The Wellbeing Effects of Genuine Flexibility

Life is busy – especially at this time of year. With weekends spent wading through crowds of Christmas shoppers, running in and out of the school nativity, all the time clock-watching because you need to get back to work, and missing out on visiting friends and family because December whizzes by in such a flash.

Unfortunately, this is a reality for so many. And while the festive season is wonderful, it can also take its toll on our mental and physical health. It can feel all too overwhelming, and for working parents, the guilt and fear of missing out can be overbearing.

And too many employers applaud themselves for a flexible approach, allowing their team to take a longer lunch whilst giving them the opportunity to ‘make up their hours’ in the evening instead, or switching to a four-day week (essentially cramming five days into four). But, how is this offering true flexibility – when employees are still chained to their desks 9-5 for the majority of the week?

But, imagine a corporate world bursting with organisations that are not only productive and profitable, but that boast fiercely loyal, holistically ‘well’ and genuinely happy workforces? A pipe dream, right? Wrong! This can, and absolutely should, be a reality.

Rhiannon Williams, Head of Agency at Zen Communications – a strategic PR and Communications agency – explains how they’ve revolutionised the way that they do business, by adopting a genuine flexible working policy that has truly empowered their team to be productive, well, and happy.

“At Zen, we’ve always encouraged a life/work balance (in that order). And during the Covid-19 lockdowns, we decided to take it to the next level and completely abolished the traditional working week. Our team had the freedom and autonomy to work when they want, where they want, and how they want.

We developed a very clear metric of what success looks like – for our clients, for our team, and for the agency as a whole. Everything we do has to always be a win for all. Non-negotiable.

The results? Happy, fulfilled employees. Happy, looked after clients. And a happy, healthy bottom line.

Many of our team are parents, and so this flexibility means they can do the school runs, attend school activities, and not have to panic about arranging last-minute childcare when the little ones

are sick. But the flexibility of course isn’t exclusively offered to parents – in fact, other members of our team use it to work alongside their partners’ schedules, attend gym classes, walk the dog, do the food shop. In the middle of the ‘working’ day.

No permission necessary. No guilt required. No explanation needed.

And, why?  Because we know that the team will be working when they’re at their most energised, motivated, and productive. Meaning that they bring their very best selves, and provide the very best service to our clients at all times.

As part of the Zen culture, we also ensure fortnightly catch-ups and monthly team meetings, so that we always remain connected. Plus, we’re members of a Wellness Hub, which offer live workout videos, healthy recipes and wellbeing tips.

And each team member is signed up to an employer-paid health cash plan, so that their physical, mental, and financial health needs can be catered for. Thanks to our genuine flexible working, there’s no need to take time off to attend the appointments either, or have to wait weeks (or even months!) for an after-hours slot.

From a business perspective, we’ve reduced costs by downsizing our office space, we’ve enhanced our recruitment strategy, as we now have access to brilliant candidates otherwise dismissed by other companies due to being unable to meet the 9-5 constraints, and excellent employee retention – two members of our team have been with us for over a decade!

We’ve witnessed many big brands and businesses adopt flexible working in recent years. But, in most cases, it’s still not enough.

At Zen, we’re completely committed to genuine flexibility – not only for our team, but for everyone. We encourage all businesses that are able to adopt it, to do it. And do it now.”

 

About Zen

Zen Communications Ltd is a results-driven strategic reputation management and communications agency. Shropshire-based, but proud to partner with organisations across the UK, its team of technically-trained writers is proud to delivery commercially-focused strategies that achieve real tangible results and support clients in finding their authentic voice.

To learn more, visit http://www.zen-communications.co.uk/

About Lisa Baker, Editor, Wellbeing News 4429 Articles
Editor Lisa Baker is passionate about the benefits of a holistic approach to healing. Lisa is a qualified Vibrational Therapist and has qualifications in Auricular Therapy, Massage, Kinesiology, Crystal Healing, Seichem and is a Reiki Master.