Religion is as much a part of work as it is of everyday life

<b>With concerns about work-life balance and the increase in stress, what role does religion have in todays workplace? By Stefan Stern</b>

David Welbourn, corporate chaplain at Qinetiq (formerly DERA defence evaluation and research agency)

Ive been working here for 13 years, during which time we have been through a great number of changes. Were now part of a public private partnership scheme, so that has involved more change. Part of my job here has to do with keeping up morale, helping people weather storms amid all the change that is going on.

I meet people at all levels of the organisation and discuss their aspirations, the human issues and quality of life. I am also here to encourage the organisation to work in a humane way, to maintain a spiritual dimension. It is a myth that the public and private sectors are completely different. Some private businesses can be very public-spirited.

I report to the HR director, although I am not on the payroll of the HR department. I find that faith is deeply personal to everyone. There are some religious people who dont regard themselves as religious. But I do see spirituality at work as a growing area of interest several business schools look at it as part of their MBA courses. These values can hold true even when you are taking the toughest of decisions.

Bill Penney, managing director, Ashton Penney

As well as running my business here I am a Church of England clergyman. In that latter role I suppose I am trying to help individuals and the wider community make the most of their potential I would say their God-given potential. My work helps people come to terms with their life.

Thats not so different from what we do as headhunters and in the outplacement business. Our business is about helping people and organisations to be more effective. We spend a lot of time talking to senior management about their careers and potential, so there is no conflict between what I do on Sunday and what we are doing Monday to Friday.

There is a connection between faith and businesses going through periods of change. Faith is not a static thing it is always described as a journey. Transformation in business is a kind of journey too.

We are not a Christian business. I dont stand up and preach at people, theres no theological jargon. It is more to do with the way you go about your business is there honesty, straightforwardness, openness and trust? And wealth creation taking care of Gods world and using resources properly is a strong Christian tradition.

George Pitcher, director, Luther Pendragon

I will shortly be taking up a role at St Brides church in Fleet Street in addition to my work at the communications agency Luther Pendragon. Part of this is about taking religion out of the ghetto and making it more part of everyday working life.

Some Christian Fellowship groups have sometimes come across as being a bit suspicious or even weird. Faith at its best is part of normal life. It is about coming together to eat, drink, talk and discuss life in an enjoyable way and without being pompous. It is a social and celebratory activity, not formal or stuffy.

We might meet up once a month. Its an opportunity to stop and think. It may be just very faintly evangelising and someone may give a short paper or lead the discussion in some way. But you can only really introduce this more active role for faith at work if you treat it as normal. It must be an everyday activity. It mustnt be a scary group of pale and spotty people.