Our guest writer for today is Charlène Gisele.
Former Lawyer (litigator role in London ) Charlène set up her own business as a Primal Health Coach with a focus on Ancestral inspired holistic health & cutting edge biohacking, working with high performing executives, lawyers and other corporate executives. Charlène is a certified Yin Yoga teacher, meditation facilitator, Primal nutrition & Movement Coach and her passion is to optimise her client’s health- on both a mindset & physical level. https://www.charlenegisele.com/
Let’s first have a look at What is Biohacking, in case this is a new concept to you!
Biohacking is optimising both your internal and external environment by the blending of state of the art technology with time tested holistic wisdom. It is about using state of the art technology to get quantifiable insights into your unique biology, physiology and mental state to achieve optimum health, performance, longevity and vitality. With these deep insights, it provides biological markers that can be tracked and improved. With technology, it is now possible to give recommendations based on a person’s unique requirements. The time of generic, broad sweeping recommendations is behind us, we can now all get tailored recommendations that will have the greatest impact on your wellness.
Corporate teams today are diverse, with executives from all types of backgrounds working on different time zones all across the world- there is a need to account for the biological idiosyncrasies that come with a diverse workforce. Biohacking leverages the most cutting edge technology to give you the most accurate and actionable insights, so corporate wellness recommendations and actions meet the unique and diverse requirements of a company’s employees.
It is not just technology that defines biohacking, it is also being open to integrating time tested holistic practises that power on our bodies natural evolved capabilities for promoting optimal wellness. Where technology helps to reinvent the wheel, holistic wisdom illuminates where the wheel does not need to be reinvented because time has tested the principle and no modern technology can displace its efficacy. Science in many respects is starting to catch up on these holistic practises and now vindicating them in academic journals.
Why Is Executive Level Corporate Wellness Relevant In The New World Of Digital Remote Working ?
The days of the big homogenous corporations are diminishing as the revolution of workspaces and business size power forward; thus corporate wellness needs the flexibility to adapt to uncertainty and deal with the many different working structures. Innovation in work has to be matched by innovative ways to care for those in the business. As the working becomes evermore remote, the ability to look at your colleague and sense something is wrong or off becomes much harder. The ability to create a workspace atmosphere that promotes a new healthy habit by in-person colleague support is not possible when remote working and Zoom calls are the norm.
Even before digital remote working, very few if any companies had accurate ways to measure wellness, and with digital remote working it becomes even more difficult to separate your work life from your home as they are one and the same place. This can lead to less time for self-care, as you don’t have that colleague by your side who notices you stressing out and asks you to go on a coffee break, so you can talk off the stress and clear your mind.
With the help of technology and apps you can create a wellness environment in the digital workspace which helps to reconnect employees, helping to build a wellness network throughout a company. Health and performance can be measured and positive actions taken, led from the top or horizontally, to fully empower the wellness of a company.
Cultivating healthy habits is essential for wellness and even having a few healthy habits can increase ones life span by a significant number of years . The easiest healthy habits to cultivate with biohacking are:
- Sleep optimisation
- Mindfulness and mindset
- Movement and exercise
- Awareness of the Environment (light, air, water, indoors vs outdoors)
Why Do Employers & Companies at large Need To Care About this (Retain + Attract Talent)?
By biohacking corporate wellness you are giving your team the best wellness optimisation tools, techniques and technologies that exist; it also means the company will be on top of wellness trends and will be a pioneer in corporate wellness and employee optimisation.
How many people do you know who tell you they have set a New Years resolution and within a week or two they have broken the resolution and are back to their old habits? How many times have you seen a HR department roll out a new initiative and within a month or two it's forgotten about? These types of negative habits undermine trust in your employees and in a company. By biohacking with trackable metrics you bring accountability to corporate wellness - it allows all to buy in as they can track, see and compare metrics - it builds engagement and motivation in the workplace as all can help all improve their performance and wellbeing metrics.
Integrating biohacking into a company's corporate wellness policies will increase employee loyalty, despite remote working, by providing platforms and digital spaces for colleagues to reconnect and look after each other's health and wellness. With actionable metrics a company will gain better insights into where their employees sit between being bored and being overworked. This way effective steps can be taken to motivate bored employees and ensure others are not overworking and burning out. Corporate wellness and employees optimisation can now become a proactive policy, not a reactive one.
How Can Biohacking Solutions Be Rolled Out At Company Levels?
Biohacking solutions in the workplace can go from simple to encompassing and truly innovative. No matter the extent, even the most simple solutions provide actionable insights that can lead to better information and better wellness choices. The most popular biohacking products to help employees understand their health are:
- Connecting to yourself with wearables such as an Apple Watch, Fit Bit, Whoop Strap and Oura ring. These devices track metrics like steps, daily calorie burn, HRV and sleep cycles. They allow you to understand what your body is thinking and feeling 24/7 - these data insights make it much easier to build good habits and reach your bodies unique potential.
- Genetic health testing is a way of identifying genetic risks and uncovering insights that gives a person a clear path towards their optimal health goals. With genetic insights, genes are no longer destiny and action can be taken to prioritise certain health interventions such as gene based nutrition.
- Integrating mindfulness practises or giving employees access to mindfulness training can empower employees to manage stress, reduce anxiety, and cultivate peace of mind. Mindfulness practices can be done in a variety of ways depending on if mental, physical, or emotional health is the area seeking to be improved. Mindfulness training can be done the old fashioned way, in person, or the technological way and use wearables like Muse, that gamify mindfulness.
- Blood testing can be done semi-regularly as a preventative health service for employees, as it helps employees know what's going on inside them before it’s too late. Since most people wait until something goes wrong until they react, having regular blood tests that analyse cortisol “stress” levels, thyroid function, liver function, vitamin and mineral levels, give accurate insights which allow for proactive step to be taken to minimise their risk of long-term chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
Now...How Can I Help with this?
I am no stranger to the corporate world - once a lawyer, always a lawyer. I have done the long days, nights, weeks, months... I have pushed myself to my mental limits and I have burnt out before. I know the demands of corporate life and understand the pressure people put on themselves are their colleagues to achieve excellence. There is nothing wrong with this - achieving excellence in one’s profession is a virtuous goal. However, it can become all too toxic quite quickly and this is where I think biohacking corporate wellness and using a coach like myself to help optimise company performance is essential, as it will help a company to avoid the pitfalls that can come with toxic work practises.
It is about working smart and hard. I have worked with many Execs, who in their work life are sharp and intelligent investors, but they don’t apply the same investment logic to their own mental and physical health. Neglecting your mental and physical health is like leaving money on the table - how much more success could one achieve if their mindset and physical health is optimised for corporate performance? Mind set and physical optimisation is essential for high performance, and I pride myself in being able to help my clients, business teams and companies transform out of a fight or flight mindset into a growth and opportunity mindset.
A problem I have encountered many times with clients is the apathy that comes from the vast amount of conflicting health and wellness advice about what to do and what to avoid.
I help take away the guesswork by bursting conventional bubbles and bringing truly innovative and tailored biohacks to my clients and businesses I work with - while always bearing in mind the corporate environment these need to be applied to and the digital normal reality of the world we live in ( Zoom sessions, online modules and remote Workshops, either group or individual).
My main focus first is often always with mindset as the body goes where the mind leads it and most people fail to cultivate wellness habits due to mindset issues. It is very difficult to make changes alone and I work close and personal so no client of mine or individual in a company I am optimising is left feeling isolated - great and powerful change is possible and it is done easier with personal connections and coaching.