Anna Gorniak discusses how Bennett Hay are creating a ‘New Workplace Lifestyle’ for employees
With roughly 40 hours a week spent in the office, it’s important that the workplace is an appealing place to be. At Bennett Hay, the nurturing of mental health and wellbeing is paramount, so we’ve worked hard to bring about the arrival of the new workplace lifestyle, to provide a happy and productive workspace for our clients and their employees.
It’s all about unity
Encouraging a positive feeling of team spirit is of key importance in the workplace – we want it to feel like a lifestyle choice, where individuality is celebrated and where people are encouraged to speak on a personal level. We recognise that it has to be a place where people can find common ground, and we strive to empower people to create this sense of unity.
The work-life balance is a paramount
Flexible working goes a long way to support company culture – a company which values its employee’s time and makes the effort to support their lifestyle has already made huge steps in improving wellbeing. Colleagues need to know that their individual needs are being supported, to ensure that everyone has a productive and fruitful working life – if there’s no need for employees to be allocated a specific desk, eat lunch at the same time or work the exact same hours, then why make it a rule? In the warmer temperatures, some companies even offer summer working hours, to aid their employees staying productive during the hotter months.
Catering is key
The availability of good food makes a huge difference and with wellbeing offices on the rise, food pop-ups have become increasingly popular, including workplace restaurants, roof terraces and refreshment points. With many employees’ time poor during their working day, many can see lunch as an inconvenient break, but we encourage staff to join their colleagues for a communal meal where they can switch off and socialise. With food choices covering everything from a complimentary breakfast bar to lobster dogs served outdoors during summer, social eating is a great way to combat potential loneliness in the workplace.
As part of our hospitality and workplace wellbeing service, we have a full calendar of pop-ups, activations and specially curated events for our workplace guests. We offer everything from masterclasses with our nutritionist, meditation workshops and even physiotherapist sessions, to ensure people are walking and sitting well in office spaces. Regular social events are a good way to allow colleagues to bond in an informal setting, going a long way towards building team chemistry and having a positive effect on their working lives. As well as social events, organising volunteering opportunities can help colleagues bond over a shared sense of achievement at completing an altruistic task.
Creating a community
As an employer and service provider, we take our employees wellbeing seriously, which is why we created the position of Happiness Officer, whose job it is to focus on facilitating communication and drive engagement, by creating platforms to allow teams to communicate, socialise and share just like they would in a normal setting. We find this is particularly important for colleagues who work in different client locations or regularly travel as part of their role – nobody should feel less well connected than their static counterparts. Since we launched the platform, we’ve discovered some impressive hidden talents which our colleagues are now proud to show off – it’s created a fantastic sense of ethos within the company.
We want people to want to come to work, so it makes sense to offer colleagues something they can’t get anywhere else. Whether that is access to mentors, changing food menus, a lively workplace bar, pop-up experiences or even just a great place to grab a coffee with a co-worker, it’s important to add value to employee lifestyles rather than force them to fit a template. Employers will get far more out of their colleagues, plus they’ll be happier and more engaged while doing it.
It is important to offer several routes through which employers can best support their colleagues and engender employee welfare, allowing them to pick and choose the best options that work for them. Having a happy workforce makes sound business sense.