “As many workers struggle to manage an evolving work dynamic amid a global pandemic, organisations must prioritise the wellbeing of their most important asset – their people, to avoid a decline in productivity, prevent burnout and equip them with the right tools to do better business in the new world.

What role should organisations play in employee wellbeing? What types of support are employees asking for? How can technology help meet the wellbeing challenges we’re facing? The Watercooler will address these issues and more by putting the solution providers in front of the businesses looking to advance and progress. Don’t miss the opportunity to be involved at a time where it’s never been more important.”

Suppliers to the workplace wellbeing are encouraged to become sponsors and exhibitors. The Watercooler partners will benefit from face-to-face interaction with 5,000+ workplace wellbeing professionals at the event, plus an extensive five-month marketing campaign across all Evening Standard channels.

London: Friday 22 October 2022

About The Author


WORKSMARTPA – NEW IDEAS, NEW FRONTIERS The year 2021 sees our business celebrate 21 years of - a community supporting office professionals since our very first newsletter way back in May 2000. As we look forward to greet a new world of change beyond the pandemic, we are extremely excited to announce a new brand; a new look; and some new directions for our much loved, long-standing web site and communities to explore. It is time for change. To better reflect now what we do best for you, we have a new brand, web site and activities – a new name and web site that will be full of new ideas for a new business age and new working trends as we all seek to grow, expand and explore new frontiers.

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