STAFF well-being is so important to one Fife-based company that they are not allowed to work on their birthdays and can take two “duvet days” per year.

There is also a ten minute mindfulness meditation each day after lunch while 45 minutes is set aside for learning when staff are in the office.

It is no surprise, then, that Tree of Knowledge, a motivational, educational and leadership development training company, has also become a living wage employer.

“People are the heart and soul of our organisation,” explained director Alice Beveridge. “We only employ superheroes, social entrepreneurs and people who want to change the world. We have just finalised our five year strategic plan, and like any other business, yes we have financial objectives and plans to grow, but more importantly than that we are investing in our people more than ever.

“As our team is growing their mental health and wellbeing becomes more and more important to how we function as an organisation. We ask a lot of our people and believe becoming a living wage company is the least we can do show our commitment to them. We have implemented a range of policies over the years to promote wellbeing in our team.”

Since a management buy-out by Beveridge and her co-directors, Gavin Oattes, Alan Burton and Dougie Clark, nine years ago, the team has grown from five to 17, and is set to grow to 21 in the near future.

The company works all over Scotland in schools, colleges and universities and with businesses all over the UK in development and training, specifically mindset and motivation in the workplace.

“I am a psychologist and most of what I deliver is based on positive psychology,” said Beveridge. “Our team is a combination of speakers who work in schools, staff who work in the corporate sector and those who take care of business and marketing.”

As is suggested by the name of the company, the educational aspect is at the heart of the team’s work and last year they celebrated working with over one million children in Scotland.

“For us that was a milestone and we are having our best-ever year currently in terms of working with a diverse and high number of schools and businesses which is why we have suddenly grown so much,” said Beveridge.

The work in schools includes workshops dealing with exam preparation, getting ready for work and the transition between primary and secondary schools. The team also work with staff and parents.

“Our education offerings are for P5-S6 children and young people and we focus on developing self-regulation, growth mindsets, employability skills, study skills and inspiring young minds for the future,” said Beveridge.

“Our corporate offerings include workshops such as fun@work and Let It Go, promoting the importance of stress management and creating a culture of flow and engagement in the workplace. Our vision as an organisation is to inspire the world, one audience at a time.”

The UK living wage for outside London is currently £8.75 per hour. It is significantly higher than the UK government’s “national living wage” rate of £7.50 which applies to over-25s only.

These figures are calculated annually by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission, based on the best available evidence on living standards in the UK.