Architecture firm HLM Architects employs more than 180 people across five UK studios, and has been accredited as a world-class company for workplace engagement by Best Companies.
Following its transition to an employee ownership model in December 2020, HLM Architects introduced its Smart Blend flexible working pilot scheme in May 2021, which allows staff to decide how and where they want to work. As long as employees meet outputs and deadlines set, work across core hours and come into the studio at least once a week to connect with their teams, their mentors or mentees and clients, the scheme enables them to choose to come into the studio or work from home.
In addition, HLM Architects offers a home loan kit scheme, which includes technology equipment such as laptops, screens, cameras, headsets, mice, keyboards and desk chairs, so employees can work effectively from home.
The scheme will run for six months an aims to protect employees’ time and the environment around them. Karen Mosley, managing director at HLM Architects, explains: “We want to ensure we remain nimble, socially aware and maintain trusting relationships with each other which are values-laden and inclusive, and allow us to embrace new ways of working which empower everyone to work wherever they can do their best work. We launched this initiative at a company-wide session and issued a new benefits package catalogue to highlight the range of benefits and support which is available and how to access them.”
This year, HLM Architects also added an annual bonus scheme as part of its transition to employee ownership to its collection of reward and benefit programmes.
Mosley says that the programmes help to create a physically safe environment, to add extra monetary reward in addition to salary and offer savings and cashback, and to provide not only a supportive framework to engender a true sense of belonging, connection and empowerment, but also a psychologically safe environment to keep employees’ minds healthy and inspired.
“Our existing lifestyle package provides a number of monetary benefits, including salary sacrifice contributions to pensions, tax- or interest-free benefits meaning individuals have greater buying power, cashback and discounted goods, individual training funds, kit and professional subscriptions, finders fees, and the benefit of additional paid leave, whether that’s annual, sickness, study, maternity or paternity, which are all above the statutory norm,” she says.
The organisation’s lifestyle benefits package also includes a health cash plan, paid for by the employer, which provides access to more than £1,400 worth of benefits and 100% cashback.
Mosely says the benefits that HLM Architects offers helps to motivate employees through the provision of a holistic package that recognises the diverse needs of staff and provides more than just monetary reward.
“[The benefits package] is carefully thought through so that it is relevant, continuously evolves through feedback from our staff and encapsulates wellbeing initiatives that wrap a level of support around individuals so they feel safe, secure, confident and rewarded, in a way which leads to enhanced motivation and a true sense of connection and belonging,” she adds.