Conference news: Symposium events wellbeing forum

Financial services company KPMG plans to improve air quality in its offices to improve staff productivity.

The company will improve indoor air quality and measure its impact on employee stress and performance over time, according to Julia Bennett, the company’s health and wellbeing manager.

“It is something we’re starting to look at – some of the treatment side and how we can explore that further,” she told delegates at last month’s Wellbeing Forum.

Bennett said research showed that exposure to low-level carbon dioxide could lead to a 30% reduction in cognitive processes, health complaints, migraine, a reduction in concentration, and increased tiredness. Studies showed that carbon dioxide levels were high among depression and anxiety patients, and that oxygen has been used to treat various cognitive symptoms.

KPMG also used cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and marketed it to staff by saying it could enhance their competitiveness.

“CBT should not necessarily be seen as a treatment care pathway, but sold as something that can deliver competitive advantage,” said Bennett. “We feel we bridge the gap between what we think of as coaching and counselling.” 

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