Look After Your Staff
Many of us will work a very long week. Add on top your daily commute time which can be up to two hours each way, chores around the house and looking after the family and it’s not all good for our wellbeing, writes Tracy Hargreaves
National work life week in October is an opportunity to promote the importance and benefits of work life balance, including the positive affect it has on an individual’s health and wellbeing, as well as their productivity.
Run by Working Families, which is the UK’s work-life balance organisation, its aim is to find a better balance between responsibility at home and in the workplace.
It also provides free legal advice to parents and carers on their rights at work as well as giving employers the right tools they need to support their workforce.
For employers, there are little things that can make a difference. Allowing your workers to work flexible hours rather than the standard 9-5 will not only ease the daily traffic situation, but many workers will get more work done early in the morning or later at night.
All too often employers want their staff in the office to be seen, when actually they may be more productive away from the office, where it’s quieter and there’s less gossip around the brew making facilities.
Make sure your staff try and finish on time. 60 per cent of parents have to work extra hours to keep on top of their workload and almost half of parents say that work gets in the way of spending time with their children.
Consult with your staff about the hours they work. Research by Henley Business School showed that a four-day working week could save UK businesses an estimated £104bn a year, with less sickness rates and happier employees, not to mention increased staff productivity and improved physical and mental health.
Be considerate around medical appointments. Some companies expect the individual to make up any time lost if they have visited their GP, dentist or optician. A little give and take can go a long way.
Encourage staff to take regular breaks away from their computer. Make sure there’s somewhere they can sit and eat lunch away from their desk, if there are no canteen facilities. Arrange a weekly office walk at lunch time or a quiz. Perhaps organise a Jacob’s Join, where everyone brings in something to eat for lunch and it’s a chance to chat to colleagues about things other than work.
A happier workforce is also a healthier workforce and just a few little changes can make a huge difference.