Mark Causon talks to organisational psychologist Dr Vincent Cassar, the person behind Mediterranean Associates - a new venture aimed at promoting two-day programmes for human resources to improve wellbeing at the workplace
What led you to venture into this new concept? Mediterranean Associates is a venture which focuses on people development with emphasis on employee surveys, research and training. Well at Work was conceived 6 years ago when I was involved with a British consultancy firm specialising in human factors but when CNBC had approached the company to promote the project, the idea was shelved due to the high costs involved in the production of a special filming feature. But this time round I met the ever energetic business woman Phyllis Muscat of Biocare Ltd and together we have teamed up to initialise ‘Well at Work’. This venture is all about providing a programme that asks the simple question: ‘how can we utilise people’s resources to maximise benefits at work through promoting their sense of well-being?’. Health and safety studies in the US, EU and UK show that indirect or direct health problems are created through stress. This brings us to the whole concept of this project, which helps us appreciate better the positive or negative impacts on one’s life.
What does the Well at Work programme involve? This is a two-day project involving psychologists, experts in nutrition and dieting, Spa specialists and professionals trained in physiotherapy. The environment - the quality of work and the physical environment all go hand in hand whereby the attendees benefit from lessons on healthy eating at work and the importance of integrating a healthy life style (such as simple Spa treatments and gym activities) to help participants appreciate sports, experience the importance to overcome physical and psychological stress. Another session will involve aerobics, with the aim of introducing new patterns of behaviour that make a difference in the long term.
What are the benefits of such a programme? This whole project is a holistic and integral project with an element of pleasure in progress, where during the two-day programme, participants experience all the elements necessary to promote wellbeing at work. The ultimate goal is to give something to all the participants. The programme is open to all executives and the general workforce. It is also an incentive to employees, and companies can use it for mutual benefit - besides of course being an opportunity to promote health tourism in Malta. The sessions will involve small groups of 6 to 8 people in order to offer an intimate session.
Where does the name come from? ‘Well at Work’ was specifically chosen because it has a positive outlook, thinking beyond the name, identifying the work life balance, identifying where it all is. The programme is evidence-based but translated in doable activities.