From 2nd – 6th October, the team celebrated Work Life Week. The national campaign was created by Working Families UK charity and raises awareness of employee health, wellbeing and flexible working in the UK. At VST we’re strong believers in work-life balance. The business is actually built on a flexible working model. The majority of the team are part-time and flexible working is offered to everyone, it’s always been part of our culture. The advantages of working this way are clear to us – a happy team is more productive and successful and our clients reap the benefits.

Like all good students, we know it’s important to reflect on what we learnt during the week. Here’s a quick roundup of our observations:

Step challenges are great fun. 

Because exercise increases both physical and mental wellbeing we decided to organise a step challenge to get us moving more. Over the course of the week, we used pedometers to track the amount of activity we did. It was both easy to organise and low cost to the business, all that was really needed was the investment in the pedometers. Any type of movement was counted which made it highly accessible, everyone could get involved regardless of fitness level.

Congratulations to Nicola on the calling team, who completed a massive 95182 steps in total. We hope you enjoy the annual leave you won.

(Truly) flexible working hours aren’t that common in the job market.

The typical working day in the U.K and across the world is changing. The report Working anywhere: A winning formula for good work? predicts that flexible working will be the main way of working for 70% of organisations by 2020, according to the research with 500 managerial level employees within medium to large businesses.

Currently, 47% of U.K employees don’t have flexible working offered in the workplace. Whilst 67% of employees wish they were offered flexible working as an option. Other statistics suggest that the demand for jobs offering flexible hours is outweighing the supply.

A new study, from recruitment, analysis and consultancy firm Timewise, found that less than one in ten jobs paying at least £20,000 full-time equivalent is advertised as being open to flexible working options. This has left the jobs market falling short of the aspirations of workers in full-time non-flexible hours jobs.

Stress can kill you.

As part of the week’s activities, Stuart from Tier One Training & Rehabilitation Systems visited the office. Stuart comes in every quarter and runs a staff wellbeing clinic. This time, in addition to the regular clinic he delivered a talk on biological stress and the effect it can have on the body. The message was clear. Stress is a killer and to combat it we need to achieve balance in our often hectic everyday lives. For hints and tips on how to better manage stress, watch the video.

Healthy body, healthy mind.

We packed away our stash of sweets and chocolate and offered healthy snacks, replaced (most of) the teas and coffees with alternatives and stayed hydrated with water. Generally speaking, the changes were embraced and enjoyed by the team. We saw plenty of positive comments on how good it was to have healthy alternatives available.

What we eat impacts our energy levels, ability to concentrate and in turn our performance. There’s plenty of evidence to support that food high in saturated fat negatively impacts brain function. The case for fit and healthy employees is proven: reduced sick leave, increased emotional resilience, confidence and alertness. Because of this, we’ll continue to welcome healthy workplace practices and look forward to National Work Life Week 2018. Watch this space.

To find out more about our healthy workplace practices or career opportunities at VST call Hannah on 01604 609 944.