This blog is part of a wider series on our People and Culture. For the next few months, we will be highlighting some of the core elements of our working culture, along with recommendations for embedding new practices within your own organisation. Keep an eye out for the November edition and check out the September blog on Working Together and Remotely.
As we approach the full swing of programme delivery at Student Hubs, looking out for each other as a team, and supporting our teams to do what we do best is more important than ever. We wanted to take a moment to share how we approach wellbeing support at work.
We hear the phrase work-life balance frequently, but what does this actually mean? Having a 9-5 job, turning off your computer at the end of the working day, and logging back on at 9am the next morning isn’t quite what we’re describing. At Student Hubs, we are firm believers that our personal lives are not separate from our work lives. What happens after logging off at the end of the day can affect our sleep, wellbeing and energy the next morning, and events at work can affect us throughout the evening. This cycle can mean that it can be challenging to manage personal circumstances and events that are extremely important, without sacrificing focus and energy levels at work.
Students Hubs introduced a flexible working model policy many years before working from home became normalised during the Covid-19 pandemic. Giving our team the space to do their best, however they need, is a vital step in creating a safe and supportive environment for work. Whether that means starting your working day at 7am when the day is quiet, or taking a longer break during the day for an appointment or some additional rest and returning to work in the evening. I have personally found this extremely helpful in navigating personal circumstances, by taking a break during the day to tend to other needs, and returning to work feeling at ease.
Logistically, our policy states that if you want to make a one off change in your regular working pattern, you just need to let your line manager know and update the team. If you want to make a regular change then your line manager will support you to reflect on the challenges and benefits of the change – to mitigate any potential impact on your workload and make sure this is the right step for you to thrive at work, and in life!
A 37.5-hour week isn’t everything. We pride ourselves in trusting our team to do their jobs well, however it suits them. As well as the flexible working policy, we encourage staff to take ‘wellbeing Fridays’ where possible. This can mean logging off earlier on a Friday to relax and using the time to do something kind for ourselves. Whether that be starting a new book that you’ve been wanting to read, or staying in at home with a movie. We recognise that our staff know their jobs best, in mapping out their week and prioritising their workload. If you can complete your priorities during the week, why not treat yourself to an early afternoon? We even go as far as encouraging staff to reconsider their priorities, and whether anything that isn’t essential to be completed by the end of the week can wait until Monday, and log off earlier.
While our work is incredibly important, we are equally important. Acknowledging and valuing this in our team is what allows us to work effectively, together and individually, and bring our passions alive in the workplace.