‘Family first’ favoured by employees

The rise in remote working across thousands of locations has put Britain’s work forces through the mill since March. Employers up and down the country have worked tirelessly and creatively to keep their employees motivated and connected while seeking to protect their physical and mental well-being.  Technology has most definitely come to the rescue with virtual working platforms helping companies to keep the wheels turning. 

Quite apart from keeping commercial interests afloat, employers have had to prioritize their employees’ physical and mental health to help them navigate the last four months. While employees have faced challenges of one kind or another during this transitional period, those with young families at home have perhaps had the biggest juggling act of all.

Wanting to understand how employers across the UK have coped with Covid-19 disrupting work and life patterns, Gympass partnered with People Management magazine to survey a diverse range of employers.  Far and away the most powerful message that came back was how employees put their family’s needs ahead of all else. And how important it is that employers both recognized and acted upon this.

Of those employers surveyed, 69% confirmed that Covid-19 had forced them to change their people priorities. A staggering 90% of companies said they are offering flexible working that will enable parents to find a balance between fulfilling professional duties and managing life at home.

It could be that lessons learned from flexible working around the lock down will make school holidays easier for employees for the foreseeable future.  And given that some children won’t return to school before the summer holidays kick in next month, such freedom for employees to manage their work time around family needs will be a game-changer.

“Organisations have had to adapt quickly to this new way of working, and the challenge presented to those employees with young children to work effectively from home should not be underestimated,” says Luke Bullen, Gympass CEO for UK/IE. “Our survey showed a clear commitment by employers to offer flexible working hours to help employees fulfill family duties. We would expect this shift in stance to persist long after lock down.”

Gympass is well aware of the need to look after employees’ home life and offers family access to its facilities and services. When it pivoted its services to be available online during lock down, it ensured that family fitness and well-being strategies were included.

“Employees put a high value on Gympass services that they can share with their family and we know that offering options where families can be active together helps encourage people to engage more,” says Luke. “Our survey shows very clearly the commitment among employers to be flexible and understanding of the family dynamic. Lock down has rather forced them to take this broader view on combining work with home life but it would appear from our research that they have embraced this fully.

“The approaching summer holidays will bring another set of challenges to parents but having seen things work during lock down, we hope that the employers will have confidence that a family-centric approach can succeed in the workplace.  It’s odd to think it took lock down to prove this point to some employers but, having done so, we hope these family-friendly adaptations can be maintained for everyone’s benefit.”

Gympass has summarized the learning from its survey in this free eBook. Click here for further inspiration https://hs.gympass.com/en-uk-wellbeing-remote-survey