Wagada are supporting National Work Life Week 2016!

Cheryl Luzet - 3 October 2016

When Wagada was set up, one of the key founding principles was that the staff here would be able to have a great work-life balance. We really believe that the key to a successful business is a happy and motivated team. Research has found that workers who are feeling stressed out, tired and overworked are going to be less productive, less loyal and may need more time off work due to ill health.

So we were excited to hear that work life balance issues will be brought to the nation’s attention during National Work Life Week 2016, which will take place from Monday 3rd to Friday 7th October. The week is all about giving employers and their staff a chance to focus on their wellbeing and to encourage them to think about what having a good work-life balance means for them. As part of this initiative they are also running ‘go home on time day’ on Wednesday 5th October. On this date, workers will be asked to leave on time and to upload a picture of their clock/watch onto Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #timetorebalance. We think this is a really innovative way to promote the importance of work life balance and flexible working!

So why is work life balance so important?

We were shocked to learn these facts about working life for parents in the UK today:

  • A third of parents (29 per cent) reported being burned out often or all the time
  • Four out of ten parents say that work intrudes to stop them spending time with children often or all the time
  • More than one in ten UK employees work over 50 hours per week
  • Workload is the main reason that working parents are putting in extra hours at work
  • Four out of ten younger fathers would take a pay cut to improve their work-life balance

We think that these disturbing statistics really bring home the fact that it is time for a change in workplace culture in the UK. That’s why we are so supportive of this campaign which aims to encourage discussion and debate about family-friendly working policies which is long overdue. We hope that it will have a positive impact on those employees whose current lack of work-life balance still leaves much to be desired, and will help employers to understand the benefit of promoting flexible working.

How can companies promote work life balance?

Creating a great work life balance for employees is now easier than ever. There are so many ways that businesses can help their staff to feel less stressed and more in control of their lifestyle. Here are just some of the things that companies can do in order to support improved work life balance:

Introduce flexible working policies

Offer people a range of hours so that they can choose to work the times that fit in with their lifestyle. We live in a 24 hour culture and many jobs don’t need to be done within the traditional 9-5 working hours. Families with school age children often struggle with before and after school child care, so offering family-friendly school hours shifts or term-time only working can be a great bonus for staff. At Wagada we have many working parents who manage their job and family in this way.

Promote working from home

With email, skype and mobile phones readily available, ask whether it really is necessary for employees to be physically in the office all the time. Working from home has many benefits. Getting rid of commuting time means that staff will actually have more productive time to work and helps to reduce the inevitable stress of tube strikes, traffic jams and the wrong type of leaves on the track!

Many homeworkers also say that having a chance to work away from ringing phones and office gossip means that they can get more done too. Working from home on an ad hoc basis can also help companies become more family-friendly, as it means that if children are at home due to being ill, or employees want to watch their child running a race at sports day, they can do so without having to use up their valuable holiday time.

There is some really great, cost-effective technology available, to suit businesses of every size, so that people can work remotely, be able to access documents, data and systems quickly and easily, and feel part of the team even if they’re working from home.

Encourage regular breaks in the office

We’ve all had days where we find ourselves sat eating our sandwich at our desks and dashing off emails between mouthfuls, but it’s really important to take a break. This is just as important for employees’ physical health as their mental health. Being hunched over a keyboard can take its toll on the spine and exposing eyes to a screen for long periods of time can cause tiredness and eye strain.

Many companies are now looking at ways to help their employees relax at work. It could be that you instigate a regular weekly lunch out on a Friday, or get a great corporate deal at a local gym, so that staff can have a quick workout at lunch time. It might even be as simple as setting up a group of colleagues who go for a 20-minute walk at lunchtime, to recharge their batteries and blow away the cobwebs.

Have fun at work!

Another way to get a great work-life balance is to make sure that being at work is fun for your staff as well. At Wagada we are all passionate about digital marketing, our work and what we can offer our clients – indeed, no two working days are ever the same. We always make sure we take some time out to enjoy ourselves too. Some recent events have seen us running around St Albans in a crazy Pancake Day race, and putting on our pinnies to get baking for National Cupcake Day (and our creations were very tasty too!).

Flexible and family-friendly working at Wagada

We are really proud to have a number of flexible and family-friendly working policies in place at Wagada. Many of our staff are working parents who want to combine the needs of young children with their desire to have a satisfying, fulfilling professional life. It’s great to have such a dedicated team and the fact that their work-life balance works for them means that they are happy and motivated too.

But don’t just take our word for it – take a look at what flexible working means to our team in their own words:

“Thanks to Wagada’s commitment to flexible working, I’ve finally been able to achieve the balance I’d been looking for since my children were born” – Helen Mariner, Copywriter