Sarah Way: What impact will the return to work have on employees’ work-life balance?

While Herrco Cosmetics has employees working in the factory producing essential goods, we also have a number of employees working from home. Working from home has been our norm for years, and so having teams working in a hybrid way wasn’t unfamiliar to us when the pandemic hit. Having the technology in place to fully support this really helped. For those working from home, we encouraged teams to have regular video calls with each other, not just emails, to help keep human connections.

We are a family business, and we recognise that everyone has their own family and personal life to juggle. As such, we have extended our support to help employees when they needed to home school, adjust hours, or attend appointments. We are very flexible and proud of our policies in place to support this – how many other organisations have a compassionate policy that extends to specifically cover pet-related emergencies?

The directors recognised that it had been a tough year for everyone, and while many businesses were suffering, everyone was still super busy at Herrco Cosmetics, and we even had one of our record years in business. To thank the team who worked tirelessly through, a care package was hand delivered to all employees. It was full of treats and comforts, and of course a hand sanitiser to help keep everyone safe.

This was very well received by all, especially when most of the boxes were personally given out by managers or directors, even to the ones working from home. To top it up, a £100,000 bonus was shared out among all employees, which hit their bank accounts as a mid-month surprise.

We regularly ask our team for their thoughts and ideas and we have a ‘Your Voice’ campaign where we welcome any anonymous ideas. From this initiative, a recent suggestion was brought to life in the form of Herrco’s Wimbledon Championships. We love sports and believe in having healthy bodies and healthy minds. Another initiative we have introduced are the professional fitness sessions twice a week, free for all employees, where our car park and garden area are taken over and the workout begins.

Sarah Way is people and culture director at Herrco Cosmetics