Promoting Wellness At Work With Flexible Working

Flexible Working In Business: Adapt To Survive

The year 2020 brought unprecedented challenges to our personal and professional lives. The ongoing crisis has also tested the preparedness of organisations across the globe in dealing with the employees and customers in a remote working environment. Wellness at work has always been important. Now more than ever though does it need special attention.

Understandably lots of people do not want to return to busy and unsafe trains, buses, offices and workplaces. At the same time many fear being isolated at home for months on end, and worry about the impact on their jobs.

In this article we look at the ways businesses can offer inclusive practices that don’t cost the earth. 

Wellness & Mental Health

When the coronavirus pandemic forced a large part of our workforce to embrace the WFH life, it was like a dream come true for many. However, close to six months down the line, stories of WFH burnout and lack of motivation were coming through thick and fast. So, it was only a matter of time before companies and employers began devising ways to make their employees’ new work life better.

While remote workers deal with being productive in a new setting and find new ways to connect with coworkers outside of the office, maintaining physical and mental health is becoming increasingly important. HR teams can help inspire employees to take their health as seriously as their work through effective wellness programs, but these have to adapt to the current circumstances like everything else. 

The Young Entrepreneur Council shared their best strategies for leaders looking to successfully implement wellness programs in their organisations.

Wellness In Flexible Working

The whole nature of flexible working promotes wellness at work. Being happy with your work pattern and place of work usually equates to better mental health.

There are many ways to work in 2020. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, a parent looking for something part-time or returning to the world of jobs after a career break, there really is something for everyone. So it might help you to know what types of work are actually available.

Brie Reynolds of Motherly offers a brilliant list that you can work your way through and tips on how to speak to your employer as well.

Remote work: Also known as telecommuting or working from home, this option means you may work the same hours as usual but without going into an office.

Flexible schedule: This type of flex work gives a worker the ability to shift their work hours depending on the needs of the day.

Alternative schedule: This flexible work arrangement denotes a change in schedule with set hours that aren’t necessarily traditional office hours, for example, working 6am-3pm, or 12pm-8pm.

Split shift: In this flexitime arrangement, some hours are worked earlier in the day and some later. For example, you may work a first shift from 6 am to 10 am, then a second shift from 4 pm to 8 pm, leaving core daytime hours open for parental responsibilities.

Part-time: Part-time work means a reduced schedule where you work fewer than 40 hours each week.

Compressed work week: While you’ll still clock the same number of hours per week, a compressed workweek shortens the number of days on which you work. A common setup is four days of 10 hours each. If the arrangement is company-wide, the office may be closed completely one day per week.

Spread out schedule: Consider this the inverse of the compressed work week—for example, workers could work seven days per week but only for 5-6 hours per day.

Freelance: This option allows you to work as a contractor versus as an employee, which may allow for increased flexibility but perhaps at the cost of some of the benefits of full-time employees, such as health care or unemployment insurance. If you’re considering going freelance, then Crunch has some fantastic free resources available.

Remote Communication – Tech To The Rescue

In a remote working scenario, one of the biggest challenges is keeping remote employees engaged and addressing the sense of isolation they might feel from the larger group. Communication is key to the wellbeing of remote working teams. Technology provides the tools to communicate with their peers and managers easily.

Today’s remote communication platforms offer sophisticated collaboration tools that are efficient in creating vibrant opportunities for conversations and may be considered an equivalent to everyone being in the same location, in a connected environment.

We reached out to our network to find out their most recommended communication tools for collaboration and staying in touch, so naturally we wanted to share them with you!

  • Slack features Coordinate your integrations with countless other marketing tools, Effortlessly organise your communications across channels and spaces, Use mentions and tags to communicate with your team
  • Microsoft Teams Features: Email-style threaded conversations, voice/video conferencing, team chats & private discussions, In-line animated GIFs, tabs for frequently used documents, open API, @mentions, customisable alerts, and multi-factor authentication.
  • Skype Features: Chat, conferencing, instant messaging, live/video conferencing, monitoring, receiving, reporting & statistics, SMS integration, third-party integration, and voicemail.
  • Facebook workplace Features Workplace is a communication tool that connects everyone in your company, even if they’re working remotely. Use familiar features such as Groups, Chat, Rooms and live video broadcasting to get people talking and working together.
  • Whatsapp Features Using the app in business communications removes the obstacle of making employees adapt to an unfamiliar system. Quite inadvertently, it guarantees the received messages are reviewed on a regular basis.
  • Trello features Organise tasks across boards, lists, and cards, Prioritise projects with tags and labels, Integrate with a host of other marketing platforms
  • Asana features Plan and structure your projects in logical ways, Set priorities and deadlines on tasks, Follow your projects and tasks to completion, Uncover dependencies using Gantt charts
  • Monday.com monday.com is an intuitive platform where teams can track processes and workflows, communicate within and across teams, and bring all of their tools together under one system. Its simplistic design and flexible features mean teams can get started in minutes.
  • Zoom Features: Scheduling, chat/messaging, email invitations, live/video conferencing, meeting management, screen sharing, user management, reporting & statistics, company branding, video call recording, drag & drop file sharing, and synced content library.
  • G Suite Features: Email & chat archiving, auditing & reporting, custom email address, cloud file storage, @mentions, customisable templates, file transfer, shared workspace, live / video conferencing, two-way audio & video, email tracking, instant messaging, resource allocation, to-do list, and email notifications.
  • We Transfer features Send and receive 20 GB per transfer, Create Pro pages, Deliver work with branded communications

“It Is Not the Strongest of the Species that Survives But the Most Adaptable”

– Charles Darwin 

So while the government advice changes (again), we can all be sure of one thing. 

This is the new normal. 

People are re-prioritising their lives and deciding that they want more choice in their lives, and unless businesses want to lose fantastic employees to more flexible companies, they need to adapt and evolve.

Take care of your employees and they will take care of business.

Joining workingfamilies.co.uk and #WorkLifeWeek 

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